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Kristina Fullerton September 2nd, 2004 02:13 AM

How to handle this
I am interested in finding out if anyone has had experiences with angry parents of children with special mental and developmental needs. I have been working in the field for 10 years and no matter how many wonderfull dedicated parents I meet, I always seem to find the 1 or 2 or 3 out of control and extremely angry clients and prospective clients that bring several years worth of rage to my table. I want to know if this is just the way it is and how to best cope and interpret and deal with these issues. I have tried several different techniques now including extended interviews to figure out if we are a working "match" or not and also I have worked on taking a "you seem very stressed out and hurt approach concerned approached when lashed out at" I know numerous intellligent people who have had their lives almost torn apart by these types of angry advocates and gossips. I know many people who have switched fields because of these dilemmas. Do any seasoned people ou there have any advice or words of wisdom? please help!

KounselorK April 13th, 2005 01:42 PM

Re: How to handle this
My approach with this type of issue would be to require parents to engage in counseling themselves at the same time you are working with the children. The anger they are bringing to you is natural and it can be worked out. More often than not, it is a result of some underlying irrational beliefs or feelings. It might be helpful to engage a colleague to develop an anger resolution group for parents of special needs children. I believe that a well developed cognitive-behavioral/ rational-emotive program could be just the assistant you need. June 29th, 2005 07:45 PM

Re: How to handle this
I have worked with many families that come accross as being angry, yet, I've found out, that they are not angry at you or me, but at their situation with their children. Some vent out anger that has developed through years of stress and frustration with impaired children. I don't take it personally, and I continue to show empathy and support, no matter how bad I'm treated. Hang in there. Joe

W.J. Blackwood August 22nd, 2006 04:19 PM

Re: How to handle this
I have seen this in many instances, and each circumstance is unique. What is the cognitive functioning of the parents, what are the expectations, are they morning the fact that they will not have the perfect child they expected, or are they just selfish jerks, or have their own mental disorders. Look at the family history and see what the patterns are, you will be amazed at what you find in the layers of generations.
I often point their behavior out to them tactfully, at first as inhibiting to their child's progress. I become more firm if necessary, and always inquire what their goals are, they may not be what you expect.

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