The Trauma of Family Counseling Print
Written by Taya   

'Later she yelled at us how could we blame everything on her and told us we were liars.'

Dear Mr. McKillop,
I am trying to start a camp in America for Children of Mentally Ill Parents. As I was doing research I found your website. I was thrilled to see that we are on the same wavelength. I myself am shocked that this is something I have to start from scratch. How could something like this still have not been addressed? I too am an adult child of a mentally ill patient. My mother is bipolar. I know too well the struggles these children face everyday. In my research I have found that the mental health profession is now recognizing these children. Sadly I feel it is in the wrong way. Here in the US they are trying to start Family Counseling. This is a nice attempt to address the problem, but falls short of what is needed. As a child I went to family counseling with my parents and two brothers. I recall one of the first sessions we were told to express ourselves about the problems in the home, and we would not be punished. When we did my mother got up and left the room. Later she yelled at us how could we blame everything on her and told us we were liars. We never said another word but were forced to continue going for months. Because of this experience I know counseling does not work. It became another thing we dreaded. We would have said anything to get out of going. Nothing will make a child feel safe until they are away from their mentally ill parent. Family or Group therapy simply adds one more burden to the many burdens that the child already carries, trying to please both the psychiatrist and the parent. Additionally, this doctor is also the parent's doctor. How can the children see them as someone on their side? I feel a camp is the only way to allow the children to get separate attention away from the parent. I also see it as a way for them to connect with others in similar situations hopefully easing their feelings of hopelessness and being all alone. When I saw your statement that these children needed to not be in the same system as their parent I was thrilled. As I said before I am doing research. I am trying to apply for a government grant. I have found a lot of information on what the children need and information on how a camp can increase a child's self esteem but I was hopefully to find some proof of the two. Do you have any information that you would be willing to share with me that would support our position. If you would like to take a look at my temporary site it is

Thank you.