Hiya - I haven’t posted here for a long time but looking for some advice.
having waited a long time, due to Covid, securing funding via ASF etc, I am finally doing some therapeutic life story work with a therapist sourced by the county council with our girls aged 14 and 12.
We are now half way through and neither me or the children are feeling good about it. The therapist is the most inflexible person I’ve ever met : can we remove our (well behaved) dog from the room, can we avoid cancelling any sessions (I haven’t - there were just a couple of dates I couldn’t make due to work commitments but these were notified well in advance), can we make ourselves available in half term. The list of requests goes on with no understanding that I am balancing a number of things. I would also add that when she had a flat tyre at our house, my husband repaired it in the pouring rain and when she was an hour and a half late I was super understanding.
anyway, all the above makes me feel quite uncomfortable but additionally her sessions don’t seem to be very good. She makes my children who struggle a bit with literacy copy down lots of writing or write down long answers to questions. She doesn’t engage them and they are clearly bored and disengaged. She doesn’t ask any questions and always takes their answer at face value with no probing or facilitation. For example today she made them copy out a family tree with minimal explanation of who everyone was or how they fitted in. She repeatedly checks her watch and we often just end up writing out things in silence. I have tried facilitating a bit but she criticised me once saying “the work needs to come from DD1” - I wasn’t saying that it didn’t but my daughter clearly hadn’t understood something. Today my daughter looked to me for help with something and the therapist told her that when she went quiet and looked at me it made her uncomfortable. Never mind that my daughter was obviously extremely uncomfortable herself (as was I, because the sessions are so awkward)
We’re half way through the sessions now and they just seem to get worse. I don’t know whether to raise my concerns with the council (who aren’t very responsive), whether to carry on with the sessions but keep in mind that I will probably need to go back over lots of stuff so that we can discuss it properly or whether to ditch it and buy a book and facilitate it myself or perhaps pay for it to be done directly from another provider.
Am I expecting too much - surely this isn’t what a therapist working with a family should look like?
Does anyone else have experience of good therapeutic life story work and was this has been like?
thanks in advance for any advice/thoughts