Why ReParentive Therapy?

Finally, be the therapist who helps clients who have a parent with Borderline Personality Disorder*

Most therapists are at a loss when they sense patterns of Borderline Personality Disorder (or similar developmental wounding) in their client’s history or current character structure because they don’t know how to successfully work with them.

You can go from being scared of accepting clients with this wounding to confident that you have the key to unlocking lasting change for them.

Learn why you’re getting caught in a system with these clients.

More importantly: learn how to help them reverse patterns of intergenerational trauma without getting caught in reenactments that lead to your burn out, frustration, and even resentment.

*This group and training are applicable for all adult children of parents of BPD, NPD, cluster B personality disorders, complex developmental wounding/trauma, Dissociative Disorders (DDNOS), “emotionally immature parents,” and for anyone who grew up in an invalidating environment.

CE credits available for each phase of training

Every therapist who works with clients who were raised by a parent with BPD (or similar emotional deficits) knows that these types of clients:

  • Are suffering and often tormented by their interpersonal relationships, loneliness, and longing for healthy connection.
  • Have tried many approaches over the years, but have been unable to free themselves from internalized messages, low self-esteem, and dysfunctional relational patterns.
  • Are in danger of passing their wounding on to others, including their children. This wounding is often destined to repeat for multiple generations, as under-resourced parents unconsciously re-create the same activation and wounding to self, in their children. Unsafe, unpredictable home life, steeps young brains in the neurotoxins of anxiety.
  • Act out their core wounding in multiple areas of their lives including work, friendships, and partnerships — creating ripples of discord that affect those in connection with them.
  • Limit their life choices, even in adulthood, in favor of being available to their parent.
  • Might struggle to make wise choices and to set boundaries in service of their own well being, over and above the attachment relationship, even if that relationship is harmful or not serving them.

I first heard about Pamela’s ReParentive Therapy group work years ago from a client—a self-identified child of a parent with BPD — who still raves about their experience. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to train in Reparentive Therapy with Pamela and have found it a very effective synthesis of somatic tools and theories. As a certified somatic practitioner and energy healer, I often work with clients who want reparenting and relational repair with a social justice approach. I’m so grateful to Pamela for developing this method and offering it in her authentic and collaborative way. I have gained insights about my clients, our dynamics, and my own process. Furthermore, I am able to consult with likeminded colleagues in the Reparentive Therapy community. I recommend her training for practitioners and therapists who want to work somatically, relationally, and holistically with their clients in an authentic way.

— N. P.

It’s so clear that these types of clients need help.

But in sessions with these clients, it can feel impossible to know how to break through.

Here’s why:

Adult children of parents with Borderline Personality Disorder find it existentially threatening to thrive. Early on, they made unspoken contracts with their parent with BPD. Unbeknownst to them, their loyalty to their parent’s dysfunctional patterns became calcified and even now limits how the adult child moves through the world.

Repeatedly they have learned:

  • to not take up space, submitting their needs in favor of protecting the attachment
  • to not have boundaries.
  • that disappointing someone is the worst thing in the world.
  • that getting it right is like an invisible moving target that’s impossible to hit.
  • to live in a world of shame, blame, and assuming responsibility for things that aren’t their fault.
  • Life’s a constant state of effort to please and a pervasive sense of being wrong.

These types of clients have tried many ways to heal, without much lasting success:

  • Regular talk therapy
  • 12 step programs on codependency, and the like
  • Reading books
  • Trying to talk to friends (and fearing overwhelming them)
  • Trying to connect with siblings who aren’t on the same page because they’ve had different experiences within the family

Patterns of Borderline Personality Disorder (or similar developmental wounding) in your clients’ family of origin can create interpersonal strain and can negatively impact the therapeutic relationship.

As a therapist, you want to be the one who can finally help your clients thrive.

But sessions with these types of clients haven’t led to the results you want for your clients — and may have left you feeling drained.

  • Week after week, each session feels the same.
  • You have to drag yourself to sessions with these clients, which feels unfair to them.
  • Clients give up.
  • Clients project onto you. You feel pressure to be perfect for them.
  • Clients might be dependent on you or stuck trying to please you.
  • Clients might be self-reliant, and you don’t feel like you’re helping them to see a shift.
  • You might feel scared of your clients’ volatile emotions.
  • You might find that these are your most meaningful and challenging client relationships, because their material touches on your own challenges; their stuckness mirrors your own. Hence, you’re particularly prone to getting caught in enactments with them.

Imagine:

  • Being able to help your clients break free after a lifetime of struggle.
  • Staying regulated in your own nervous system as you sit with clients with this wounding. And even taking this one step further: using your regulated nervous system to offer co-regulation to your clients
  • Being skilled at working relationally with a population who has strain around a parental figure.
  • Carving a niche for yourself as someone who successfully works with this population. It’s so rare — and so needed.
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