First of all, thanks for your ideas/suggestions. This is a hard case.
There have been some developments:
A behavioral contract, "Sacred Covenant" , failed to comfort
the boy. The mother put in writing her promise not to do what
the boy feared. Looking at the paper was not a comforting thing
when he heard the downstairs door slam. He became very agitated
and bolted downstairs. The mother'w written promise was not a
substitute for seeing that the mother was still there.
The mother has agreed to bombard him with hugs, kisses and " I
love yous." She indicated that he had resisted these sort of efforts
in the past. When I told him that his mother needed
to do these kinds of things for her, he agreed to cooperate. I
was pleasantly surprised to see the mother start to do these
things immediately in the session ...and he accepted them!.
I referred the boy to a Child Psychiatrist associate of mine. I
made the recommendation for a low dosage of liquid Prozac to
address the obsessive thinking. When I saw the boy's inability
to stop himself from dwelling on the scary thought, it
persauded me that it was of obsessive proportions and he would
need some help. The prescription was written today.
In today's individual EEG Biofeedback session, the father was
present. The father recognizes that he himself has a temper problem
and he wants to work on it. At the end of a session we talked about
one particular incident which happened this past
Sunday. It was a good discussion, a good beginning.
Your comments were all on target. With reference to your specific posts:
Bill Powers (950821.0840 MDT)--Yes, I am convinced that he
considers abandonment as a real possibility. The kid does
consider it to be a problem and wants to get over it. Yes,
he does consider himself to be defective and inadequate. You
will note that the hugs, kisses, etc., on the mother's part
are designed to give him unasked for attention. The parent's
recognize that they are somehow partly responsible for the child's
problem and sincerely, want to learn how to do better.
Avery Andrews (950823)--The boy finds it somewhat easier to
leave his parents. He can be encouraged to take a bike ride
over to a friend's house for a limited period of time. When
a friend comes over, and he is involved in play, he allows the
Rick Marken (950822.1100)--The goal of the program is to help
the boy and his parents regain control of their life in certain
ways at which time everyone will be satisfied enough and the
need for services like mine will no longer be felt to be
Hans Bloom (950823)--I think you will see that the movement
in this case, which I reported in the beginning of my post, is
directly related to the kinds of activities which you suggested.
I am working on: parents showing that they love him, discussing
conflict incidents and asking about interpretations and
alternative ways of handling it which might have worked better,
what they want and don't want from each other. It is a hard time
for all the family members.
Among PCTers, the most controversal aspect of the case's development, I know,
will be in the recommendation for medication. However, all the therapists
involved in this case agree that we should try it. I have put off the use of
medication from the time I started this case in the beginning of the summer.
This boy's fears could easily develop into a severe case of school phobia. If
summer were a little longer, I probably would have waited to see if the other
developments in the case would have been enough.
From: David Goldstein
Date: 08/22/95, 11:10pm
Subject: Responses from Bill, Hans, Avery, Rick