How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Brad The Therapist Your Own Question

Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Brad The Therapist is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What kind of therapy works best for a 4 y/o boy who is being

Resolved Question:

What kind of therapy works best for a 4 y/o boy who is being lied to by his father and will be dealing with parental alienation syndrome? I am looking for a play therapist but am not a psych professional.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 2 years ago.

Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your post. Before answering your question, please tell me more about your son. How is he like when he is around you? How often do you see him and what is your pressing concerns about him?

Customer:

I have not seen my son since August. Prior to that he has never been without me. I am not safe around his father as he is physically and emotionally abusive. Carl is a very smnart and friendly boy. He loves to read, play his dinosaur card game, play with games on the computer, and play outside. I used to talk to him twice a week until Valentines day. His father I was coming home on Valentines day when I never said that. I cannot leave NV and do not want to be around my ex. My ex told my son that I didn't love them anymore that is why I didn't come home. Since then whenever I ask to speak to my son my ex will tell him to tell me... what I call prompting him and then carl will tell me that he doesn't want to talk to e and he doesn't love me anymore.

Customer:

Carl used to be very loving and affectionate. I am worried about when I see him when I go back to GA for the custody battle. He used to hit me sometime when he was tired b/c he saw his father do that to me. Know I have much more to worry about b/c I have not been there to protect him from his father's short temper and volatility. I had to physically intervene when he beat my son with a belt numerous times. He used to spank my son when he was 3 y/o and potty training and have an accident.

Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your response. Much of the work that is needed when you reunite with your son is attachment work. Any child therapist you seek out will use play as a way to engage and to allow your son to communicate, As you know, young children communicate best when playing due to the developing verbal skills.

Brad The Therapist :

As I was rereading your post, I was wondering if you had specific questions for me regarding your son's behaviors? What type of answer are you looking for through this forum?

Customer:

I am wondering how to best handle a child who has experienced a trauma like being seperated from his mother for almost a year. What kind of things can I do to help him? Is what he is dealing with parental alienation syndrome? What do I need to do about potential physical and emotional abuse besides getting him a psychologist? I am scared b/c he has always wanted to talk to me and now he even tells me he doesn't love me. How do I help him?

Brad The Therapist :

I apologize for the technical difficulties I am currently experiencing.

Brad The Therapist :

To answer your question, when you regain custody of your son, the best thing you can do as a parent to remain consistent, loving, and provide for all of his needs. When I mean consistent, please teach him the difference between right from wrong, disciplining him when he shows negative behaviors, and continue to show affection to him. He may be dealing with parent alienation syndrome, but most importantly, he is experiencing a disruption of attachment to the only primary care giver he knew and loved (which is you.) There will be times when your son will try to hurt you or push the limits with you. I encourage you to not to take these attacks personally and to continue with the consistency and love you provide. Although your son is saying that he doesn't love you, please rest assure that all children always want their mothers.

Customer:

How do I deal with the lies that he has been told? That I do not love him, that is why I did not come home to see him. God knows what else he has been told.

Brad The Therapist :

I suggest for your to start a journal, indicating the date and time of when you are writing in the journal. In this journal, I urge you to write your feelings towards your son, how much you miss him, things you wish you can do with him, etc. Another suggestion I have for your is to write cards to him and keep them in your possession until you regain custody of him so that you can show him how much you were thinking of him and how much you missed him.

Brad The Therapist :

He is very young so he is very impressionable. As long as your actions are consistent with your words, he will remember the things you have done for him in the past and you will be able to recreate the attachment you had with him

Brad The Therapist :

Here are more suggestions for you:


MAINTAIN CLEAR EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES - This will help protect against the influences of the alienating parent.




FOCUS ON ALTERING ONE'S OWN BEHAVIOR AND NOT THAT OF THE ALIENATING PARENT - When the targeted parent makes small changes such as not accepting phone calls from the alienating parent, that in itself may help mediate some of their negatives influences.




STOP FEELING INTIMIDATED BY THE ALIENATING PARENT - The alienating parent gets their power from frightening, threatening and intimidating the targeted parent.




BECOME PROACTIVE RATHER THAN REACTIVE TO THE ALIENATING PARENT'S BEHAVIOR - Many targeted parents invest tremendous energy and time in attempts to convince the alienating parent that what they are doing is harmful and unfair to the children and themselves. This is a complete waste and in most cases, it actually makes things worse because it provides more opportunities to create conflict.




KEEP BEING A PARENT - Do not succomb to pressures to overlook children's poor or inappropriate behavior. Be loving, consistent and firm in your expectations of your children.



FOCUS ON YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR AND NOT THAT OF THE ALIENATING PARENT - By making changes in how you respond or react to the alienating parent, this in turn will have a direct impact on the alienating parent. For example, if you limit contact with the alienating parent and reframe from responding to threats and criticisms, this will limit the power the alienating parent will have.

Brad The Therapist :

Do you have any further questions?

Customer:

What do I do when he starts to hit me? Or when I call and he tells me he doesn't want to talk to me anymore and that he doesn't love me?

Brad The Therapist :

When he starts to hit you, you needs to a) keep yourself safe, and b) keep him safe. Thus doing a timeout or having him sit in a corner will show him that his behaviors are unacceptable In terms of him not wanting to talk to you over the phone and him telling you he does not love you, please continue to tell him that you love him and miss him dearly.

Brad The Therapist :

My recommendation for you at this point is to concentrate on the custody proceedings first, versus worrying about your son's reactions to you. It seems as though you are feeling anxious about regaining custody of him, but rest assure, you are steps ahead of many parents who are regaining custody as you are thinking about obtaining professional assistance.

Brad The Therapist :

Any other questions?

Customer:

no i guess not. so i guess professional assistance with psychologist is the best choice or just a counselor?

Brad The Therapist :

Child psychologist will be the best choice, in my opinion

Customer:

okay thanks for the advice

Brad The Therapist :

not a problem

Brad The Therapist :

I wish you all the best!

Brad The Therapist :

Please consider pressing the "accept" button for me to receive credit for this post.

Brad The Therapist :

Thanks!

Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience: 10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
Brad The Therapist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions