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  1. #1
    it'sjustme is offline Junior Member
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    Therapist called CPS, I need some advice

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    I took my 12 year old to a therapist because he has always struggled going to dads. It's gotten so bad in the past year, that he is so stressed out days before going to a visit, that he comes up with fake illnesses and every excuse he can think of why he can't go. I was not getting anywhere with the child, so upon suggestion by the childs Ped, I took him to a therapist.

    I gave the therapist a complete background on the situation. It was domestic violence, but all I could prove was violence against me. There was always verbal abuse to the children, still is, but the court nor CPS had found that to be enough. I gave the therapist a run down of what has gone on in court, what little the court has done to this point.

    After the first session the therapist told me to call this lawyer they were recommending. Go see the lawyer and have the lawyer stop visits. All that was based on was the child saying dad is mean, yells, screams, talks bad about me, makes him pick and choose between mom and dad, if he won't take sides, dad tells him then you don't love me, stuff like this. So again I went over with the therapist that the court has heard all of this, my child has to go to visits, I am looking for help in teaching him to cope with the visits and with dad being mean. I did call the lawyer, but can't get an appt until after the holiday's.

    Last night was the third session, the therapist called CPS. Told the child that they were calling CPS to. Then told me they are a mandated reporter, I said I knew that, but what did you find that you needed to report. The child told the therapist that when they are there dad drinks and takes pills and gets mean, yells, screams and more of the verbal abuse.

    Tonight is dads start of parenting time for Christmas, he has from 6pm until 9pm on Christmas eve. Now my son is really upset and scared to go, cause he told and dad is going to get in trouble and be even meaner. This my son gets from dad saying if you tell on what goes on in this house and I get in trouble, I will make you pay. I had a heck of a time getting him off to school this morning. The school then called he is in the office says he is sick and wants to go home. I talked to the school and to my son, and he is still there, cause he is not really sick, just all upset about tonight.

    I am feeling now that this route is making matters worse. Should I stick with this therapist? Wait and see if CPS finds something? Is this enough that the child is telling the therapist for court or CPS?

    Any advice is badly needed.
  2. #2
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by it'sjustme View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    I took my 12 year old to a therapist because he has always struggled going to dads. It's gotten so bad in the past year, that he is so stressed out days before going to a visit, that he comes up with fake illnesses and every excuse he can think of why he can't go. I was not getting anywhere with the child, so upon suggestion by the childs Ped, I took him to a therapist.

    I gave the therapist a complete background on the situation. It was domestic violence, but all I could prove was violence against me. There was always verbal abuse to the children, still is, but the court nor CPS had found that to be enough. I gave the therapist a run down of what has gone on in court, what little the court has done to this point.

    After the first session the therapist told me to call this lawyer they were recommending. Go see the lawyer and have the lawyer stop visits. All that was based on was the child saying dad is mean, yells, screams, talks bad about me, makes him pick and choose between mom and dad, if he won't take sides, dad tells him then you don't love me, stuff like this. So again I went over with the therapist that the court has heard all of this, my child has to go to visits, I am looking for help in teaching him to cope with the visits and with dad being mean. I did call the lawyer, but can't get an appt until after the holiday's.

    Last night was the third session, the therapist called CPS. Told the child that they were calling CPS to. Then told me they are a mandated reporter, I said I knew that, but what did you find that you needed to report. The child told the therapist that when they are there dad drinks and takes pills and gets mean, yells, screams and more of the verbal abuse.

    Tonight is dads start of parenting time for Christmas, he has from 6pm until 9pm on Christmas eve. Now my son is really upset and scared to go, cause he told and dad is going to get in trouble and be even meaner. This my son gets from dad saying if you tell on what goes on in this house and I get in trouble, I will make you pay. I had a heck of a time getting him off to school this morning. The school then called he is in the office says he is sick and wants to go home. I talked to the school and to my son, and he is still there, cause he is not really sick, just all upset about tonight.

    I am feeling now that this route is making matters worse. Should I stick with this therapist? Wait and see if CPS finds something? Is this enough that the child is telling the therapist for court or CPS?

    Any advice is badly needed.
    Sticking with the therapist is a personal decision and not a legal one. The therapist did as he/she was legally mandated to do.
  3. #3
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone* View Post
    Sticking with the therapist is a personal decision and not a legal one. The therapist did as he/she was legally mandated to do.
    Technically, that is correct. The therapist is required to report if he thinks there is a danger or abuse.

    However, I have to seriously question the therapist's judgment. Here's what went down:

    After the first session the therapist told me to call this lawyer they were recommending. Go see the lawyer and have the lawyer stop visits. All that was based on was the child saying dad is mean, yells, screams, talks bad about me, makes him pick and choose between mom and dad, if he won't take sides, dad tells him then you don't love me, stuff like this.
    - After the first session, the therapist is telling OP to call a lawyer to terminate Dad's visits? Really? That's clearly not enough time to have evaluated the situation properly - or even to have much confidence that the child is telling the truth.

    - The therapist is almost ordering OP to try to terminate Dad's visits. Even if Dad were abusive, wouldn't asking for supervised visitation be better?

    - The things listed are not abuse. Dad is allowed to say mean things. He's even allowed to make the kid choose between his parents. I don't see anything listed that constitutes abuse or that seems like it obviously requires a report to CPS. Unless there's more that Mom hasn't mentioned, the therapist doesn't seem to be using his/her judgment in assessing whether there's a risk that requires reporting.

    - The therapist does not seem to be working toward Mom's request - to stabilize the situation and encourage the child to have a relationship with both parents.

    - The therapist told the child they were calling CPS? Seems inappropriate to me.

    I wouldn't be very comfortable using that therapist in the future. In fact, I'd sit down with whoever is in charge of the practice and express my concerns. If they are willing to address them, I might switch to another therapist in that group. If not, I'd go to a different group - and possibly possibly report the therapist for incompetence and/or breach of medical ethics.
  4. #4
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    This whole scenario is so far from the appropriate role of a therapist, behavior of a therapist that it doesn't pass the smell test to me. There is something here that we're not getting. But yes, by all means, drop this therapist. You now have DCS involved, you need an attorney involved, but this whole deal sounds very very strange. And never ever ever would it be appropriate for the therapist to tell the child he was making the report. Did he, really or are child and mom having a lot of discussions outside therapy about what's going to happen. Is mom blaming the therapist for telling her to do things she is compelled to do because they have been recommended to her?
  5. #5
    Victorxyz3 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by commentator View Post
    you need an attorney involved,
    If the OP is truly concerned about the welfare of the kids this advice is well given and should be taken ... if the kids are the concern here.
  6. #6
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    Since the therapist can't actually tell Mom exactly what kiddo has said in sessions, Mom doesn't really know WHY the therapist called CPS OR recommended that visits cease.

    It is, however, pretty unlikely that CPS would remove the child or do much more than a cursory investigation if all they have to go on is 'dad's mean'.
  7. #7
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJane View Post
    Since the therapist can't actually tell Mom exactly what kiddo has said in sessions, Mom doesn't really know WHY the therapist called CPS OR recommended that visits cease.

    It is, however, pretty unlikely that CPS would remove the child or do much more than a cursory investigation if all they have to go on is 'dad's mean'.
    Agree. But if the therapist did, in fact, discuss this with the 12 year old child...Then that was a incredibly bad judgment call. I would not trust such a person with my child.
  8. #8
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Meanie View Post
    Agree. But if the therapist did, in fact, discuss this with the 12 year old child...Then that was a incredibly bad judgment call. I would not trust such a person with my child.
    I disagree, but it's strictly opinion based.

    I don't think a 12 year old knowing that a call is being placed to CPS is damaging in any way.

    And since we don't know HOW it went down, and WON'T know how it went down, I don't know that I'd quit using this therapist for that reason alone.
  9. #9
    it'sjustme is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    Technically, that is correct. The therapist is required to report if he thinks there is a danger or abuse.

    However, I have to seriously question the therapist's judgment. Here's what went down:



    - After the first session, the therapist is telling OP to call a lawyer to terminate Dad's visits? Really? That's clearly not enough time to have evaluated the situation properly - or even to have much confidence that the child is telling the truth.

    - The therapist is almost ordering OP to try to terminate Dad's visits. Even if Dad were abusive, wouldn't asking for supervised visitation be better?

    - The things listed are not abuse. Dad is allowed to say mean things. He's even allowed to make the kid choose between his parents. I don't see anything listed that constitutes abuse or that seems like it obviously requires a report to CPS. Unless there's more that Mom hasn't mentioned, the therapist doesn't seem to be using his/her judgment in assessing whether there's a risk that requires reporting.

    - The therapist does not seem to be working toward Mom's request - to stabilize the situation and encourage the child to have a relationship with both parents.

    - The therapist told the child they were calling CPS? Seems inappropriate to me.

    I wouldn't be very comfortable using that therapist in the future. In fact, I'd sit down with whoever is in charge of the practice and express my concerns. If they are willing to address them, I might switch to another therapist in that group. If not, I'd go to a different group - and possibly possibly report the therapist for incompetence and/or breach of medical ethics.
    This is how I was seeing this and why I am asking questions. The court has heard this verbal abuse before, so has CPS. He didn't get even supervised visits. CPS closed the cases, verbal abuse has continued.

    I've been led to believe that this is dad, dad has his parenting time and I must find a way to make the child go. I have been doing that, but it's getting worse. He's so stressed, so much so that he told his Ped. He fakes sick, does not want to go to school, calls from school for me to go get him. I am now physically removing him from my car at pick ups.
  10. #10
    it'sjustme is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJane View Post
    I disagree, but it's strictly opinion based.

    I don't think a 12 year old knowing that a call is being placed to CPS is damaging in any way.

    And since we don't know HOW it went down, and WON'T know how it went down, I don't know that I'd quit using this therapist for that reason alone.
    To answer some of what you have brought up and others, I don't know for sure either. But I do know that my child knows CPS was called, and I did not tell him. He had his session, I sat in the waiting room. The therapist brought him out and asked to speak to me. He was in the waiting room, there is someone at the reception desk. It's possible they left and my son listened at the door.

    When I got in the car with my son to leave, he told me the therapist was calling CPS, he told me the therapist told him that, when I asked how he knew that. But I can see him not telling the truth to, and he listened at the door, while I was in there.

    It is damaging for my son to know this. His first reaction was, oh good, dad is in trouble now, I won't have to go anymore. Then his next reaction was, oh no, dad is going to be mad, I'm not suppose to tell what goes on there, he will make me pay. I had an extremely upset child, who could not sleep, didn't want to go to school, faking sick and does not want to go to dads tonight. I will have to physically put him in my car and then physically remove him at pick up to dad.

    Often he throws such a fit, that dad starts yelling at me, it's all my fault, I am telling him bad things about dad. He then turns to my son, and yells at him, calls him a big baby and he is not taking a baby with him, and leaves without the child. This just is teaching him that if throws a fit, dad might not make him go.

    I don't and never have said bad things about dad, dad does that about me and my family to the children. Dad tells them about court, told them at 12 they get to decide where to live, and now that the one is 12, he is telling him to pick dad. If my son won't answer on it, then he tells my son he don't love him, if he did he would pick him. Dad has put pictures on his frig of me and my parents and my childrens half sibling, and then told the kids to throw darts at us, we all deserve to die.

    This has been going on for 8 years, I don't know what to do, so I sought help, in hopes that therapy would teach him to deal with his situation, or that there would be something said that could at least get supervised visits.
  11. #11
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    You need to determine what your goal is.

    Either you want visitation restricted, or you want your child to learn to cope with his father and their complicated relationship.

    And then you need to enlist the correct person to help you accomplish that goal.

    I get it. My ex's wife physically assaulted my daughter (almost 15) and *I called CPS. They investigated, put a safety plan in place, and then closed the case. My child is now treated like a pariah for 'tattling'.

    At the end of the day, there's nothing I can do about it except help her cope with the crazy.

    Your child is not in physical danger - he needs to learn to cope with the emotional crap. It's not a legal issue.
  12. #12
    CSO286 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by it'sjustme View Post
    To answer some of what you have brought up and others, I don't know for sure either. But I do know that my child knows CPS was called, and I did not tell him. He had his session, I sat in the waiting room. The therapist brought him out and asked to speak to me. He was in the waiting room, there is someone at the reception desk. It's possible they left and my son listened at the door.

    When I got in the car with my son to leave, he told me the therapist was calling CPS, he told me the therapist told him that, when I asked how he knew that. But I can see him not telling the truth to, and he listened at the door, while I was in there.
    It is damaging for my son to know this. His first reaction was, oh good, dad is in trouble now, I won't have to go anymore. Then his next reaction was, oh no, dad is going to be mad, I'm not suppose to tell what goes on there, he will make me pay. I had an extremely upset child, who could not sleep, didn't want to go to school, faking sick and does not want to go to dads tonight. I will have to physically put him in my car and then physically remove him at pick up to dad.

    Often he throws such a fit, that dad starts yelling at me, it's all my fault, I am telling him bad things about dad. He then turns to my son, and yells at him, calls him a big baby and he is not taking a baby with him, and leaves without the child. This just is teaching him that if throws a fit, dad might not make him go.

    I don't and never have said bad things about dad, dad does that about me and my family to the children. Dad tells them about court, told them at 12 they get to decide where to live, and now that the one is 12, he is telling him to pick dad. If my son won't answer on it, then he tells my son he don't love him, if he did he would pick him. Dad has put pictures on his frig of me and my parents and my childrens half sibling, and then told the kids to throw darts at us, we all deserve to die.

    This has been going on for 8 years, I don't know what to do, so I sought help, in hopes that therapy would teach him to deal with his situation, or that there would be something said that could at least get supervised visits.
    Perhaps I can shed some light on this. The therapist told the child because not to would have been just as much a violation of the trust between the child and counselor. The therapist probably said something like this at the child's first appointment:

    Junior, I want you to know that you and I have an agreement that I will keep the things you tell me private. But if you tell me that someone is hurting you, or that you might want to hurt yourself, I have to follow the law and report such things in order to protect you from harm.


    And telling the child that he/she (the counselor) was going to call CPS was the right thing to do, in order to maintain the open and honest client/counselor relationship.
    Last edited by CSO286; 12-22-2011 at 04:20 PM.
  13. #13
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    CSO is correct as the child is 12 and old enough to understand such things, then a therapist was within their rights to talk to child in reference to the type of help, he/she would provide, such as calling proper authorities.
  14. #14
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSO286 View Post
    Perhaps I can shed some light on this. The therapist told the child because not would have been jsut as much a violation of the trust between the child and counselor. The therapist probably said something like this at the child's first appointment:

    Junior, I want you to know that you and I have an agreement that I will keep the things you tell me private. But if you tell me that someone is hurting you, or that you might want to hurt yourself, I have to follow the law and report such things in order to protect you from harm.


    And telling the child that he/she (the counselor) was going to call CPS was the right thing to do, in order to maintain the open and honest client/counselor relationship.
    I really do agree with this. It would be a bad thing for a parent to tell their child, but not a bad thing for the therapist to tell the child...based on the therapist/client relationship.
  15. #15
    it'sjustme is offline Junior Member
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    I took both my children to the drop off location for dads holiday parenting time that started tonight. One child went, the other did not and came back home with me.

    He threw such a fit about going, that dad got out of his car, and dad threw even a bigger fit. This has happened many times before. Dad screams at me, blames me, then screams at our child. Tells him he is a big baby, a mommy's boy and he is not taking a baby with him. Dad then gets in his car and drives off with only the one child.

    My son is so happy, he got his way, plus he now knows that the therapist did call CPS. In dads screams at me, he said I called CPS on him, and he now has to deal with them, and I will pay for that.

    CPS is now going to open a case on me and I will go through that. Dad is going to file contempt on me for our son not going. I will have to go to court and defend that.

    I've already done this, it's the same thing that has happened at least once every year, sometimes more. CPS will investigate and close my case, maybe dad will get a plan, he will do that, and they will close his. Court won't find me in contempt, dad will get lectured to stop filing contempt on me, when I was at the drop off with the child and he refused to take the child.

    In the end, I still have a kid that is not coping here, I still have nothing more then emotional crap. I still have no one to help me teach the child to cope.

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