Saturday, May 24, 2014

When do we reach the end of the nonsense?

I hadn't heard from my son' individual counselor in a while. Since he stopped coming to visitation, and now my mother refuses to pay her half of the family therapy sessions,  I haven't been seeing or talking to him at all.  I call on Saturdays at 11am, since if he were to decide to follow the court order I would need to pick him up at noon.  If there were no custody battle I could have reported him as a runaway and had the police pick him up for me. For the record, my mother thinks this is horribly cruel of me. I don’t bother because it won't work. My mother shows them her temporary custody order and they tell me this isn't a runaway case, it's a custody dispute, so they can't help me and I'll just have to take it to court.

So the other day I remembered that I hadn't given my son's individual therapist our new HSA card info since my husband got a new job. I reflected back to when he first started seeing my son and saw him for NINE sessions before 1.Notifying me he was even seeing him, or 2.Sending me the bill (At that point adding up to $225)  So it occurred to me that this may be happening again, so I decided to send an email to address that and some other issues I had been wondering about.


Dear Mr.Blanchard,


Hello and Happy Monday! My husband has changed employment, so we have a new HSA card to make payments. I am unaware if you have still been seeing my son, but there haven't been any calls for the old card being declined, so I wasn't sure.
When he first started seeing you, I was not informed until a bill added up to over $200 and I am not interested in doing that again.  If you could please let me know if my son is still coming to sessions and if so, with what frequency? What progress is being made towards the goal of reunification? And at what point do you expect to work me into the sessions, again to continue to work towards the ultimate goal, which is and always has been reunification?

If there are any outstanding bills, please let me know so that I can call in payment.
Additionally, my mother's attorney has informed me that you were aware that my son was going to run away from my house before he did. I must say I was disappointed to hear this and I just wanted to  reach out and make sure that you still had my contact information (407-951-2343) and knew that I was, and still am, available to speak to you ANY time there is an issue such as this that I, like any parent, would like to be informed of.  I felt this needed to be said before visitation is resumed. Overall, I am disappointed with the lack of communication that I feel is necessary between a child's therapist and their parent, and hope that this does not continue as we move forward.

Thank you.
Theresa Seigler

Two minutes after I hit send, Mr.Blanchard called and left me a voicemail. It did not reference my email, it simply stated that his receptionist had brought it to his attention that our card had been declined, and I currently owed for two sessions (Totalling $120), and that if I could go ahead and make arrangements to pay that and give them a new card number to run whenever they have a session (without telling me about any sessions or updating me on the progress being made/or not being made), that would be great.

 I thought it was a little odd, that after 3 years of only ever returning calls, never initiating them, that he would miraculously decide to reach out to me, not only on the same day, but within MINUTES of the email I sent requesting that same information, but I digress.

Five and a half hours later, he sent a reply to my email.


Hi Theresa,

Thanks for getting back with me.  Your son has been coming every two weeks to therapy.  With spring break and my schedule, we've missed a couple but mostly every other week.  Currently, we are only outstanding on two sessions (4/15 and 5/6).  His next scheduled meeting with me is Tuesday, 5/27.  If you can call in payment for those and authorize frequency going forward, that'd be great.

He and I are still working through reconciliation issues in his therapy, together.  I'm not sure if he knows what's going on with the visitation and so that is creating some uncertainty about how best to proceed for him.

I'd also like to clarify about the incident that you referenced.  I did not have any forewarning about him running away.  I only stated to both Ms. Buie that I was concerned that he might do something.  I did not expect him to actually leave your house.  If you'd like to talk about that sometime, or other concerns for that matter, please let me know so we can talk on the phone.
Thanks for your email and let me know how you'd like to proceed. 



So you see how the FIRST thing he did was make my email a reply to his voicemail by saying "Thanks for getting back to me"??? That is just so shady, I had to wait three days for my anger to subside enough to write a decent reply.

Dear Mr.Blanchard, 
The continuing confusion and uncertainty between the professionals involved with my son and I is of increasing concern to me.  In the interest of clarity regarding initiative and content, I request that our communications remain in writing.

My 12 year old son began counseling with you in November 2011. The established objective was reunification and full custody transfer from his grandmother to me as his biological mother. That objective remains unchanged.  It is now May 2014, he has had 30 months of individual counseling, for which I have paid 100% of the costs.  I am deeply concerned and disappointed regarding the minimal progress made toward the goal of reunification between my son and I, directed and supported by your professional counseling. 

Within 30 days of his initial counseling sessions with you, he began refusing to go to our first family therapist.  During the remaining time he has been professionally counseled by you, he has begun to refuse the visitations he previously participated in, become more verbally expressive of his refusals to honor visitations, and has run away twice, and now, most recently, adamantly refuses to honor the court ordered visitation schedule completely.

The disparity between the therapy goal of reunification and the behavior demonstrated indicates a non-existent or failed therapeutic bond in your ability to achieve progress toward the goal of reunification.

I am also concerned that you chose to communicate your concern about his potential for acting out as runaway only to the Court Guardian Ad Litem, without sharing the same information with his custodial grandmother, his mother (myself), the adult paying your counseling fees (myself), or the parent whose home he was at risk for running away from (again, myself). I feel this shows questionable judgment on your part.

As his mother, and the person contracted with you for professional services, it is troubling to be informed of his runaway risk and actions only on an after-the-fact basis.  Your choices and counseling results seem to be reinforcing  his custodial grandmother's desire to encourage confusion regarding compliance with court ordered visitation, despite the existence of a very clearly ordered visitation schedule.
He needs counseling that will help him accept the Court orders for visitation and for transitioning to my full time custody as his mother.  If those goals are not possible nor probable, why have you not filed a report stating the specifics of why that is not progressing and/or what the existing confusion may be?

In a review of emails, telephone messages and correspondence, I do not find a single instance where you or your office have initiated contact with me regarding his progress. In fact, I have not found evidence of contact initiation from you or your office in regards to anything except the collection of payment. The notification to me of scheduled and completed counseling sessions is hit or miss, and often after the fact. Receipts for payment come to me only by my request. At this time, I am asking for a summary of all scheduled 2014 appointments, noting if they were completed, and with the reason for any missed or cancelled sessions.

My son is now 15 years old and has been in counseling with you for 30 months. I have 30 months left before he becomes a legal adult of 18. We are at the halfway mark of time, with no discernible progress toward the primary therapeutic goal.  As his mother, I feel it is absolutely necessary that he have a therapist that has no uncertainty on how to proceed.   I believe a written Progress Report to myself and the Court is needed before June 1, 2014. Your professional plan needs to include the treatment plan and time table for any further counseling along with specific actions you feel can be accomplished by following the treatment plan you recommend.

After review and discussion of that report, a decision will be made on how to proceed for my son's treatment and counseling.
Theresa A. Seigler 


So, yeah….I won't be holding my breath for that reply.  I am so tired of the "confusion" as to what is actually court ordered ever since the judge vacated her own order.  Even the very simple and clear orders regarding visitation that have been written since then.  I'm not sure what exactly is going on here, but I know bullshit when I smell it, and it has been pretty stinky here in Seminole County for quite some time now.

I can't believe it is as simple as this one judge at this point, when the county is just allowing her to keep doing what she is doing. She made the front page of the news again.  This time specifically for overturning a ruling that was supposed to be final and upheaving an entire family after all was supposed to be said and done.,0,6728405.story

And I'm sitting here almost to the end of May, and my hearing that was cancelled on Jan 31 has yet to be reset. My mother's attorney is 'on vacation" for  weeks and leaving this case with a colleague would mean a missed opportunity to stall things out longer. 


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