Anyone with child psychology training?

Home Forum Chat Forum Anyone with child psychology training?

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)
  • Anyone with child psychology training?
  • Just wondered how best to help my son deal with some bad memories.

    He had an accident 2 years ago during which he injured his eye.

    He has had surgery and has had quite a good result, but we know he will never have perfect vision again. But it is good now and he is happier.

    This morning he was quite down (as he is fairly often) and said he just wished he could get the memories of it out of his head.

    My instinct has always been not to talk about the accident and the time immediately afterwards -as it was incredibly traumatic for all of us. Is this right? I found myself wanting him not to talk about it this morning and changed the subject to the improvement s hes had through surgery – but feel a bit bad if its something he needs to talk through

    johndoh
    Member

    Sounds to me that the first thing you need to do is get *your* head around it – he’ll feed off your emotions.

    I dont dwell on the day or the time afterwards, and I do my utmost to not show him how upset I am. I just focus on how much better things are now.

    And when I say how upset I am, I mean at times when I have been upset. I really do believe he has had a very good outcome so I focus on that.

    johndoh
    Member

    Just your admission that you tried to change the subject made me think that.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    You don’t say what age your child is but imo it isn’t always right to sweep things under the carpet.

    My oldest used to need regular surgery for many years and I was always open about what was being done and why. He doesn’t equate hospitals with being a scary place and this certainly came into its own when he was playing rugby!

    You need to accept what’s happened, as does your child, and talk about it when your child wants to. Be open.

    I tried to change the subject as the day was incredibly traumatic and I dont know that going over the details will help him move on, and feel going over the details will only reinforce the memories

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    I tried to change the subject as the day was incredibly traumatic and I dont know that going over the details will help him move on, and feel going over the details will only reinforce the memories

    Maybe going through them will help him better understand what happened. if its all a mystery, he may be frightened of it. if he better knows what happened he will regain some control to stop it happening again?

    Good luck

    Yes I totally agree – he is still under the surgeons care and probably knows more about eye mechanics than any other 8 year old

    We discuss all the tests and surgery – like I say I want him to look forwards and see the improvements. He has no issue with hospitals or of the thought of more surgery. He thinks his surgeon is awesom

    Its the memories of the day and the affect of those that concern me

    johndoh
    Member

    Possibly more traumatic for you, seeing your child in such a situation. If the child understands what happened and you are open about discussing it, surely it will help them understand it.

    Very different but one if our girls ended up in a&e last Sunday after falling backwards onto her head from a high bar stool – I keep discussing it with her so she understands why she went to hospital, why her head still hurts and why she looks like she has been hit by Cubber Lang.

    He got pushed accidetally onto a metal stick that someone had stuck in the ground. Its no mystery just horrible

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    You need to give him the opportunity to ask questions and you need to answer them as honestly as you can. Face up to what happened but remember your child is looking to you for support.

    You’re the adult and this is about your son needing help. Your anxieties take second place.

    Sorry if this is coming across as harsh, it isn’t meant that way and I do hope that both of you can work your way through this.

    lazybike
    Member

    Some good advice from CG there….

    If you do find it too dificult to talk about…maybe some family therapy would guide you through it.

    As I have said I keep my upset well hidden, this mornings commments just made me change the discussion to how much improvement he has had.

    I agree that he should be able to talk about anything – and all my children do have a habit of telling me everything – whether I like it or not.

    My concern is whether it is right to encourage him to focus on these intrusive thoughts (such as the thought that if he looked at the stick he would see his eyeball on it) or to carry on just trying to focus on the posistive and hope the intrusive memories will fade

    b r
    Member

    His accident sounds horrible.

    I think you’d be better asking for a referral from your GP to a specialist, maybe its something for both of you – I’ve no idea though, just a Dad of 3 sons.

    restless
    Member

    This morning he was quite down (as he is fairly often) and said he just wished he could get the memories of it out of his head.

    My instinct has always been not to talk about the accident and the time immediately afterwards -as it was incredibly traumatic for all of us. Is this right? I found myself wanting him not to talk about it this morning and changed the subject to the improvement s hes had through surgery – but feel a bit bad if its something he needs to talk through

    Your son will not be able to move on emotionally until he has understood and dealt with the incident and the trauma he went through. He might have flashbacks and need you to explain and support him.
    If you avoid discussing it, he will know this, pick up your avoidance and this will confuse him further.

    It sounds like you are struggling to deal with it and won’t be able to help your son until you have.
    By brushing it under the carpet and focussing only on the effects of the surgery, you are denying him the opportunity to understand the entire situation (the accident, the before and the after) which will no doubt leave him feeling confused, angry and frustrated.

    You could ask him if he wants to draw a picture of how he remembers the accident, or role play with figures and then ask him if he wants to ask any questions about it. Why it happened and how it happened and your reaction afterwards will have a massive impact on him and this needs addressing.

    johndoh
    Member

    I don’t think the memories will just fade if you change the subject every time he mentions them though – he clearly wants to share his feelings with you.

    lazybike
    Member

    My understanding…is that its a process, you have to wade through the negative stuff first. Its important to validate his feelings even if they seem negative…it was a negative experience for all of you. If it gets too much seek some help, we have had a good experience with CFCS..

    sugdenr
    Member

    Humans cope in 2 ways in my mind, rationalise or compartmentalise. If you aint doing either then you aint coping = depression. The latter is pack it away and( try and) forget, Bill Clinton could apparently do this like a light switch, but course its always there waiting to get you again and when it does it has not moved on. The first is work through it and come to terms with it, this what trauma counselling is and is the hard road, seems like you both need this help.
    How can you get your lad to look forward to the positives when you can’t. He first needs help by you going and getting help with your rationalisation, own negative feelings about this unfortunate thing and guilt/frustration as a parent and as a man you can’t change or fix it.
    My 9 yr old born with congenital kidney defect and we have been through something like this but on our case less acute less certain years to get the heart of the fix, thirty courses of antibiotics in 4 yrs some 6hrly intravenous, 3 major surgery operations etc.
    One of my parenting goals was to make sure waking up made my kids excited for the day ahead, not the opposite where my childhood left me. You need to get yourself help so you can help him so this too.
    Hospital is a great place to show you how lucky you are and if this is all you have to cope then you are lucky indeed.

    I am sure any of you parents know something like this does not get brushed under the carpet – it has been a massive part of our lives for 2 years. All issues regarding the mechanics and politics of he accident have been discussed and are not causing any significant problem

    What is left are these intrusive thoughts of the actual trauma. It is a genuine psychology question as to whether it is best for him to face these and work through them or whther it is best to focus on other thoughts

    The basis of CBT I believe.

    And can I just point out I am not depressed or over emotional

    Love the way these threads get interpreted

    johndoh
    Member

    S’alright – I was accused of having an alcohol problem last week because I didn’t take my girl straight to A&E.

    restless
    Member

    All issues regarding the mechanics and politics of he accident have been discussed and are not causing any significant problem

    What is left are these intrusive thoughts of the actual trauma

    There is your contradiction.
    If all issues have been dealt with, the intrusive thoughts would not be occurring.

    If you ask for opinions, you will get them. If you don’t like what you hear, then don’t ask 🙂

    What I mean is we have addressed the issues of what actually happened and the feelings about the boy who pushed him and they dont seem to be the problem.

    The thoughts are primarily grusome eyeball related thoughts – some are about what he imagined to have happened not what did happen in reality.

    In comparison it would be like asking if thinking about the moment of impact would help you get over issues of being hit by a car?

    johndoh – MemberS’alright – I was accused of having an alcohol problem last week because I didn’t take my girl straight to A&E.

    Mainly on here I’m ‘accused’ of being a man 🙂

    Three_Fish
    Member

    I reckon you got the best response first:

    Sounds to me that the first thing you need to do is get *your* head around it – he’ll feed off your emotions.

    Nobody is suggesting that you’re “depressed or over emotional“; it’s the other end of the scale, where you won’t express, discuss or work through what happened to you that day, which is potentially causing distress for your boy. We’re all much more dependent on intuition as children, and he’s likely to be upset, in several different ways, by the restriction in communication and resolution that he experiences with you. And that’s without taking into account is own difficulties.

    My instinct has always been not to talk about the accident and the time immediately afterwards

    …it was incredibly traumatic for all of us.

    As I have said I keep my upset well hidden

    …and I do my utmost to not show him how upset I am.

    Its the memories of the day and the affect of those that concern me

    If you yourself have not yet come to terms with the accident, how can you expect your son to? Especially when he will be looking to you for support. You understand full-well that it’s not good for him to see you still being affected by the trauma, which he may not understand to be different/separate to his own, and yet you seem reluctant to acknowledge that your trauma is continuous, and therefore potentially affecting the dynamic of your and your family’s process of rationalising the horrific aspects of the accident.

    restless
    Member

    Mainly on here I’m ‘accused’ of being a man

    I can empathise with that one.

    If I were in your situation, I would want my son to receive some counselling, so he can talk about the thoughts without the fear of upsetting the person.
    He clearly needs some additional help, and it is not always the parents who are the most suitable person to give that help.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    Just wondered how best to help my son deal with some bad memories.

    As in many cases, probably best he talks to someone remote from the incident. Complete strangers are often the best people to talk to openly, they can offer a fresh perspective on things based only on what is said.

    And as others have said, consider having that same talk yourself. If you don’t there’s a good possibility it will come back and bite you later in life.

    I lost my job, my house, and very nearly my life because I didn’t deal with my father’s death properly at the time.

    But good show that you’re seeking independent advice already, you’re halfway there – admitting there may be an issue.

    Eye injuries are especially horrific I feel, good luck.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Sorry to disagree but I think Mum is the best placed person to help. At that age I don’t think it’s necessary to talk to a stranger, albeit a professional one.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    There’s a statistically proven psychological theory called the Fading Affect Bias which in essence states – that repeated social disclosure (talking) of memories with a highly negative emotional context to them, will, over time, reduce the negative intensity of those emotions to the point where it becomes, just event memory. It’s critical during disclosure that the listener repsonnds sympathetically/with empathy toward the discloser.

    Get professional help…it’ll really help.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    There is also something called the Rewind technique, used for PTSD, which can reduce the emotional intensity associated with memories.

    http://www.hgi.org.uk/archive/rewind-technique.htm

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Do you not think the poor lad will not be going through it in his head all the time?? Give him the chance to talk about it if he wants to. If you can not bring yourself to do it let him speak to someone who can

    TuckerUK
    Member

    Sorry to disagree but I think Mum is the best placed person to help. At that age I don’t think it’s necessary to talk to a stranger, albeit a professional one.

    No need to apologise, differences of opinion are how we all learn. Yes, in the normal course of events I’d agree with you 100%. But it would appear in this case, to my unqualified mind, having heard from mum, that perhaps mum might not be the best person to talk to.

    Plenty of children of that age (and younger) do get outside help, I know this from my work with the mental health charity MIND, my Mental Health First Aid course, and from my partner working in the local hospital Pediatrics Department.

    At the very least least seek advice from a mental health professional; they may agree that mum is best, they might suggest something else.

    brooess
    Member

    You say the event has impacted the whole family…

    So I don’t think it’s fair for you to expect yourself to act as the therapist to your son… it’s clearly left it’s mark on you too.

    I would speak to your GP and consider family therapy. It will help you deal with your own memories as well as give your son the support he needs…

    Good luck

    As always real situations are far more complex than a few comments on a thread.

    As there seems to be so much concern about my mental heath from this I can say that at the time of his accident I was actually receiving counselling for another matter. Obviously after the accident it did give me the opportunity to work through my feeling and discuss how to help my youngest.

    We have all come a very long way in two years.

    I have accepted the accident and the subsequent problems. As a few people have noted eye injuries are particularly difficult to deal with so as much as I have accepted it it is still difficult to have conversations about eyeballs impaled on metal sticks – I suspect many people who aren’t emotionally attached to him would also struggle with that.

    Some really helpful comments and I will be looking into options for him further

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)

The topic ‘Anyone with child psychology training?’ is closed to new replies.