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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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As parents of a 29 yr old daughter who has issues and is completely

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As parents of a 29 yr old daughter who has issues and is completely dependent on others, we are trying to release her and preserve our sanity. This dependence of hers has recently been on her live-in boyfriend who has separated from her now. What do we say to others,like her previous boyfriend or his parents , or my mother, her grandmother, when they call us to handle a problem or "fix" her. I dread hearing the phone ring and avoid answering it, for fear of what I will hear. She is suicidal and has been dysfunctional for a while. We don't know what to do and we've been told we can't fix it. How do we handle these people who think we are supposed to do just that?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 3 years ago.
Hi, Welcome to JA. I am sorry to hear about your daughter's situation. Let me ask you a few questions before I offer an answer. Is she living with you now? Is she seeing her doctor?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No. She is not living with us. She has in the past off and on,but has been in a relationship for about 4 years and has shared an apartment with her boyfriend, who has been the predominant bread-winner. In October, the two of them had an altercation and he was arrested for assault. I believe alcohol was a factor and since the court date , he has left her but is legally responsible for helping to pay for the rent. this is causing numerous problems as Ashley, our daughter, is not able to pay her part. We are aware that it may mean eviction. (We helped somewhat with rent and bills at the beginning, but don't feel that we should continue. I know this is enabling her. We have tried to provide her with transportation so as to establish public assistance, which hasn't been very successful.) She was fired from her last job and has been put on hold for receiving unemployment. She no longer has a car so her choices of employment have to be within walking distance. She is trying without success to get a job. We're at a loss as to what to do, other than to turn her over to God and save our sanity. Throughout the years, her friends, their parents, etc. have called on us to encourage us to fix things. We can't anymore. The phone rang just tonight. It was the parents of her recent boyfriend and we didn't answer .We don't know what to say and we can't fix her. .
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 3 years ago.
Hi, Thanks for your response. I will work on my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 3 years ago.
Hi, Thanks for your response. Let me say I can imagine how worried and anxious you must have been about your daughter's condition. It sounds like she may have trouble taking care of herself. She should be able to live independently by now. Does she have symptoms of anxiety or depression? If so,



she may need to see her primary care physician for a physical check-up to detect and rule out any medical condition that may cause depression and/or anxiety. Then, if she is physically fine but has some mood problems,

she may need to see a counselor/psychotherapist OR life coach WEEKLY for 3-6 months or longer. If she is resistant to psychological counseling, she may have life coaching to increase her self-confidence, motivation/purpose, plan for the future, and take constructive action.
For psychological counseling,
she may benefit from having a Cognitive-Behavior therapy (CBT). CBT is a most effective therapy for anxiety and depression. There are several ways to find a psychologist or psychotherapist who takes her insurance. Or
she can call your insurance company and get a list of providers in your area. Or, you can search a licensed psychotherapist or a counselor who provides life coaching on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your zip code and optional category of specialty such as anxiety, depression or life coaching. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy or life coaching. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that she wants to work with – Male or female? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So she can see it as an informational meeting. She can ask any question. She can also negotiate psychotherapy fee and number of sessions. If she seeks a low fee counseling or has no health insurance, she may call The United Way toll free # XXXXX to find the community mental health centers in her area in which she can get counseling even without health insurance. Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. P.S. Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Warm regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We are aware of Ashley's need for psychological treatment. Over the years we tried to provide her with counseling and doctor care, but we can't and don't do this anymore. She is an adult and must come to an understanding that she needs help. I have also tried to look into therapists in her area that will work on a sliding scale, but she has no transportation. Ultimately, she must seek help on her own. I am asking how to handle the requests made by others that we do something to fix the situation. What should we say when her recent significant other or his parents call on us to do something like pay the rent or move her into our home. We must establish some distance to the situation and don't want to be made to feel responsible for our dysfunctional adult child. We are trying to establish boundaries and need advice to do so. I love her dearly and my heart is broken, but her situation is ultimately the consequences of many bad choices.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Is this your final answer? you did not address the real question which is about us as the parents. I need to know a good answer to give to people who think we can solve the problems for Ashley. We need to establish boundaries. Otherwise I will lose my mind.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 3 years ago.
Hi, Thanks for your response. This is a challenging situation for you. Your 29 year-old daughter is struggling financially and emotionally. You may need to request her friends and their parents to respect your parental or family decision. Your daughter should try to get a job in her area. Perhaps, you may give her phone numbers of emergency shelters in your city. If she is suicidal, you may ask her to go to a emergency room of a local hospital or call 911 or a local mobile crisis team for involuntary hospitalization. Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,

Edited by Dr. Olsen on 2/1/2011 at 8:01 AM EST
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 3 years ago.
Hi, Thanks for your response. This is a challenging situation for you. Your 29 year-old daughter is struggling financially and emotionally. I understand that you want her to be more independent.
You may need to request her friends and their parents to respect your parental or family decision. Your daughter should try to get a job in her area. Perhaps, you may give her phone numbers of emergency shelters in your city. Is she dangerous to herself? If she is suicidal, you may ask her to go to a emergency room of a local hospital or call 911. Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,

Edited by Dr. Olsen on 2/1/2011 at 8:04 AM EST
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience: PsyD Psychologist
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