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secrets and psych eval

Started by SM_in_FL, Dec 29, 2003, 01:34:00 AM

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Hi, Dr. D!!
Hope you've had happy holidays thus far and wish you the happiest new year.

I've got some questions for you with regards to a coversation i recorded between SD and myself. A little background: Sd seems to confide in me for alot of things. She told me that BM had called her stupid because of her grades on her report card. SD also stated that BM is barely home and therefore does not help her with HW or even make sure that SD does HW. (this is also reflected on SD's progress report where her teacher says she's "off focus and not completing HW or Classwork" and "lazy and not putting forth effort.") SD also said that BM threatened her that if she told her GAL or the judge that she wanted to live with DH that she'd never visit her again and that she'd move away because, to BM, sd would be a betrayer and dead to her as a daughter. BM allegedly also told SD that her father didn't really love her and was seeking custody only for CS and that if SD ended up on the streets because BM had no money to support them due to DH leaving that DH would not take her in because she was bad when visiting DH. That BM was the only one that loved her and a few other things about me that aren't worth mentioning.

After SD told me all this I asked her if she'd be willing to repeat these things while being recorded and if it was ok to inform her GAL. She agreed and so was recorded making these statements. I did have to ask some leading questions because she got nervous and am worried that this might present an issue.

Her GAL was informed and now wants to ask the judge to continue the hearing because of this new information and agreed with me that a psych eval might be in order. Sooooooo.....here are my questions:

1) Does this seem like PAS to you or child abuse or what? (what BM has been telling SD)

2) How do we handle this? It's very upsetting to all of us and it makes SD cry.

3) SD doesn't want her mom or dad to find out that she spilled the beans on mom because she's scared of the repercussions and knows that dad will take action. The only ones that know are me and GAL because she gave me permission to tell. What should I do? I don't want to breach trust but i hate to see her go through this in silence.

5) What does a psych eval consist of and if i don't tell DH what sd told me so he can tell the psychologist, will it affect the evaluation? Would the psychologist be willing to speak to me, even if BM doesn't approve and i'm a third party?

Dr. D

Sounds like your SD is going through a lot of heavy duty stuff right now.  I am not sure how old she is, however, it does sound like she needs to get into the counseling, quickly.  Not only will it provide her the opportunity to discuss things with a 3rd party, not quite so emotionally involved but a counselor will also provide insight, input, and another means of documentation.

Kids are often hesitant in "spilling the beans" regarding the actions of parents and fear repurcussions.  Again, not knowing what some of the consequences have been or could be, leaves me only to say, your SD deserves to have as many people in "her court". And she deserves to know, that she will be taken care of - emotionally as well as physically.

As far as a court eval.  A good evaluation would consist of time being spent with each individual privately and with each other, perhaps testing.  Hopefully, there is a rapport built with the evaluator so that trust allows truth to flow.  Again, not knowing how old your sd is, makes it difficult to say what will be done.  A good evaluator provides the means the individual needs.  That might be play therapy, music therapy, etc.  

COntinue to be a listening and empathetic ear.  I hope your new year is bright.  Dr. D