Time to Find a New Therapist

Black and white image of traditional alarm clock

Time for a change. When I last saw my psychologist, she equated allowing my son to play video games to allowing him to smoke marijuana. She said that the two did the same neurological and psychological damage, that video games produce emotional cripples unable to make intimate relationships. She was quite incensed about it.

I do not need that kind of reaction. I need a more balanced approach. I’m parenting a teen boy, and I need help in doing so. Teen boys play video games. I’m not going to cut my son off from his friends, but somehow we must do a better job of setting limits.

Here’s the difficulty: I have seen this psychologist on and off for ten years. We moved away twice during that time – once to Eugene and once to the Mojave Desert – and returned to south Orange County after both moves.

Anyway, tomorrow we are seeing the psychologist who collaborates with my psychiatrist for help with our (my) relationship with our son. I may enlist him as my psychologist. We’ll see how it goes.

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51 thoughts on “Time to Find a New Therapist

      • gentlekindness May 25, 2015 / 4:41 pm

        I do not think that telling you that allowing him to watch video games was like letting him smoke pot, was realistic, professional, or any of her business to judge.

        My daughter’s therapist gets judgemental with me and all it does is give me anxiety .

        It is not helpful.
        We are paying these people to help our situation, not to try to crush our self esteem and criticize us.

        Everyone who goes into being a therapist is not someone that should be doing that job.

        You should feel built up and more confident when you leave a therapy session, not broken down.

        Much love,

        Annie

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Bipolar1Blog May 24, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    Wow, it sounds like you pushed some of her buttons, maybe she has a problem with her son and video games… When a psychologist’s personal issues are triggered by a patient, then good psychologists will refer them to someone else, so it’s a good idea to talk to someone else! My son just finished 2nd year Law school, and in his down time, he plays video games as well. This doesn’t make him anti social, as he has friends and a girlfriend with whom he interacts. I think it allows him to relax and enter a fantasy world. I just asked him why he plays video games, he said “Because they’re fun!” Simply that, because they’re fun. Not a bad reason to do something relatively harmless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley May 25, 2015 / 11:07 am

      Well, this afternoon we go to a different psychologist to negotiate the time he spends video gaming. We’ll see how that goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. La Quemada May 24, 2015 / 5:34 pm

    It might be a little late to start this with your son if he’s already a teen. But here’s something we did with our sons that worked pretty well. We set a limit of one hour per day of “electronic time” (video games, watching TV or videos) on weekdays and two hours on weekends, with unlimited time on birthdays, Christmas and a few other holidays. We started this when they were a bit younger and talked about the research on screen time that made us make this decision. They didn’t always like it, and they sometimes pushed on the limits, but it basically worked. You would probably have to negotiate more time with an older boy but maybe you could agree on something. My 20-year-old son told me, “I’m glad you put those limits on our electronic time. Some of my friends don’t do anything else, and it made me read books and go on hikes and develop other sides of myself.” I can’t promise you’d get this good a reaction but it really worked for us. (On the other hand, I know my son does smoke marijuana sometimes, so no pretending that there are no issues at all.)

    You are right to be unhappy with any doctor or therapist who gets “incensed” about something that is a central part of teen culture and takes such an absolutist position. It seems like it’s a place where she has mixed up her own values with her job, which is to help you find something that works for your family. Good luck finding someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 25, 2015 / 11:05 am

      We need to set limits, without doubt. It’s hard at this point. There was a year when he sold his games and gaming systems to focus on mountain biking, but decided to go back to gaming the summer before high school. He would over-do biking and quickly went from all mountain biking to downhill mountain biking, which is extremely dangerous.

      Like

  3. gertiesjourney May 24, 2015 / 5:27 pm

    Kitt,
    Setting limits is a good thing as you stated above comments. You also stated its away to keep in contact with friends and family. It bothers me that your therapist would compare it to drugs. If “battling” over homework and gaming (and probably dating) then I say you have a pretty good kid on your hands. Keep up the good work. It infuriates me when others judges others parenting skills.
    Gertie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 25, 2015 / 11:01 am

      He is a good kid. Very moral and ethical. Not using drugs. Not dating yet even though girls have asked him out. (He’s cute.) He has said that he’s not ready to date yet. He has enough insight and maturity to realize that he’s not ready to date. He’s straight (I’d be totally OK if he was gay), but shy and still more boy than man.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just Plain Ol' Vic May 24, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    I know it can be scary to see someone new, after so many years of developing a professional relationship. However you must do what is best for you and your family, so I applaud you having the courage to make a change.

    As a parent I think we have to understand the technological environment our kids are raised in. I think that there are social issues that we have to address if we remove electronics from our kids lives. I agree that all things should be done in moderation, but that is a sensible mantra for most things in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley May 25, 2015 / 10:59 am

      There are definitely social issues involved. I can hear him joyously interacting with his friends and cousins. He’d be totally isolated without the technology, for he has made it clear that he cannot tolerate extracurricular activities anymore. School is as much direct social interaction he can handle due to his sensitivity to sound (and other triggers to migraines, asthma, and allergies).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Not Quite Alice May 24, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    I would smack them. That’s his “support” network I bet. I use video games to remove stress. Other things can be for pain. I don’t play video games for a high, to ruin my brain. Video games relax my brain and allow it to focus when it’s running a thousand different places at once.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley May 24, 2015 / 3:01 pm

      He socializes over the headset. I can hear him talking with his cousins and with friends from his elementary school who do not go to the same high school. It’s a way for him to maintain his friendships. We just must set limits. It’s the limits to the amount of time spent on gaming that we are constantly negotiating and renegotiating. Ongoing battle. Better to be battling over this (and his grades) than over drugs. He’s a good kid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not Quite Alice May 24, 2015 / 3:43 pm

        Oh I understand that. I’m ocd, I can start and not stop. I try to set limits. It’s hard.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley May 25, 2015 / 10:56 am

          He’s totally obsessed and has trouble when he’s highly focused on something. He was the same way when he was obsessed with fishing (for hours and hours) and downhill mountain biking (to exhaustion and migraines).

          Like

  6. WeeOhana May 24, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    That does seem a bit .. strange!
    Saying they are so simiiliar and that you are doing wrong… what teenage boy, or girl! Doesnt play video games! Pfft! I think a change is needed too! Good Luck!

    Liked by 2 people

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