Managing difficult families as a therapist, mental health professional, or teacher can be very difficult. Families that display difficult patterns of behavior tend to have a lot of needs. Some common needs include but are not limited to: financial, emotional/psychological, socio-economic, and educational. These limitations can cause a host of problems for students as well as teachers.
This article will briefly review my webinar with SimpleK12.com on managing challenging families.
I enjoy working with the team over at Simplek12.com. Their topics are always interesting and I’ve been given the opportunity to train other professionals on topics that I choose and that rarely get discussed. It’s great. Sadly, many of the topics discussed are real for many of my clients in today’s society. Topics discussed in the past include adolescent suicide, childhood suicide, trauma and suicide, and managing suicidal youths. This time around I decided to discuss the challenges of working with difficult families.
What are some major barriers parent/families create in treatment or education?
As a therapist I have worked with many difficult families. I remember my very first client being a family who had 5 kids on the autism spectrum. The oldest was very calculating and manipulative. His mother was over-protective and overly concerned about what “others think about us.” The challenges I encountered with this family seriously impaired the therapeutic relationship. Not only was there confusion and frustration due to mother’s inability to keep things organized and correct, but there was a lot of transference from the mother to me. Sadly, she had negative relationships with almost ALL of the therapist’s who had worked with her son.
What should I watch out for?
I learned in this experience that sometimes the most difficult to work with as a professional is the parent and not the child. Kids can be wonderful, but their parents can be nightmares. As a result, it is important that we learn ways around the complicated nature of difficult and possibly even unstable families. Family dynamics, parental mental health, parental personality traits, etc. can all negatively contribute to an otherwise positive relationship with the child.
To learn more about this topic, tune into my webinar (10/19/17) below: