In Part One we learned that to help your troubled adult-child, you need to accept that the road will be long, but there is good reason to hope. The first step is to understand your child's condition.

Once you begin to open yourself to learning and acceptance, what next?

Get your child an outside mentor.

Your child loves you and wants nothing more than to please you. In all likelihood, their deepest source of self-loathing comes from disappointing you. This might be surprising to hear, since by all appearances the last person in the world they would listen to is you. Their unwillingness to do what you say is understandable. It would be too much of an admission that they are in trouble, and would bring up too much humiliation.

The solution to this is that they need to find some other adult they can, and will, listen to. This can often be the right psychotherapist. This person is part mentor, part coach, part cheerleader, part teacher. If you can find a good one, it can make all the difference.

The outside mentor has many advantages over a parent. He or she has none of the history with the grown-up child and so has no built up resentments or judgments. This is a person who can see the youngster fresh. This mentor/coach/therapist is neither parent nor friend, and so can say and hear things no one else can.

The first job of the mentor is to find what is truly amazing about the kid. This is always easy. Usually these troubled young people have endless good qualities. They are, unfortunately, often most buried under a bunch of self-protective obnoxious behaviors. But with a little encouragement, they can easily be found.

Once the mentor finds these great qualities and reflects them back to the adult child, the young person begins to see them in him or herself.

Next, the mentor finds out what the young adult cares about and needs. Again, when the young person originally walks in, they may pretend they don't care about anything as their way of protecting themselves against the pain of failure. But everyone cares, and once you can get someone in touch with their caring, anything is possible.

The combination of seeing their unique qualities and understanding what they care about leads to the young person, sometimes for the first time in their life, feeling seen. This connects them to the mentor, and they become receptive to the more difficult messages they will soon have to hear.

Read Part One on this same site. Look for Parts 3 and more to come.

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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