If you're an adult who has a shaky relationship with his or her parents, you might be resistant to get together or speak on the phone, all while feeling somewhat guilty for pulling away. This guilt can especially be prevalent if your parents are elderly and might not have too many years left. Scheduling some sessions with a licensed psychiatrist is an effective way to improve this relationship. You don't need to attend sessions with your parents; simply going on your own can help you to better understand the dynamic between you, develop stronger boundaries and work on strategies that will allow you to communicate your truths during future conversations. Here are some specific areas that your therapy sessions will likely address.
Understanding That Your Parents Have Faults
When people feel that they've been mistreated by their parents, it can be a bitter pill to swallow because it's easy to view the parents as infallible. In this case, it's then easy to think that there must be something wrong with you, since your parents are perfect. In your sessions with a psychiatrist, you'll begin to understand how your parents are not perfect and may have made plenty of mistakes when raising you. You might even develop some sympathy for their situation, as it's possible that they were only following the lead set by their parents, who were also not perfect. This can help you soften about the entire situation.
Remembering That You're No Longer A Child
The relationship with overbearing parents can be challenging because you instantly feel like you're a child who is once again living under your parents' roof. Your psychiatrist will help you to remember that you're an adult who cannot be influenced, manipulated or made to feel in a certain manner by your parents. This can make future interactions easier. For example, if you don't like to get together because your parents try to coerce you into staying at their house for longer than you'd like, you can develop the skills to firmly say when you're ready to leave.
Learning To Manage Feelings Of Guilt
Your psychiatrist will help you to not necessarily push your guilt down deeper but to acknowledge that you feel guilty and manage those feelings in a healthy way. For example, if you feel guilty about not spending more time with your parents, the solution isn't necessarily to spend more time together if doing so makes you feel uncomfortable. Instead, you can work to remember that your feelings need to come first, and if honoring yourself brings up a bit of guilt, so be it.
For more information, contact Commonweath Affiliates PC or a similar organization.