Treatment and therapy for manipulative behavior may depend largely on what underlying issues are causing the behavior. If, for instance, the manipulation is being caused by an underlying mental health issue, individual therapy may help that person understand why their behavior is unhealthy for themselves and those around them. A counselor may also be able to help the manipulative person learn skills for interacting with others while respecting their boundaries and address underlying insecurities that may be contributing to the behavior.
Certain mental health issues such as borderline personality may cause people to feel anxiety in relationships, causing them to act manipulatively in order to feel secure. In these instances, a therapist may help the person address their mental health issue, which in turn can reduce their anxiety and help them feel secure in their relationships.
This article reviews the literature on divorce as a risk factor in children’s psychological development; describes common themes expressed by children presenting in treatment; and highlights the unique challenges for the child therapist working with a child of divorce, particularly those with high parental conflict and court involvement. Then, using a case example, the article describes therapeutic strategies and a treatment structure that, consistent with the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association (2010), focuses on developing and maintaining the therapeutic relationship to support the psychological growth of the child. Finally, the article discusses the ethical challenges inherent in providing therapeutic intervention for this type of child and the implications for this type of therapeutic approach.