But the best resource that I know of—the gold standard intervention—is the Family Bridges workshop. It helps adult children understand the forces that moved them into a position of demonizing and rejecting a loving parent. By understanding the vulnerability of normal individuals to such forces, Family Bridges helps children of all ages—including adults—reunite while saving face and relieving guilt. Because the workshop can be tailored to the needs of the participants, it helps adult children better understand how to frame their alienating parent’s behavior in a manner that allows them to maintain a relationship and avoid being consumed with debilitating anger at how they were treated as children.
Many parents report that although their children eventually reconnected, their relationship remains tainted and the children continue to be reserved in the relationship and show lingering damage from the period of estrangement. Many of these children continue to harbor uncertainty about the parent’s love and value because they have not truly understood the process by which their view of the parent was altered and the parent’s reputation smeared. Family Bridges can help adult children get over this hurdle and recover their ability to show genuine and deep love, affection, and connection.