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Author Topic: Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.  (Read 116 times)

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Offline anonymouse

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Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.
« on: May 13, 2019, 01:01:39 PM »
a month ago, I began my new job as a court mandated therapist.  I got a referral for a Hmong male, 70ish.  I can't talk to him about his case since it's still pending.  So my job is to provide therapy, process mental health, and attempt to work with him on his identified goals which at this time are not identified yet.  He began by introducing himself and attempting to ask for my information including parent's names.  I tell him no and he gives me this weird look.  I explain to him about my role and why it is inappropriate to talk about my parents.  I dove into this part and asked why it is important for him to know my parent's names.  He claims we might be related.  I lie that I'm from Folsom, CA.  That usually gets them to stop asking about me since no Hmong person knows anyone from Folsom.  He tells me his story.. long story short. Had a first wife who couldn't give birth regardless of attempts.  So he got a second wife, first wife left him.  Something happened (the pending case). He ended up in prison. 2nd wife left him when he was serving time. and now she has a restraining order.

He seemed more interested in telling stories and using old sayings, kept saying one that was something like "Can hear water, but can't drink it, see fire, but can't keep self warm."  He didn't seem too interested in talking to me.  After he told his story, I interjected with questions and this is how that conversation went..
(Conversation was in Hmong)
Me: So, what was your marriage with your first wife like?
Him:  We loved eachother very much, no arguments, no fights.  Only time there was fighting was regarding me getting a second wife.
Me: So how do you think she felt when you told her you wanted a second wife?
Him: I felt there was no issue.
Me: *Repeats the question with emphasis on her.
Him: I would have loved her the same, there was really no concerns.
Me: *Repeats the question a third time with the emphasis on how she felt.
Him:  I don't understand why she felt I wouldn't love her.

I change questions.
Me: So, you say she was a good wife, no drama. no issues. very honest and loving?
him: Yes, no issues.  She just couldn't give me a child.
Me: How do you think she felt about that?
Him: I was upset.
Me: I'm asking you how you think she felt.
Him: I don't understand why she wouldn't feel the same.
I then explain to him about how different people have different emotions and reactions.

I change questions once more..
Me: So how do you feel about everything that happened thus far?
Him: I'm mad, I will be mad till the day I die.
Me: Do you feel it is a good thing to hold onto that anger?
Him: Yes, I was wrong'd by people. 
He attempted to tell a story, but time was short so I asked him one last question before I ended the session.
Me: If you can go back in time and choose to be with your first wife or go through all of this, which would you choose?
Him: I would go through this again because I want children.

---
The next few sessions, his tone was different.  He said she was dishonest, said she lied about being infertile (although he later claims she already had 2 kids from a previous marriage). 
And at the end of this most recent session.  He goes "My old therapist let me out 30 minutes early to pick up my kids from school, how do you feel about that?"
Me: I can't do that, we are to meet for 1 hour court mandated therapy. 
He asks again and talks about how his kids walk home.
Me: I empathize with him on worrying about them, but remind him this is court mandated therapy.  I tell him, if he wants to reschedule to another time slot or early dismissal, he has to go through his probation officer and/or the court system.
Him:  Do I have to. You can't just let me go early liike my old therapist?
Me: No, I can't.

---
I did contact his PO as I do every client after every session and documented all of this.  I don't think he'll get much out of therapy.  From my observations, this is someone who is deep rooted in their own mind that anything they do and how they see it is right.  No remorse over actions, no understanding of consequences, and no understanding how other people feel.  Clinically, he has a very manipulative mindset and likes to change the narrative to gain sympathy or his way.  He's right on the border of having a narcissistic personality disorder. 


Hope you enjoyed it.  Btw. before anyone complains. No I did not violate HIPAA.  There was no PHI in this post.



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Offline anonymouse

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Re: Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 01:07:12 PM »
I don't think it'll surprise anyone that some Hmong males think this way.  Can't change someone who doesn't want to be changed.  old habits die hard and especially his attempts to be manipulative.  I don't think he realizes or maybe he doesn't care that I write notes and his P.O. is contacted each time.  The less compliant you are to treatment, the worse it looks for you on paper and in front of the judge.



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Offline Dok_Champa

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Re: Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 01:13:29 PM »
You're not getting any real answers out of him because you haven't take the time to know your client and to build trust, in my opinion.  So he's from the old generations... your job is to find ways how to  bridge that gap in order to help your client instead of thinking this is just a court mandate thing you have to do.



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But true love is a durable fire, In the mind ever burning, Never sick, never old, never dead, From itself never turning.<br />               --Sir Walter Raleigh

Offline Asharia

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Re: Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 02:03:51 PM »
You're much younger than him so I doubt that he views you as someone who's qualified to help him. It's the typical ageist attitude that a lot of older Hmong folks have. Am I correct in assuming that you were assigned to him based on your common ethnicity and language? Because while that might seem appropriate, the much larger issue here is the generation gap that exists between you two. His attitude is clearly old fashioned and sexist, and already within two meetings he's already expecting you to be lenient because you're both Hmong.

So in conclusion, good luck.  :D



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Offline Mr_Mechanic

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Re: Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 02:15:59 PM »
interesting... keep us up to date, if you don't mind.



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Offline flint-rod

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Re: Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 02:18:47 PM »
no complaints but i'm having issues with your approach... maybe it's because of your lack of experience but in order to do a job and do it well... establishing a rapport with your clients will get you a lot further with them rather than someone who's cold and unsympathetic as you've painted yourself based on what you said...


« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 02:25:49 PM by flint-rod »

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Offline anonymouse

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Re: Peering into the minds of an older Hmong Male.
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 03:13:42 PM »
@dok.  We will see how the next sessions goes.  It's part of my job to make it clear why they are here and not allow any special exceptions like hes asking. Self disclosure is good for building rapport.  But not the way he's asking.  I hope down the road he does gain something out of treatment. 

@asharia. Yes it was a language barrier thing. So I was assigned due to it.

@mechanic. We will see.

@flint. I'm not purposely being unsympathetic. I do empathize with the challenges he has. There are some clients who are trying to change and be better.  There are some who refuses to change. In his own words he said he would go through this again to get kids despite the circumstances and consequences.  It tells a different tale. One that I hope to process with him in the future.
 But I still maintain strong and clear boundaries specifically with maintaining that professionalis m regarding leniency, early dismissals, and self disclosure. If he chooses to want help. Then I'm here to help. 


« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 04:12:38 PM by anonymouse »

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