For fifteen years I have been listening to parents complaint about child misbehavior. Most of my patients were extreme cases, but that’s what happens when you’re a family therapist. It isn’t until children become defiant or parents don’t know what to do anymore to address the child’s behavior that the therapist is contacted.
For years I struggled with the difficulty of curbing child behavior in forty-five minute sessions once a week. Initially, I needed to establish a connection and win the trust of the child, which can take a while. Then, I needed to lure children to open up, in order to find the emotions affecting them. That can also take a few sessions. Once I understood what was going on, the issues had to be addressed. Problem is, these issues usually stem from or are reinforced by family dynamics; and that’s where you need the entire family to collaborate and make changes. If it’s difficult to change a single child’s behavior, how difficult is it then to change the entire family’s behavior and conditioned responses?Read More