Famlies In Therapy

How to Deal with Difficult Parents in Therapy

Working with resistant parents is common in therapy, as kids often report the source of their unhappiness or issues relating directly to their parents.

Begin with building a therapeutic bond with the parent to help them feel that you are listening to them and acknowledging what they feel are their children’s issues. If parent’s don’t feel that you are actively supporting them, they may quickly become defensive and closed off, feeling blamed for their kids problems and are likely to stop coming to therapy.

The first step in being able to help the child is to create a therapeutic bond with the parent and over time, you will be able to address issues and problems that the child or teen is reporting to you, back to the parent. By doing this, there is greater chances of successfully being able to change the parent’s behavior and of creating family unity.

Dealing with resistant or difficult parents is not always easy and can challenge your therapeutic skills. Listening to them blame their children may not be easy, but again this is the parent’s perspective and thought processes and behaviors can be changed. Helping parents to understand that a child’s problems is a “family” problem and that everyone needs to make changes to improve the overall family dynamics or unity.

For therapists working with children, being able to help create long lasting success in the child’s life and family is rewarding. Having a child report in therapy that things are better, makes everyone smile.