What kind of professional?

Reply
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    13,153

    What kind of professional?

    We have a small problem with our 7 year old and its getting worse. After 2 years I've decided that we will need help of a professional - I just dont know what kind of professional.

    At the begginning it was "normal" stuff. She was scared of the dark, wanted to sleep with the door open and hallway lights on. The problem slowly has progressed over time to a point where:
    - She cant be alone in any room by herself (day or night) due to monsters or other ills
    - She cant fall asleep without someone in the room and the person in the room *must* be awake
    - After she falls asleep, she wakes up in the middle of the night and wont go back to sleep unless someone stands beside her to wait for her to doze off
    - She wont close the bathroom door during toilet visits for fear of the unknown
    etc

    She is truly terrified and no amount of niceness, incentives, logic, explanation have worked and its getting worse and not better. What we thought was a normal kiddie anxiety is progressing to a level of paranoia. Her other 2 siblings (9 and 5 year olds) have no problems and are quite normal, but she is the exception.

    I'm looking for any advice as to where to turn for professional help. Psychologist? Psychiatrist? Sleep therapist?

    Any advice and/or recommendations would be most welcome.

    HC


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    53

    Hi there,

    Wow, that really sucks. I have a 31 month old boy who basically sleeps with us every night becusae he doens't want to be alone and has nightmares every night. But your situation sounds really tough.

    If I were in your position, I would definitely take your little one to a child psychologist, don't bother with sleep therapist, as she is scared day and night. Poor little thing. I unfortunately do not know of a good child psychologist. What I suggest if you go to the geobaby.com site, and put your post up there as the moms and dads will have excellent advice to hand out and may have some good recommendations.

    Good luck.

    Sophie


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    18

    Hi HowardCoombs,
    I would suggest play therapy.This allows the child one 'special' hour to work through any troubles, through play. I am a play therapist who has just moved here but have not set up yet. I am beginning my search so if I find one I will let you know. You probably have treid this, but a definate 'bed time routine' can help. Good luck.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    147

    My friends had the same with their 2 yo daughter. She never slept alone and when she woke up she started to scream.
    The doctors advised them to play it hard: don't stay with her when you bring her to bed, but be in the next room folding laundry or do something she can hear you. Even singing song is ok. And in the night never take her out of her room. Check her if she is ok, hug her, make her feel you are there for her. But, don't take her out of her room. If she really wants to be with you you can give her a t-shirt you have worn that day so she can smell you. And also have the bedtime routine, brush teeth, go to toilet, drink a sip of water, bedtime story. So your little one knows exactly what to expect. (Small kids need routine according to me.)
    That's what they doctor advised my friends. My friends had one horrible week but after one week their daughter slept by herself.
    Pampers did research about sleep for babies - 5 yo. Pampers said that you have to put your babies in bed when they are awake. Then they are familiar with falling asleep by theirself and recognize the room. When they wake up in the night they are not scared because the know the room. If kids fall asleep with someone they get the habit. If you take them with you in bed once, they will ask for it again.
    I have to kids myself (3.5 yo and 2 yo). We always put them to bed when they are awake and they never sleep in our bed. When they wake up it is only for toilet or drinking a sip of water.

    Last edited by mootje; 23-10-2008 at 06:18 PM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    123

    Hey HC

    I've got a friend who's an accredited 'The Journey' practitioner.

    From the little I know about it, it is a technique that is used to support children (and adults) in clearing many physical and emotional issues. It involves going on an 'inner journey' that gets to the root of why the issue was initiated in the first place. There is a book you can buy at Dymocks called 'The Journey for Kids' by Brandon Bays that explains the stuff in more detail or you can check out their website (www.thejourney.com).

    I'm aware that it may sound a bit too New Agey, but if you can put that aside, the technique is actually quite powerful and it may be useful for your daughter.

    In any case, if this sounds like something that might interest you, drop me a PM and I'll get you in touch with the friend. She's really great with kids.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    13,153

    Thank you everyone who were kind enough to respond.
    For the time being, I've made an appointment at StJohns St. John's Counselling Service and will see what they recommend.

    HC


  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Pampanga, Philippines
    Posts
    20,598

    Wish you all the best.

    Just to comment that it is funny how cultural this is. My wife thinks us westerners are very uncaring to make small children sleep on their own. Our kids don't. My wife has never slept in a house on her own in her life.