Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Looking to hire help for promising youngster to gain insight

I have been dealing with my wife diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder for nearly 20 years and understand the issues well. She has gone thru phases where she did take medication; however, now she is unwilling.
In the last year, I see my son developing similar symptoms. He is a promising young child. He has completed his under graduate degree in computer science from Cal tech and currently enrolled in the PhD program at UCLA. Unfortunately, he has a severe anosognosia and is unwilling to seek help. His mothers recent position also reinforces his conviction. My gentle attempts to nudge him to a doctor have all failed.
I looking to find a caregiver or community worker who I can hire to help him gain insight. Time is of the essence here, let me know if you or someone you know can help.

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This is, as you probably know, a really hard thing to do. Have you watched or read Xavier Amador’s information on this issue:


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I have read his book and watched the TED talk, I practice LEAP with both my wife and now my son as much as possible. I know it is hard. But it is also hard to give up on a promising young child.

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Since I work and travel often I was hoping some one with more experience and care can help him gain insight. Is such professional help available?

@pchidi. I live on the other side of the country, so can’t provide any references but am interested in how you see this working? If your son does not want to see a mental health specialist, probably because he doesn’t think he needs therapy, what kind of person are you looking for to provide help? I like the concept of Motivational Interviewing, and there are probably such therapists, but you still have to get the family member to see them.


I tried this with my son. I got a counselor who I was going to hire to “hangout” with my kid. Do things with him, help him get to his doctor appointments etc. My son would have nothing to do with it. And the counselor was a baseball player, like my son, and they could have gone to the batting cages. He was called a mentor. Here is the first few lines of the contract I signed with him. Maybe something like this could help.

It’s my understanding that you are interested in therapeutic mentoring services, rather than or in addition to, a traditional therapeutic approach with sessions in an office.

This letter agreement describes how therapeutic mentoring services work and the terms on which they are offered as part of my practice. It also creates certain agreements between us regarding how we will work together and discloses my rates. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  1. Therapeutic Mentoring Defined. Therapeutic mentoring is counseling and coaching outside of a traditional therapeutic office setting. Therapeutic mentoring includes a variety of activities and can be tailored entirely to the particular needs and goals of the client. Therapeutic mentoring is designed to take the therapeutic process out of the office and into the world, where emotional growth can meet the acquisition of life skills.

@pchidi I found the mentor through an organization I made my son go to if he was living with me called Windhorse. They have one in SLO who may know someone like this.


@Mikey Here are the videos about LEAP. You may need to scroll up a bit to find them.

One idea I am considering is to introduce this person and a therapy dog for him. He is intereted in adopting a dog. This person can be the trainer to help settle the dog and develop a relationship. I am hoping this professional would be able to win his trust based such introduction. What do you think?

Thanks Diane,
This sounds interesting. Would the therapeutic mentor be willing to invest time to gaining his trust?

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I’m a bit skeptical. It might make him more paranoid as he is apparently highly intelligent and would probably sense the therapy dog trainer is being something more than a therapy dog trainer.

I think it’s best to be completely upfront. He knows you love him. State your concerns and leave the door open if and when he sees the need. In the meanwhile, and I’m not preaching because I think we all have a huge problem with this – me, definitely included! – is to look at our co-dependency. I’ve got Co-Dependent No More on hold at the library. I’m currently 5th in the queue!


I think you’d have to find one in your area and ask them how they work. I believe the one I found now has a practice. It was unusual to find someone that would come to us but certainly worth looking for. I’d call a local wellness center and ask around.

Personally I’m with caregiver. I’m big on full disclosure and honesty to avoid potentially feeding into any pre-existing paranoia or delusional tendencies, not to mention the inherent damage it could do to any trust issues. It is, even with the intention behind it being sound, a form of deception. Deception is one of the highest forms of betrayal. But that’s imho and I know there are plenty others out there that feel do whatever needs to be done to get the job done.
I suppose you could talk to your son about someone who’s identified their services and practice as more akin to a ‘life coach’. Perhaps this is more inline with his sensibilities.
Also, animals are known to be quite therapeutic. So getting a dog may be good even if for nothing more than to reduce stress levels that may be triggering some symptoms.
Best of luck.


Thanks for your input and suggestion. I was not necessarily considering deception. More as a way to establish rapport.

Ths Diane, the wellness centers associated with behavioral health facilities? Do you have the contact for the one you found, I can chat to see the scope if they are not available in this geographical area.

thanks for your input. I have tried the upfront approach and he clearly expressed his displeasure that I even suggested it. So I backed off. Now, I am in LEAP mode. I know he still loves me, but I have to behave to sustain his trust. Agree with you, maintaining relationship with him is priority one. Helping him gain insight is after that.


@pchidi I like this:

maintaining relationship with him is priority one. Helping him gain insight is after that.

I’m going to remember it. I think that’s the correct priority.

I would call Windhorse in San Luis Obisbo to start. I think you said you’re in LA area. They’re a facility like the one I was using to help find employment for my son. One of the people in charge of the group new of someone who did this. Hopefully, they may have a lead for you.