Parents whose adult children have cut off contact wonder: How did this happen? Where did I go wrong? What happened to my loving child? Over time, holidays, birthdays, and even the birth of grandchildren may pass in silence. Anguish may turn into anger. While time, in and of itself, does not necessarily heal, actions do, and while every estrangement includes situation-specific variables, there are practical, effective, and universal techniques for understanding and healing these not-uncommon breaches.
Psychotherapist Tina Gilbertson has developed these techniques and tools over years of face-to-face and online work with parents, who have found her strategies transformative and even life-changing. Gilbertson cuts through the blame, shame, and guilt on both sides of the broken relationship. Parents will feel heard and understood but also challenged — and guided — to reclaim their role as “tone setter” and grow psychologically. Exercises, examples, and sample scripts empower parents who have felt powerless. Gilbertson shows that reconciliation is a step-by-step process, but the effort is well worth it. It is never too late to renew relations and experience better-than-ever bonds.
“A helpful roadmap for estranged families.” — Jane Isay, author of Walking on Eggshells: Navigating the Delicate Relationship Between Adult Children and Parents
“Reconnecting with Your Estranged Adult Child is a warm, practical, and insightful book for parents whose adult children refuse contact with them. Tina Gilbertson helps parents with the very difficult task of finding the exact right word or phrase that can often make the difference between a door opening or remaining bolted shut. And she helps parents see what is going on in the heart and mind of the estranged child. Highly recommended.” — Joshua Coleman, PhD, author of When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along
“[Reconnecting with Your Estranged Adult Child’s] emphasis on emotional literacy is vital, particularly when so many families have established habits of not discussing feelings. The skills it encourages are transferable within a range of family relationships — not just troubled ones. . . . a self-help work that encourages parents to heal and to build the skills needed to reach out to their children.” — Foreword Reviews
“In her brilliant book, Tina Gilbertson goes beyond the kind of simplistic advice offered by many self-help books and gets to the heart of how estrangement happens, even with parents who are motivated by the best of intentions. She offers specific guidance for restoring meaningful connection to a relationship that has become painfully fractured.” — Linda Bloom, coauthor of 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married
“Reconnecting with Your Estranged Adult Child is the go-to guide for parents who have found themselves in the painful situation of estrangement. The author covers many variations of and reasons for estrangement and provides both insight and practical solutions to reconnect and resolve it. The actionable advice and sample dialogues provide particular value to the parent who struggles with saying the right words to convey their thoughts and feelings. Gilbertson’s process helps parents kick-start the healing process and move toward reconciliation.” — Marni Feuerman, MSW, PsyD, psychotherapist, and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships
“Tina Gilbertson understands the tremendous importance of the parent-child relationship and offers very practical, clear strategies for parents who are estranged from their children. This is a valuable resource for readers who are struggling and want to become self-aware and reconcile with their kids.” — Cindy Goodman Stulberg, psychologist and author of Feeling Better: Beat Depression and Improve Your Relationships with Interpersonal Psychotherapy