I have had bouts of bad news from the psychologist in the past few weeks regarding my youngest son, who has PTSD and is supposed to start EMDR therapy.
First off, he has had eight sessions with the psychologist. He will not allow her to direct play or conversation. This means that he does not trust her. We have spent two months trying to establish trust with no luck. Without him allowing direction, there can be no EMDR therapy at all, since it involves following commands on eye movements and listening to a story.
Second, he has been informally diagnosed with ADHD. Which means he is too young to be diagnosed, but he has it. So I have started him on a very high dose of fish oil from a small reputable company, and some little herbal stress relief tabs. The tabs are taken with caffeine. I will not be subjecting my son to prescription drugs for ADHD until every single physical and supplemental option is exhausted. That is my decision, and his doctors concur.
Third, his violent and defiant tendencies (which I refer to as short-circuiting) are too ingrained to be removed via therapy or correction. That made my heart stop, when I heard it. I have been working so hard for eighteen months, and nothing. At least I know, now. Thank you, psychologist.
Instead of focusing on the negative things, we have to instead shift our strategy to overwhelming him with positives in the hopes that these positives will crowd out his bad behaviours and thoughts. I have practiced positive reinforcement since he was born. Basically the difference is that I have to go back to square one with him on gentleness and empathy. I also have to flood him with positive images. Like fluffy kittens. During this teaching and redirecting of his morbid fascinations, I have to love bomb him. Which is not so bad. Just smother him with love. Sometimes hard as a single mom with two other children and a full time job, but workable.
He has spent one full day with me since starting his new stress tabs and vitamins, and it was a much better day. Not enough to write home about, but better. There is always hope. He is four.