Jennifer’s situation isn’t all bad, but I can’t tell her this if I’m hoping to gain her trust. She wants me on HER side and I’m afraid she’ll shut down if I tell her what I would do if I were her. Now that I think of it, I can be a little more forthright when she complains about the Haldol. I can agree with her that it’s an outdated med and the trembling it produces is unacceptable, but I can also slip in that the newer antipsychotics are terrible for weight gain, and I’ve heard they are harder to withdraw from. I don’t want to “tell” her she’s wrong about the Haldol, because she isn’t, but, at the same time, I want to encourage her to adopt a more “radical acceptance” attitude. She’s been involuntarily committed. Her attitude in future may keep her well and out of the hospital.
Maybe if she also changed her attitude about her state appointed guardian, she’d might get some doors to open. According to Jennifer, he’s an idiot out to get her, nothing he says can be trusted. Why should she play ball with him? etc. It’s obvious to ME that he holds the get out of jail free card, but this doesn’t seem obvious to Jennifer in her present state. I believe, and I may be wrong, that, in the past, by rebuffing all attempts by the state to encourage her to take sheltered training, the guardian decided she was a lost cause. She is no longer entitled to training. That’s my understanding of the situation, anyway.
My years of experience dealing with my own son tell me that Focused Listening may be her best chance to get off the drugs for good and become rational enough to hold down a job. I’m not sure how much, if at all, she’s doing what I feel she should be doing to achieve what she tells me she wants to achieve. (I’ll accept that the last sentence is a bit of a mind bender.) The only strategy I can think of to get her to do the Focused Listening is to be on her side. It’s a complicated dance we’re doing.