In Part One we learned the importance of accepting and learning about your child's condition. In Part Two we learned about the necessity of finding your child a great mentor. In Part Three we will learn the ways your child needs your involvement to find their way to health and happiness.

You probably feel like you have been too involved in your child's life. You are learning how to detach and disentangle yourself from caring for, and rescuing, your child. That is why you'll probably be confused to hear that in order for your child to find their way to health, functioning, and happiness, they need you to be involved.

The kind of involvement that I am talking about is probably different from the ways you have been involved. In all likelihood, you have been giving your child advice and your child probably hasn't been taking it. You've been completing their college or job applications, getting their charges dropped when they get busted for pot or graffiti, or doing their laundry. This is not the kind of help I'm talking about.

Once a therapist/mentor gains the trust of your child (see Part 2), and your youngster really feels they have an advocate, the therapist will encourage the child to bring their family into the therapy room. If the parents are willing to come in, under the rules of the therapist, the child will feel loved and supported instead of criticized and judged. The rules for the therapy are that the parents are not there to dispense advice or to blame the child. The goals are for the parents to listen to their child, and take responsibility for their own participation in their child's difficulties.

It is essential for the eventual success of the treatment for the kid to be able to speak their emotional truths. Usually, at bottom, the child feels a great deal of shame. But very often, on top of this, the child feels anger toward the parents. The therapist's job is to make it possible for the child to express this anger in constructive ways, to help the parents hear these feelings, and to make sure that the child hears it when the parents take responsibility for their part.

When this happens, the child's first reaction is often disbelief and rejection because it goes against everything they have come to believe. This removes one of their favorite excuses for bad behavior which is that their parents are jerks who don't understand them.

But after a while, the kid has to admit that it feels good that their parents are open to listening and changing themselves. Once the child begins to trust this, then they are far more ready to admit their own bad feelings and bad behaviors.

Read Parts 1 and 2 on this same site! Look for Part 4 and more, coming soon.

Author's Bio: 

Glenn Berger, PhD,is a psychotherapist with 15 years experience in private practice. His invention, "Shrinky" gives you virtually what any good psychotherapist offers:

Support - All the information you need.
Advice- Ask Shrinky any questions about the issues of life.
Wisdom - Inspiration to help you on the journey.
Love - Connection, understanding, empathy, and acceptance.

Ask "Shrinky" any question you like about emotional and mental health, love and relationship, work, money and success, and your best body at

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