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Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience:  Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
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My 17 year old son needs help with indecent exposure. Where

Customer Question

My 17 year old son needs help with indecent exposure. Where do I start.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 4 years ago.

Good morning.

 

Thanks for writing to JA. You have an important questions... and I appreciate that you chose to begin with us. In order to provide better answer(s) to your question(s), it would be helpful if you could tell me a little more about the problem:

 

1. Has your son been arrested for indecent exposure or is this a concern that does not also have legal involvement?

 

2. Some "legal involvement" for indecent exposure has no sexual connotations whatsoever. For example, in many states, getting caught "peeing in the woods" can result in arrest for indecent exposure. Was this the case with your son?

 

3. What specifics can you relate about this matter? How did it come to your attention? Was anyone else involved? What is your son's story about what happened? What have you done so far?

 

I'm sorry there are more questions than answers right now, but providing more information will help us focus our feedback to you. Please understand that providing more feedback does NOT require more payment - it just helps us to target our questions for you.

 

Thanks.

Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 4 years ago.

Additional follow-up.

 

4. Was there any overt violence involved in the "indecent exposure?" That is, were victims hurt in any way (other than the exposure)? Were others involved in similar behaviors?

 

Thanks.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My son was not arrested. It was reported to police, but the woman did not want to press charges. She walks her dog past our house, and over several months there have been times that he calls out to her, which escalated to a few rude gestures, as I understand. About a month ago, she says that he saw her while driving his car, and pulled over. When she walked by, he was masturbating. Two days ago, she walked by, and our dog had gotten out. He was getting ready to get in the shower and had a towel wrapped around him, when he ran out to get the dog. While in the middle of the street, he opened his towel to her. He admits to all of this except the car issue.
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry... I appear to be experiencing some technical difficulties with responding to your question. We're trying to fix it. If this actually posts, I'll try to respond again. Thanks for your patience!

 

****************

Well, finally, it appears that I can reply to your post. (There were a few glitches apparently).

***************

 

Thanks for your reply to my queries and, again, my apologies that I couldn't respond more quickly.

 

You have reason to be concerned about your son's behavior... reason enough to see a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). I would contact his pediatrician or your family doctor for a referral to an LMHP who works with adolescents. (I wouldn't recommend a psychiatrist (for medication) or someone who specializes in sexual behavior... start with a generalist-LMHP who can grasp the global picture.)

 

Why go to an LMHP? Because it is important to diagnose whether or not your son's behavior reflects an underlying mental disorder related to sexuality (such as a paraphilia), related to mood/thought processing, or to impulse control. It is also possible that your son just demonstrated very poor judgment and would benefit from sitting down with someone to figure this all out.

 

Once an LMHP has a better understand of your son's behavior (and the reasons behind it), s/he will be better able to (a) diagnose the problem and (b) design an appropriate treatment protocol to address the problem.

 

Your son is very fortunate that, at this time, he was not arrested for his behavior. In some states, if convicted, he could be jailed for committing a felony and (again in some states) placed on a permanent "sexual criminal" list... which would have long-lasting occupational, living, social, and economic repercussions. Use this, then, as an opportunity to get him in to see an LMHP. If nothing else, should this event occur again, it will demonstrate to the legal authorities that you have been trying to address this problem.

 

I can only imagine the heartache (or anger or confusion or frustration or embarrassment... or all of the above) that this may be causing you. Please remember that this young man is the same 5 year old you helped to ride a bike - and the same young man who may one day be the father of your grandchildren. That is to say, you may be dumbfounded right now with his behavior - but give him time to get some healing under his belt - so he can become the kind of son your whole family had been planning for all along. Please, get him to an LMHP.

 

Thanks. Best of luck to you and your son.

 

***FEEDBACK WELCOME. I apologize again for the technical delay.



Edited by Doctor Blake on 6/7/2010 at 5:28 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This posted
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 4 years ago.
Hope you got my lengthy reply. Sorry again for the delay.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Is a LMHP the same as a Therapist?
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 4 years ago.

Grrr... the computer is misbehaving again.

 

Anyone with a license to practice psychology, social work, or psychiatry can do therapy (and call themselves a therapist). In your son's case, I would probably begin with a psychologist or social worker who knows adolescents.

 

Thanks.

Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
Doctor Blake and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My son had seen a MFT therapist for a few months, and just stopped in mid April, for some issues he was having, and we were having with him. Nothing related to this issue - He asked to see someone and we were having problems with him getting in trouble for marajuana use. My son never disclosed the above issue with this therapist. I am assuming that a psychologist would be better than returning to this therapist. Am I correct?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My son had seen a MFT therapist for a few months, and just stopped in mid April, for some issues he was having, and we were having with him. Nothing related to this issue - He asked to see someone and we were having problems with him getting in trouble for marijuana use. My son never disclosed the above issue with this therapist. I am assuming that a psychologist would be better than returning to this therapist. Am I correct?
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 4 years ago.

Well, I'm not suggesting that one professional might be better than another... really more a matter of matching the therapist and his/her skills to the specific problem(s) being addressed. Sort of like - I wouldn't go to a neurosurgeon to fix my high blood pressure - so I probably wouldn't go to a traditional "talk therapist" to deal with, say, chemical addiction or depression.

 

My sense is getting that first diagnostic picture down pretty solid with guide where to move next.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 4 years ago.

Thanks.

 

If you haven't yet, please ACCEPT the answer to close this question in the expert queue.

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