‘Teen Mom OG’ Season 9 Episode 2 Recap: Moving Onto Gary’s Lawn & Being A Therapy Pawn

That would be a great name for this show, honestly…

Howdy, fellow trash TV lovers! It’s time to check in again with the gals of Teen Mom OGThe Ashley is aware that she missed recapping the first week of this Dumpster Fire, but she’s going to go ahead and save herself a lot of typing and save you a lot of reading. Basically, all you missed is Maci being one cross-on-the-back short of being The Martyr of The Bible Belt; and Amber sitting on her couch/bed/portable hammock and ordering people to do her Mother Goddess bidding.

Oh, and, until further notice, everything and anything that has gone wrong in the Life ‘o’ Ryan is that ding-dang Maci’s fault.

Consider yourself caught up.

We kick things of in Indiana, where Amber is talking about how her Belgian boo, Dimitri, was possessive. (I’m wondering if Amber meant to say “Dimitri is possessed”…because, honestly, a guy would have to be completely taken over by some sort of poltergeist to want to date Ambie).

Now that she’s ditched Dimitri and his possessive ways, Amber is focusing on growing her relationship with Gary and Kristina. She tells us that they’re “really supportive” (which is “Amber code” for “they come and turn me in my bed so I don’t get bedsores.”) 

I think that’s nice…

“Gary, if you really want to support me, come stand behind me and hold me up. I’ve been awake for OVER AN HOUR and I’m pooped!”

Amber tells us that she misses the home she owns, but Andrew and her son James are living there. That means Amber is stuck in a rental house for the last 15 months and she’s getting tired of it. 

Amber tells us that, unfortunately, her rental house is an hour away from Gary (and her daughter Leah). If only there was a way Amber could live somewhere closer…somewhere that wasn’t an hour away from her kid. IF ONLY.

Oh…wait…Amber chose that house, knowing it was an hour away. (Perhaps she was salivating at the thought of being allowed to sit in the car for a full hour without interruption there and back?) 

Speaking of Gary, he and Kristina are just hanging out on their land (not to be confused with The Land, of course), throwing balls on the grass and talking about how Amber is all alone in her rental house. 

All of a sudden, Gary gets a brilliant idea! Why not move Amber out to his property? He suggests they move her right into a modular home on the lawn. (No, seriously.) Poor Kristina turns white and looks like she’s going to pass out at the thought of having Amber Portwood, screaming out on her lawn in her special “ranting kimono” on the regular.

“Sure. Great idea. Why not just move Farrah into our downstairs bathroom while we’re at it!”

Kristina insists that, if they do go ahead and haul Ambo, her couch and her bad attitude to their place, Gary isn’t allowed to sneak out there for a little pickle tickle.

(I’ll give you a second to recover/vomit from the thought of Gary and Amber smackin’ uglies in a trailer.)

Gary assures us he doesn’t care about Amber “in that romantic way” anymore. (It must have taken him years to get over not having Amber there to kick him down the stairs…) 

Gary doesn’t really give poor Kristina a chance to resist the idea. He says he’ll go talk to Amber about moving to trailer on their property and Kristina just kind of nods. (Honestly, she probably knows that Amber will never agree to live in a trailer. Ambie likes to let anyone who will listen know that she’s a star and that she makes a ton of money, so there’s no way she’s going to sign off on being shoveled into a tiny trailer like she’s one of Gary’s stable hands. No. Way.)

Next, we head to Tennessee where Maci is calling up The King of Therapy,  Tyler, for advice about sending Bentley to therapy.

Yes, kids, we have a Very Special cross-over episode! It’s like that one time Urkel made a guest appearance on Full House. There’s something weird (and a little exciting) when these people’s trainwreck worlds collide.

Anyway, Maci dials up Tyler because he’s been dealing with a piss-poor father his whole life. (Shoutout to Butch, wherever you are!) Maci explains the situation to Tyler, who is shocked that it was Bentley who wanted to go to counseling with Ryan.

Um..yeah. Us too. To me, this idea has the Bud-Light-soaked mitts of Maci all over it…

Anyway, Tyler says that, back when he was a lad, he knew that his dad wasn’t his mom’s favorite thing to talk about.

“See that is where your mom and I differ…”

Meanwhile, over at Ryan’s place, kids are screamin’ and Ryan’s lying on the couch, all slothed out, and talking to Mackenzie about how “Bentley” wants to take him to ding-dang counseling. Ryan is skeptical that the request actually came from Bentley and not the Brain of Maci.

“Is it all your mama’s bulls**?” Ryan says. 

“I reckon the boy wants to get counseled because that dern Maci told him to!”

Ryan— who, mind you, is smoking his pipe on a couch completely covered with clean laundry that he was just laying on two seconds ago—tells Mackenize that he feels sorry for Bentley because “he’s gotta grow up with that kinda person raisin’ him.”

Maci is still determined to make this father/son therapy sesh happen, so she calls up “Dr. Ed,” who is more than willing to therapize(?) Bentley and Ryan. (I mean, if you go by “Dr. Ed,” you probably have to take an opportunity to work that comes your way, honestly.)  

Dr. Ed suggests they haul in Bentley solo for a session before they bring Ryan (and his pipe) down there to talk. Maci agrees, and later tells Bentley that ol’ Ry may not even show up for the session if they get it scheduled with “Dr. Ed.”

“Whatever, Mom. Just don’t make me go on that 1200 calorie-a-day diet again and I’ll do whatever you want.”

Next, we check in with Cheyenne. Things are going well in her renewed relationship with Zach, but she’s still keeping the news from Cory until she knows things are definitely heading in the right direction. In the meantime, the two enjoy some alone time while Ryder is away. (That means they had “the sex,” in case you didn’t get that…)

“R U spending the entire day with us, sis?”

Later on, Cheyenne heads to Cory’s house because he has something he wants to talk about. ($20 bucks says it’s himself.)

Cory, in his attempt to win the (non-existent) title of MTV reality star with the most minutes on-screen, tells Cheyenne he “got the call about The Challenge” and once again, will be leaving his worries, children and baby mamas behind to compete for some cash and to take home a surplus of Under Armour clothing with his name on it. 

“What can I say? The people love me… almost as much as I love myself!”

Cheyenne can do nothing but laugh as she questions Cory’s decision to leave his family for potentially three months in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Cory tells Cheyenne he’s grateful to be employed right now because so many people aren’t. 

“Thanks to MTV, that’s a struggle I’ll never know.”

Cheyenne agrees with Cory, completely overlooking the fact that Cory is already employed at the moment, as the two of them are having this conversation in front of a camera crew. 

“But for your own sake, try not to ‘do’ anyone while you’re there.”

Cory decides to break the news of his new MTV gig to Ryder and surprisingly, she’s all for it. In fact, Ryder tells Cory and Cheyenne that she wants to be on ‘The Challenge’ some day – an announcement that nearly brings camera-loving Cory to tears. 

How meta.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, Mackenzie‘s marriage more ridiculous than a rodeo clown, so she shifts her focus to her boys’ upcoming birthdays and her online fitness brand, Body by Mac. While filming a video in her front yard (as you do), Mackenzie receives a call from Jim, the CEO of the nutrition company she’s been working with, who asks if she’d be willing to move to Florida to have a bigger role in the company. 

“Florida? Is that the one that kinda looks like a 7? Would I need a passport?”

Mackenzie tells Jim she needs to discuss the move with her family and Josh. Before jumping into what is sure to be a production conversation with the latter, Mackenzie tells her sister Whitney about the job opportunity and for some reason, she decides to reveal the news by telling Whitney not to freak out. 

Again, this should be asked of each of the ‘Teen Mom’ girls at the beginning of every episode….

Mackenzie tells Whitney she could be heading to the Sunshine State in as little as two weeks. Whitney asks if she’s moving to run away from Josh and Mackenzie says she isn’t, although if Josh decides to move to Florida with her and the kids, she’ll consider it to be “a sign.” 

“Yeah, a warning sign.”

Mackenzie thinks moving to a new state could be a new start for her and Josh and she has “high hopes” that she’s going to “go and heal” while she’s there. Whitney tells her sister she “would go to India tomorrow” if she could, and believes Mackenzie should make the move to Florida (by herself) to find out who she is. 

After her chat with Whitney, Mackenzie calls Josh to tell him about her job opportunity. Josh says he doesn’t want to be the person holding Mackenzie back, but with the two of them in different states, their relationship “won’t work.” 

” …showin’ off my new belt buckle and mumblin’ sweet nothings into the ears of all them rodeo groupies.”

Finally, we check in with Catelynn. With Nova back to attending school in person, Cate has even “more time to focus on herself.” 

Literally…is that not what Catelynn has done the entire decade this show has been on the air? 

Her newest career ambition (this week anyway) is becoming a microblading specialist. (This will be great to fall back on if her previous aspirations of being an adoption counselor, teacher, and vet tech all fall through!) 

Tyler tells Cate he’s excited for her to be doing anything. (In case you’re wondering why Cate isn’t busy building their Tierra Reign kids’ clothes fashion empire, she explains that production on Tierra Reign has stopped because the manufacturer is only making COVID protective gear at the moment. Apparently people need face shields more than kids need bell bottom velvet pants right now. Go figure.) 

Cate goes on to give viewers a look back at some of her own almost projects, including the two seconds she spent thinking about becoming a vet tech and the time she met with the baby food company while rocking a hairdo inspired by a Bratz Doll. Unlike her first few dozen attempts, Cate is determined to make this career “stick.” 

If only those “ventures” were more like Cate’s side bang… that thing has been sticking around for years!

The next day, Cate strolls in for her first microblading course and immediately tells the microblading master her experience in mircoblading consists of “nothing.” Because of the free exposure her company is getting, the instructor optimistically tells Cate she’ll have her shaping brows like a pro in no time. 

While practicing her brush strokes – who knew all that therapy horse petting would come in handy?! – Cate’s instructor asks what her goals are long-term and  Cate says she hopes to eventually open up her own space. 

You know what I’m confident in? The fact that I’ll never get this image of Cate wearing a modern-day Hannibal Lecter mask out of my head.

Cate is also asked if she wants to have more kids, to which she says she’d like to have a boy but isn’t sure because things are already chaotic in the Baltierra home and those therapy horses can only deal with so much. 

The microblading guru didn’t seem too sure of her lines in this scene… the producers really should’ve given her a few more minutes to prepare.

After practicing her “strokes” some more, Cate decides she ready to start her certification, which requires that she successfully microblade four people. Cate’s first victim? None other than April, who likely mistook Cate’s offer to “apply some strokes” for “come by for some smokes,” so here we are. 

We also want this look for you, April.

When Cate manages to not make her “ma” looks like Groucho Marx, Tyler encourages her to start looking for a space to rent. Cate is hesitant to jump into it because she worries that people won’t be knocking down her (salon) door to get microbladed by a Teen Mom, but Tyler doesn’t seemed concerned. In fact, Tyler is ready for Cate to give him a job at the currently non-existent salon space. 

We can’t wait to see that sucker slapped onto a bedazzled business card.

Meanwhile, back in LA, Meanwhile, Cheyenne takes part in backyard aerial acrobatic class with her friends.

Seriously. What? These people have way too much time on their hands (and not enough masks on their faces.) 

Chey’s friends still have no idea she’s dating Zach again. Cheyenne is keeping the news quiet for now because she says her friends aren’t big fans of Zach.  

[All cheer] – for everyone but Zach.
After class, the group sits down to talk about ‘The Challenge.’ (What else?!) Cheyenne says she has a love-hate relationship with the show but can’t get mad at Cory for participating because it’s “his job.”

Still, she feels some kind of way about him leaving because the last time he did, Ryder got sick and ended up in the hospital, leaving her to parent/panic solo. She tells her friends that eventually Cory will have to retire his ‘Challenge’ jersey because his kids are getting older and it’s hard to deal with his absence (and lack of ‘Challenge’ wins).

Later, Cory brings Ryder back to Cheyenne’s house for the last time before leaving for “his job.” Cory tells Ryder that whenever she misses him, she can play with her ‘The Challenge’ Cory doll.  

Even Ryder is impressed by the resemblance.

Cheyenne says it will be interesting to see how Ryder handles everything this time around, and Cory proceeds to remind Cheyenne that with COVID, she can’t take Ryder to do fun stuff while he’s away.

What a guy. 

The two then discuss how to handle things in the event that Ryder gets sick while he’s gone. Cory says he’d rather know this time around, even if he’s competing in a final at the time. (Hahaha, good one, Cory.) With that, Ryder, Cheyenne and ‘The Challenge’ Cory doll say goodbye to real life Cory. 

‘The Challenge’ Cory doll is officially our new favorite ‘Teen Mom OG’ cast member.

Back in Oklahoma, Mackenzie says things are still “not in a good place,” with Josh so she decides to throw her own birthday party for her boys at her dad’s house. Mackenzie says she really wants to move to Florida, but is “dreading” how her dad will take the news. 

While the kids run around the yard in an attempt to come down from their birthday cake sugar high, Mackenzie uses the opportunity to tell her dad about her job offer. After taking a moment to collect his thoughts, Mackenzie’s dad says “go get it out of your system and come back… and come back to Oklahoma.” 

“But if Josh ends up down there, he’s more than welcome to stay put.”

The next day, Mackenzie calls Jim and officially accepts the job in Florida.

“Just as soon as I figure out where the heck it is.”

Meanwhile in Tennessee, Bentley is heading to his first session with “Dr. Ed.” At Jen and Larry’s house, Producer Lorraine (wearing her very own Hannibal Lector mask, which was surely made by Tierra Reign) chats with them about Ryan and Bentley.

Larry says he wants Ryan and Bentley to go to counseling and for Ryan to be honest with Bentley about “what has been happening all these years.”

Larry and Jen are literally talking over each other to express to Producer Lorraine how much Ryan loves Bentley, and how he wants this counseling more than anything.

Sure…Jen (and Larry).

Larry says it’s important for Ryan to get away from “those triggers.”

In case you’re wondering what he means by “those triggers,” Larry wastes no time and quickly explains.

“That Maci sure does get his britches in a hitch!”

“The biggest trigger is Maci,” he says before explaining that the key to Ryan living a “healthy life” (aka a life without smackin’ the smack), is for him to stay across the river from Maci.

Or something….I kind of dozed off during this scene. Luckily, Producer Lorraine’s terrifying mask snapped me back to reality. 

Jen begins to cry, realizing that, earlier in Bentley’s life, they pushed Ryan toward “those triggers” (re: Maci) and that a lot of what happened to him may have been because of them.

Um. No. What happened to Ryan was because he was young, lazy, selfish, loaded with MTV money and generally loaded. Period.

Larry then turns straight to the camera (a la Zack Morris) and apologizes to Ryan for making him associate with Maci in the past.

“The Big H ain’t nearly as hard to get rid of as the Big M!”

Larry says that, if he’s being forced to choose between Bentley and Ryan, he’s gonna go with Ryan every time, despite how much he loves Bentley.

Meanwhile, Maci picks up Bentley from talking to Dr. Ed, and— shockingly— Bentley doesn’t feel like blabbing to Maci (and the TV cameras) about the session. This is Maci, though, so even though Bentley told her he didn’t want to share, Maci gets right on the horn (on camera, natch) and calls up Dr. Ed to see if he will spill what they talked about.

“Dr. Ed” blows right through that “therapist/patient” confidentiality and chats it up with Maci about how Bentley feels neglected by Ryan, and how Bentley needs to teach Ryan how to be his dad. 

“Dr. Ed” schedules another session with Bentley, and Maci hangs up. She does her best to make sure everyone knows how hard this is for her, sighing hard and hanging her head down. 

“I knew I should have never let Ryan diddle my hoo-ha all them years ago!”

Back in Indiana, Gary is frying up some Great Value franks on the grill for a cookout with Amber and the gang. Amber casually mentions that she likes Gary’s set-up out on the lawn and Gary’s eyes light up. 

As Leah regales the group with tales of how she has to sit down in her classroom at school all day because of COVID, Amber looks positively jealous. Imagine. All that glorious sitting! 

Gary looks like he’s thinking about bringing up his Big Idea.

“I wonder if I should mention that we have a brand new Home Depot bucket Amber could use in her trailer for a bathroom? If that don’t sell her on the idea, I don’t know what will!”

Amber says that she gets mad when people walk by her backyard without masks. Gary brings up the fact that he has all this property…and that maybe they could build her a modular home to live in— with working appliances!

“How much couch space are we talkin’ though, Gary? I won’t leave my couch behind, you know I can’t.”

Gary explains that she’d be close to Leah, wouldn’t have any COVID-carriers touching her house, and that all rent money she paid would go straight to Leah. Speaking of Leah, she looks half excited, half terrified about the prospect of her mom sleeping out on the lawn. 

Amber says that it’d be nice to be near her kid and all, but she doesn’t want the entire Shirley family seeing when she’s sneaking some dude she met up ‘er at The Walmart into her trailer to get some boom-shaka-lakka. 

Amber thanks Gary and Kristina for their “kind gesture” in offering her their lawn, but says she’ll need a couple of months to decide if she wants to take them up on the offer. Kristina pipes in, saying that, should she and Gary ever split up, she gets to move into the “good” side of the lawn.

“This is turning into Sister Wives!” Amber jokes.

“I will literally move into Gary’s tool shed if it means getting away from my tool of a husband, Kody! Just sayin’!”

The next day, Kristina drives the hour to take Ambie some baked goods— and see just how serious Amber is about taking Gary’s lawn offer. 

Amber, who for some reason is wearing her surgical mask like a beard (as you do), tells Kristina that all of her therapy has put her in a good place lately. She says she “did a lot of bad s**t back in the day” and that she now carries a lot of guilt for it. She says that she felt like Leah was better off with Kristina than her for a long time, but now she feels like Leah wants Amber in her life, too. 

“She’s just like you,” Kristina tells Amber of Leah. 

Amber, thinking about having to raise someone just like her….

That’s it for this episode of ‘Teen Mom OG!’ To read The Ashley’s other reality TV recaps, click here!

(Photos: MTV) 

31 Responses

  1. & just because Ryan isn’t nodding out in traffic, all of the sudden he has his shit together?? His great accomplishment is finding some female stupid enough to deal with him. She looks scared of him and watches carefully to not upset him before opening her mouth. His brew are always bitching about Maci…much the same. They all need a hobby.

  2. How was demitri possessive ??
    He spent a few weeks with her, once, and the rest of the time it was email/what’s app/Skyping.
    I bet he was fkn glad to get his flight back home.
    Ambien, is a vile nasty, pos.
    And lies like a cheap rug.

  3. What I heard when Larry talked: “Well, you know, when Bentley used to be our only grandchild, of course we were putting him first. But now that he’s just the kid that our son fathered out of wedlock back in the days, now that said son is now married with two other kids, Bentley doesn’t matter that much anymore.”

    1. Yeap, that’s pretty much what I was thinking. Ryan’s given them more grandbabies with someone who will kiss their butts and it’s all they can do to remove the original grandchild who’s mom puts Bentley first over Ryan.

  4. Omg lmaooo at catelyn “having more time” to focus on her “endeavors”. Girl please. There are single parents who do 100x more than you, work, school, take care of kids solo , cook dinner, take them to activities, etc. Now THATS someone who doesn’t have time for other endeavors. Give me a break with these balterrias.

  5. This is a serious question: why are these people still on air?!

    This is trash and I mean, not even good trash tv, but just trash …

  6. I think, at this point Jen and Larry know things are fucked up with Ryan, so are just doubling down and blaming EVERYONE. It’s very sad for Mackenzie and all three of his children that he is still obsessed with evil, mean, triggering Maci rather than being a decent husband and father. He looks so old, mid forties at least, and is such a loser he makes Ciatlyn and Tyler look hard working and motivated. Still really like Cheyenne, she is the only one who seems normal. Cory is a massive bellend but entertaining with it. Waiting for Amber to hulk out on her sofa when Leigh tells her about herself finally. Other Mackenzie-well there is nothing much to say. It really needs to end now before the children start getting hammered in secondary school.

  7. I love how Cory is like “I know a lot of people don’t have work right now”- Well yeah- if you mean REAL work, then I guess. “The Challenge” isn’t a job. I am more than positive you could get an actual job if you wanted, but I am pretty sure you think you’re too good for that now that you’ve been on TV (eyeroll)

  8. I wonder if Jen and Larry have ANY concept of how idiotic and stupid they look. Who freaking cares if Maci did push for the therapy? Bentley has a father that has never really been there, who went to prison and was/is strung out on heroin. Maci is a trigger, give me a break, what a lame excuse for your son to continue to be a piss poor human. Maci is a trigger because it reminds Ryan of how badly he f***ed up his life and we can’t have that.

  9. They give Sooo much power to Maci, it’s actually incredible. Imagine having that much power as a “trigger” for a grown ass man… I would HATE to be married to a little bitch like that honestly if his ex had that type of impact on my husband. Just shows how little influence his own wife and parents have on him… Embarrassing really. Maci is a Boss without even trying????

    1. Too bad the minion of a wife he has is too dumb or fame hungry to realize…. I have kids with a man who has a baby mama and if he was so “triggered” I’d be gone!!! I’d be gone before I ever had kids!

    2. Too bad the minion of a wife he has is too dumb or fame hungry to realize…. I have kids with a man who has a baby mama and if he was so “triggered” I’d be gone!!! I’d be gone before I ever had kids! And for his parents yeah they enabled but i can understand in a way. Sad but true.

  10. Easier to blame Maci then themselves. He is still high as hell. Helen Keller can see this. I also noticed how doughy he has gotten. He looks 15 years older then his stated age. Drugs are a terrible thing.

  11. Of course Amber didn’t want to move closer. She’d have to acknowledge her child daily if that were the case. I’m honestly just waiting for Leah to lay the smack down on her.

    And I’m still on fuck the Edwards clan. They’re nothing but enablers. That’s why Ryan is so fucked up. Not Maci, his shitty parents.

    1. I was surprised to see a MAGA hat on Rhine. He’s just been loafing around unemployed for over a decade mooching off his parents while creating more kids he barely raises. I thought the Trump movement was about self-sufficiency and people being able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Just like the other proud TM MAGA dads (Nathan and David) who are self-sufficient contributing members to society.

  12. Seriously Jenn and Larry? Maybe his “trigger” is people making excuses for him being a douchebag all the time! And they are sorry for pushing him to have a relationship with his child’s mother? Did they just say that? Maybe they should have done the right thing and pushed him to avoid his kid altogether. Maybe that would have saved him from shooting up!

  13. The whole Edwards family is so out of touch with reality. Sure Jen and Larry, MACI is the reason for your 34 year old, ex(?)-heroin addicted, verbally abusive, never been employed, father of 3+1, man child. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

  14. Larry’s apologizing to Ryan for trying to force him to be associate with Maci, mother of his child? Did they force Ryan to have unprotected sex with Maci too and shoot him up with heroin? Ryans such a coddled baby who takes no responsibility for anything. When Ryans parents are no longer here, I don’t know how he will function.

  15. Jen and Larry were positive, loving influences in Bentley’s formative years. Ryan has always been more like the older brother than father of Bentley.
    Maci was very young when she got pregnant by Ryan, never considering his suitability for parenting. She probably should have encouraged and nurtured his relationship with Jen and Larry and allowed it to continue without conflict,
    and without expecting Ryan to be the father be will never be. Of course, if that were to have happened, MTV would have no Maci storyline.

  16. OMG, I am much older than any of the teen moms and probably older than most of the show’s viewers, but I read The Ashley’s critiques regularly. This one, just like the others you’ve written, made me laugh so hard! You are hilarious and should be
    Writing for a talk show host. Heck, you could BE the talk-show host.
    So glad to have discovered The Ashley, especially the TM o.g. and TM2 summaries.
    Thank you for the laughs, and looking forward to the next one!

  17. I have a kid who in age is right between the OG and 2 kids, which is how o started watching these shows. Last year he asked to go to therapy and I wasn’t sure where he got it from either but rather than belittle him we got him help.

    I know at his public school they do a lot of social emotional work and due to some things that came up the school suggested he do talk therapy, this was well after he asked for it too.

    I think kids are smarter than we give them credit for and I think that even though Jen and Larry love him, he’s not malleable little kid anymore nor a baby. This may be the blind spot they have that when kids start expressing their own feelings and thoughts they don’t agree with they ridicule and blame others. I see my own mother struggling with my preteen and I was honest with him she’s great with little ones but once you start asserting your own independence it’s not a good look on her. Ryan has always been the worst but you can see how he’s treating this small act of Bentleys defiance as a personal affront, that’s how he was treated too.

    1. I applaud you for listening to your child! So many parents would refuse or belittle them in some way or take them wanting therapy as an offense to their parenting. Good job! I’m so happy more parents are accepting of these things and treating kids like humans instead of things that should be seen and not heard.

    2. Also, it’s not necessarily bad either when therapy is not initiated by the child itself. I had to go to therapy as a child, because my parents were divorcing. My mom told me we’d go there together and I’d go once. Afterwards she asked me if I wanted to keep coming there, or if I didn’t like it. She kept the option for me to quit whenever I wanted. And after a couple of months I did stop, because I felt I wasn’t learning anything new and I didn’t have any lingering feelings or frustrations.

    3. I went through a similar situation here. My son struggled a lot in middle school with several issues, and we sought therapy for him after some things came to a head. He was actually excited to go and talk to someone outside of family or school staff, and to learn some coping strategies. I really cannot even explain what a difference it made for him and the effect it had on him as a person. He took a break for a few months just to test the waters and see how he did, but he ended up coming back to me to ask if he could start up again because he felt like he needed it. After about a year and a half, he and his therapist agreed that he didn’t need to come back on a regular basis, but he knows he can go back anytime, either for a few sessions, weekly sessions, or even just a one-time session.

      Kids today know a lot more about mental health, recognizing if they or a friend are in trouble, and ways to get help if they need it. Especially if a kid has a family member or friend that regularly attends (or has attended) therapy, they know what it is and reasons that people go. It’s not at all outside of the realm of possibility that Bentley would ask if he and Ryan can go talk to someone without the idea being “planted” by his mother. And if Ryan is truly sick of all the “lies”and wants Bentley to know “the truth”, there is no better place for them to have those honest discussions than with a therapist present. Ryan just knows a therapist will see through his bullshit and not allow him to bully Bentley. He’s also scared that Bentley is going to have some hard questions for him and he doesn’t want to have to answer them.

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