Effective family counseling can begin with parenting therapy

Mar 23, 2015 | Mood


We need to talk. This is a big, heavy subject, but it’s time.

You already know – the relationship with your child is the most precious part of your life. Ever since your child arrived, your heart walks around outside your body. This love trumps everything.

You’d give that precious child a kidney, a lung, your eyes, your whole being if they needed it. You’d take a bullet for them.

But when you get very frustrated, you have these out-of-body moments where you behave differently….as if none of the above were true. You hate this about yourself. You wish you could erase some of the most terrible moments from memory, but they haunt you, make you feel like a bad parent, a monster, a despicable person.

Some parents come for parenting therapy because:

  1. They’re at wit’s end.
  2. They don’t know how to talk about behavior without yelling.
  3. They hear words coming out of their mouths that remind them of their own parents.
  4. They’ve even resorted to hitting.

Think, for a moment, what it was like to be five. A kindergartener. A person with energy and curiosity who needed loads of understanding. A person who wet his bed. A person who fought with her siblings. A person who made noise and got tired and cranky and asked for too many things in the store.

…and maybe even a person who learned to be afraid of their parent.

What was it like when you knew you were about to be hit by one of the adults in your life? Remember the dread? That sick feeling? The humiliation? Remember the rage?

What was it like when your mom or dad told you they sometimes wished you’d never been born? When they said you were a selfish brat? A little bitch? An awful person who was too hard to love?

Sometimes, Family Counseling begins with understanding how you were parented.

Nonviolent parenting begins with this awareness that we were all once children, and that as children, we knew the truth about being hit and insulted and otherwise mishandled. We knew it wasn’t for our own good, but for our parent’s momentary release. We knew we were being used.

Nonviolent parenting begins with an admission of responsibility. “I have behaved badly with my child. I have mishandled my child. I have caused pain.”

Nonviolent parenting involves apology. “I am sorry, little one, for treating your body with disrespect. I ask your forgiveness and I promise to learn a better way.”

What if your parent had said this to you?

Explore other factors that contribute to effective family counseling by reading these posts:

These posts are inspired to help bright people become more of who they were meant to be.  In her practice, Deborah takes an indivual approach to help people through:

  • Relationship Counseling
  • Marriage Counseling
  • EMDR Therapy
  • Trauma Therapy


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