A role-reversal relationship is one in which the child is used to meet the parent’s emotional and psychological needs.
In normal and healthy parent-child relationships, the child uses the parent to meet the child’s emotional and psychological needs.
In a normal and healthy parent-child relationship, the parent is said to act as a “regulatory object” for the child.
In a normal and healthy parent-child relationship, when the child becomes upset and distressed (dysregulated), the parent acts in soothing and structuring ways to bring the child back into an emotionally and behaviorally organized and regulated state. The parent acts as a “regulatory object” – also called a “regulatory other” – for the child.
This is normal and healthy. The child is using the parent to meet the child’s needs. The parent is an external “regulatory other” for the child.
In a role-reversal relationship, however, this normal…
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