Posted by: CONCERNED MUMMY | 2009/01/16


My 7 daughter lost her father (my ex) 2 weeks ago, he had been in hospital since the 08th December after being shot in a robbery. Since then I have been extremely worried about her as she was very close to her father and I have been constantly looking for signs of depression, I don' t know how to behave around her for instance, she seems to have accepted and understood what happened becasue a month before her dad died one of her friend' s dad also died and we spoke to her and explained to her about death. Although she cried after the funeral now she is the one who sometimes initiates the conversation for e.g. about the graveyard where her dad was buried, when she sees the car that looks like the one he drove she still mentions it and when she sees his photo she would start a conversation about where the photo was taken e.t.c. The teachers at school have said she still seems okay. My question is, is it a must that she goes to see a Psychologist at this stage? I took her to see one on Monday the 12th but I' m concerned that the Dr. has promptly booked us appointments for a minimum of 2 years, twice a month and all the appoitnments are for 1hour before 12h00pm which means she' ll be loosing out on school on those days. Please help.

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Our expert says:
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What you would see would almost certainly be signs of grief, the normal emotional response to loss, rather than Depression. If she seems to be coping well right now, don't dig around, but keep an eye on things should she later start to show more usual grief. And for her to be able to talk comfortably about things associated with him sounds healthy. I don't see any reason why she should HAVE to see a psychologist.
And I must say it sounds to me very highly bizarre for a psychologist seeing a normal little girl dealing apparently very well with a normal grief, to insist on a minimum of 2 years of twice-monthly appointments is ludicrous --- it would be weird in a child with a serious illness which your child does not have. And booking them at 12, disrupting school, is likely to cause more harm than it could do good. Sounds ominously like exploitation, and this is NOT normal professional practice. I would cancel all such appointments and leave things as they are for a while. If the child doesn[t seem disturbed or unually unhappy, leave well alone, Should she show consistent distress, let her see a different shrink, practising in a more normal and less greedy fashion, for a second opinion.

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Our users say:
Posted by: CONCERNED MUMMY | 2009/01/19

Thank you Doc.


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