This volume is a comprehensive study of parentification in the family—children who fulfill the role of parents to their own parents or to their siblings, almost always at the expense of their own development. The book is divided into two sections: theory and research and contextual perspectives.
Chapter 7: Therapeutic Rituals and Rites of Passage: Helping Parentified Children and Their Families
Therapeutic Rituals and Rites of Passage: Helping Parentified Children and Their Families
Parentified children frequently develop symptomatic behavior requiring therapeutic attention. At one level, the symptomatic behavior can be seen as an individual cry for help with problems that tax the child's resources to the breaking point. At another level, the symptomatic behavior can be seen as a cry for help for an entire family system, most specifically for the adults in the system who are unable to provide what the child and/or they themselves need to feel safe and functional in the world. Often, prior to the point of therapeutic intervention, the child's symptomatic behavior also can be understood as an attempt ...