“You’ve Hired a Dog Trainer!”

Blake is furious. Yet, he’s remarkably composed at the same time.

“You’ve hired a dog trainer! I won’t take this anymore! What’s the therapist’s phone number?”

I give him the number and Blake calls the new therapist that the hubby and I have been seeing to help us work on getting Blake moving toward functioning. Our boy has been spending all day in bed and all night up doing who knows what. I see him for dinner and before I go to bed. He has few activities. He’s miserable.

Blake gets the therapist’s voice mail system. He leaves a message saying he doesn’t agree with what the therapist has his father and I doing. Blake suggests we all need to meet to talk this over.

Why Hasn’t He Called?

Nearly a week has passed and Blake has grown impatient. The therapist has not responded to his voice message.

“Why hasn’t he called back?” he wonders.

I have my suspicions. Blake rejected therapy when we brought him in to see this therapist. Now the hubby and I are the patient – in a manner of speaking. I imagine the therapist wants to talk to us first. We’ve been slowly implementing increasing demands on Blake. Each comes with an unpleasant consequence that targets his OCD if he does not participate. He’s gotten furious with each new step, but he’s been complying.

When the day of our appointment arrives, Blake demands to come with us.

“You’re welcome to come,” I tell him. “I’m sure the doctor will want to talk with Dad and I first. You might be invited in. You might not.”

“I’m willing to take that risk,” he says.

The Appointment

We arrive at the appointment and the therapist, the hubby, and I talk this over.

“Let’s see what he has to say,” the therapist says. “If he is willing to work with us, then we will have him stay. If he just wants to try to keep things the same, then we know he’s not ready to participate.”

He invites Blake in. Blake begins in a composed way, but he’s angry and he loses his temper. The therapist observes that our family spends a great deal of time going over what the problems are, but getting nowhere. He asks us to agree not to talk about the problems just until our next appointment. The hubby and I agree. Blake is having none of it.

“We have to talk about it! I can’t go a week without finishing this! I can’t! I won’t agree!”

And he storms out.

The hubby and I agree once more with the therapist that he and I will not talk about the problems or about what happened in the session. Blake is outside the building. He refuses to speak at all. He and I take off for home while the hubby goes back to work. Blake is silent for half the 45 minute ride home. Then, he apologizes.

“I’m sorry I exploded in there, Mom.”

“You were upset.”

“I know, but I really didn’t have a good reason to react the way I did. I agree. I’ll wait until next week to talk about things.”

“You’re coming back?”

“Yes. I’ll be there.”

So now Blake is in therapy with us. It’s not something he really wanted, but he wants more control than he’s had since the hubby and I have been going alone. That seems like a good place to start.

6 thoughts on ““You’ve Hired a Dog Trainer!”

  1. Cheri

    I can relate with you in many ways. My son’s OCD/depression isn’t as severe but he also does not fully participate with treatment for his OCD. It’s so frustrating when he sees the therapist, which we drive 1 hr one way to see and pay over a $100, due to a high deductible Ins. plan. He’s given homework of exposures for the two weeks in between appointments, and he seldom will do the work without me prompting him to do so. We have tried many things including consequences for not doing the work and having to be forced to do them. Every time we try to talk honestly about his OCD it turns into an argument. He denies his obsessions and compulsions. His therapist does not want to talk to us concerning our son’s sessions unless we ask and then she acts as though it is wrong to ask and she sometimes will ask our son if he minds if she discusses things with us. We are paying the bill and getting him there and she cannot talk to us without checking with our son? I guess it is because he is almost 17 but It’s a hard road to travel for a family. It has helped me so much to hear we are not alone in our frustrations dealing with OCD in the family. My heart goes out to you. You are doing what you can and you love your son, and it shows in every article you write.

    1. Hi Cheri. Thank you so much for writing. In reading your comments I could feel so much for you. And I understand your thoughts about knowing about his therapy. OCD is a whole family issue (as is depression) and it helps to be informed about what you can do and how you can help. Sending you good thoughts and strength and wishing the best for your whole family! Thank you for your kind, thoughtful support!

  2. I was left with two reactions after reading your post, Angie. Firstly, I feel so much for you and your whole family as you are traveling such a difficult road. And secondly – it seems as if you have a great therapist! As we all know, it is no easy task to get someone who isn’t ready to work toward recovery from OCD. I look forward to your upcoming posts, because it feels to me as if a breakthrough of sorts is on the horizon. Keeping you all in my thoughts!

    1. Thank you, Janet. It’s such a roller coaster ride right now. I know that the stakes are high if he stays in this pattern. Frankly, it’s actually sometimes magical to sit in the room and see our therapist engage with Blake. Where I would’ve thrown up my hands and given up, he keeps finding new avenues to go down. And he keeps challenging him to do just a little more.

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