Dr. Z recently posted a blog on the New Harbinger Publications blog with a tip for therapists helping frazzled parents with emotionally dysregulated teens. She outlines and begins to explain some initial steps to working with these parents from an ACT frame:
- Create with parents an inventory of all the strategies they have used to manage their teens’ behaviors.
- Look at the workability of each one of those responses.
Do these responses work in the short term? Here is what’s important: sometimes parents’ responses stop the teens’ behavior in the moment, and yet, in the long term, it is important to ask parents: are these behaviors taking you closer or further away from the parent you want to be? Do those responses help the relationship with your teen?
- Check with parents if it’s really helpful to continue pursuing these responses.
- Ask the parents if we can start paying attention to what they go through when their kids say or do something that is upsetting to them.
- Invite parents to notice and name the thoughts that come up with when getting triggered by their teens’ behaviors.
- Assist parents in noticing all the different emotions they go through when getting upset with their kids.
- Introduce the “cycle of conflict” as a frame to understand the parents’ struggles with their teens.
Posted originally at: https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/what-do-when-parents-come-therapy-and-ask-you-%E2%80%9Cfix%E2%80%9D-their-teen (Erin, July)