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Question
Posted by: Charlotte | 2011/06/27

Foster child

I have a foster daughter, her father died in a rampage shooting spree in 2007 by a " madman"  and her mom burnt severely after being set on fire by her 2nd husband, she died on 4 nov 2009, I was her mum''s friend and dearly love my foster daughter, she refuses to see a psycologist, she had two or three sessions but I feel that is not enough, however we talk about mum a lot and share memories of her together, I also talk to her about her mum and let her talk, cry etc. I also comfort her but is that enough? My kids all love and accepted her. She is part of our family now but she has 2 brothers living elsewhere, older than her. My husband and I allow her to visit them and they are welcome to visit her. I still feel she has a lot of hidden anger and emotion she is trying to deal with and not getting it right. She has to mourn both parent''s passing, it is so unfair, dont you agree?
Thanks for listening.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You didn't mention the age of the girl, which is relevant ; but then I see you later mention 16. Whatever the age, she has endured two appalling events that would seriously traumatize anyone. The sort of comfort you are providing is really important, and it's so fortunate for her that tyou are available. But generally people who have endured even part of what she has, need more.
I wonder why she refuses to see a psychologist, as she surely needs and deserves. Its possible, as not all psychologists have the sensitivity and skills to deal with extremely delicate situations like this, that the one she met was more clumsy and put her off, perhaps. Sometimes someone in her position is scared of the depth of feelings she is partly aware of, and feels it could be damaging to release them even with a good therapist ( though in fact, properly handled, it is useful to do so). Sometimes the obvious emotions are complicated by inappropriate but sincere feelings of guilt and the anger.
People often imagine that they "couldn't talk to a stranger" about such things whereas a good shrink is trained to make this both easy and helpful.
DO encourage her to see someone, as this could really help so much, and without professional training, nobody can do much more than you already are doing.
Maybe she'd consider seeing someone if you went with her ? The therapist could help then also to advise you on more specific ways in which you could help her work through the necessary processes ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Charlotte | 2011/06/29

Many thanks for your feedback and advice, she had a few sessions with a psycologist appointed by the welfare, but she did not feel comfortable with her, so I am now considering making an appointment with someone else, any recommendations? We live in Port Elizabeth. I would like a HCP with experience in trauma councelling though. In the meantime we continue to work together. Your assistance and all the positive feedback just tells me that we are on the right track here, thanks to all! God bless

Reply to Charlotte
Posted by: Laurei | 2011/06/27

May God bless you for taking care of this little person, who is not your own flesh and blood. We need more people like you in the world.

Reply to Laurei
Posted by: Charlotte | 2011/06/27

She turned 16 in May, she says she can talk to me but not them, I have to say she is a strong little girl and we are doing our best together, I just want to do what is best for her, she says as long as she has me she will get there, so we will just continue to work through all the processes? Sometimes we have a good laugh as her mom was really funny and the next we cry and then we just want to go and " get"  these two men who caused her and her brothers all this pain. Thanks for caring!!

Reply to Charlotte
Posted by: Maria | 2011/06/27

What a messed up world we live in... this girl is lucky to have you. How old is she? Why won''t she see a psychologist. I agree with you that she has to mourn and work through her emotions. While seeing a professional can usually help with this process it''s not always necessary and it sounds as if you are doing a good job under the circumstances. Everybody deals with grief in their own way. If she doesn''t want to go, maybe you can see a psychologist to talk about ways in which you can help her through this?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/06/27

You didn't mention the age of the girl, which is relevant ; but then I see you later mention 16. Whatever the age, she has endured two appalling events that would seriously traumatize anyone. The sort of comfort you are providing is really important, and it's so fortunate for her that tyou are available. But generally people who have endured even part of what she has, need more.
I wonder why she refuses to see a psychologist, as she surely needs and deserves. Its possible, as not all psychologists have the sensitivity and skills to deal with extremely delicate situations like this, that the one she met was more clumsy and put her off, perhaps. Sometimes someone in her position is scared of the depth of feelings she is partly aware of, and feels it could be damaging to release them even with a good therapist ( though in fact, properly handled, it is useful to do so). Sometimes the obvious emotions are complicated by inappropriate but sincere feelings of guilt and the anger.
People often imagine that they "couldn't talk to a stranger" about such things whereas a good shrink is trained to make this both easy and helpful.
DO encourage her to see someone, as this could really help so much, and without professional training, nobody can do much more than you already are doing.
Maybe she'd consider seeing someone if you went with her ? The therapist could help then also to advise you on more specific ways in which you could help her work through the necessary processes ?

Reply to cybershrink

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