Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Welcome, I'm a professional counselor and behavioral-consultant. I'd like to chat with you for a few moments to better understand your question and the situation you're describing.
I've worked as a treatment program developer and psychotherapist with kids with serious emotional and behavioral disorders in residential treatment. I've also worked as a school board behavioral consultant and crisis worker...
How has your grandson done academically in the past? Did he ever get good grades?
Very poorly, he is capable but has a problem with math and would not work at it. He was classified as attention deficit and on medication for a while
Thank you. It sounds to me like he might befit from an evidence based treatment intervention (counseling). Does the family have resources or insurance to get proven family counseling and support?
He was counselled in the past. One problem is where he lives, Goldsboro NC, near the air force base where he was raised (my son was in service for 26 years) and not always home. There is very little work available in this part of the country and My grandson will not discuss his problem because he does not think he has one, everyone else doesn't understand, so he says.
I see that you are still typing so I'm just waiting for your next response.
I live in NJ and have considered bringing him north to stay with me and try to get his GED so that perhaps he can get into the service where I think the regimented life may help him. I hesitate to suggest this but his mother is enabling him with money even allows him to smoke pot in the house.
That is to bad to hear about the enabling. I agree that the structure of military life can really make a positive difference in the lives of young people. I've often recommended cadets for the younger kids I've worked with...
The problem with a 19 year old as with say a 17 year old, with these kinds of behavior issues and drug use, is that they often lack the motivation to change. And at 19 they are usually considered adults and so there is little that can be done to influence their behavior. Has your grandson expressed an interest in the service?
Yes he has but as he lacks a high school diploma feels he will not be accepted and I agree with this. I want to go south and have a family conference and put my thoughts on the table but don't want to be the interfering mother-in-law. I am worried about Jake.
One of the great lessons from my work with families and teens with these kinds of issues is that it is so important for all of the adults and family members to be on the same page as far as support and intervention goes. Does his mother not understand the developmental risks associated with drug use and antisocial attitudes, peers and behavior? These are very serious.
She is a nurse in a drug rehab center
I see. So she must be familiar with the best available drug treatment practices, risks and resources.
What are her views on you grandson's situation?
I have told Jake I will help him but he has to prove to me that he is off drugs. She has told him how to get through a drug screening, this shocked me
Does she approve of his drug and alcohol use?
Is she open to Jake moving up north with you?
No but gives him money which she knows will go to pot
I have not approached the move north yet as I am not sure it's what I should do. I am 77 years old, live in an adult community and basically can only have him here for a limited time, the community has rules.
Do you feel comfortable bringing it up in a family meeting like you suggested earlier?
yes, I think I may be stepping on toes, but how else do I help this young man before he is lost deep in drugs.
Well, ideally he would get some effective drug treatment. You mentioned pending charges. May I ask what their for?
The reason I ask, is sometimes or often, a judge will be open to reduced or dropped charges conditional on a teen getting proven treatment. I've seen that be a serious motivator for young people to get the help they need.
It can be very helpful to have a treatment program or counseling in mind to present to the judge in court.
Many of the best programs are court ordered because they are proven to work. Please. Let me get you some links to the most effective treatment programs....
Here are just a few examples, and links to some the best evidence based drug treatment programs currently available for teens:
I believe this could be an easy way to get him into counseling , thank you for that, I just am confused about how far I should go and how many truths I should lay on the table
Another one is called motivational interviewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj1BDPBE6Wk
I guess I should call south, tell the family why I want to some and what I want to discuss
delete some and add come
That really depends on your family. In general terms, it's always best to just be honest and to express your genuine concerns from a place of love, so as not to elicit defensiveness or anger.
If you express your concerns and what you're willing to do to help, it's really up to others to agree, especially your grandson, given his age.
It sure would be great if he could get to a program like the 7 challenges or motivational interviewing based counseling. They are experts in getting teens and young adults internally motivated and committed to change drug and drinking behaviors.
OK you have helped with your guidance. Just wish me luck and hope that I can salvage a young life. Thank you.
In my own family counseling work, I've always found that if you criticize something enabling, no matter how true, you often get resistance and anger. Its usually best to emphasize benefits for all involved and heart felt concerns.
I do sincerely XXXXX XXXXX and your family and especially your grandson the very best.
Have I answered your question ok today?
Thank you. yes,
Ok take care, and please don't forget to press the green "Accept" button if you're satisfied with my answer.