I rec'd the following communication via Contact Us email about estrangement from "n/a". Our policy is to share all content-related communications with everyone so I have posted n/a's valuable feedback here for everyone to read. There are several Dear Gabby Letters (also see New Letters) that contain a hyperlink to the page about estrangement, (here's one example). KK
Communication: The article on responsible estrangement is sick. Please forward this note to its author.
Encouraging estrangement and then minimizing its consequences as well as the pain it creates for individuals and families is wrong. Absolute estrangement creates turmoil and needless family strife
Recommendations to become estranged do long-term harm--and if you're involved, then you are part of causing that harm by encouraging narcissism in your clients. The family member of the estranged is just as entitled to their feelings as am estranged client is.
Clients are not superior to their family members. I wish "trained counselors" would stop encouraging people to become estranged from their families. It's much healthier to teach people how to negotiate diverse personalities instead.
Everyone needs their family--and family members have a right to react with anger when a third party such as yourself sticks their nose into a family and tears it apart by recommending conduct that literally destroys existing, strong, and largely healthy bonds. How can a therapist live with themselves if they are actually indirectly participating in keeping parents from seeing their grand children? Are therapists really at peace with encouraging a daughter to become estranged from her dying brother, or sick mother?
More counselors need to think about what they are doing to families when they recommend, condone or support estrangement.
Voluntary estrangement is abusive, destructive and dysfunctional.
Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 1/5/11)