Hello! We’re Mike and Tina Gilbertson. Together we founded the Reconnection Club, which officially opened its doors in March of 2019.
Mike happens to be a retired computer programmer, so you can imagine how handy that was when it came to building this place. To the extent that this site is at all functional, that’s Mike’s doing.
If anything breaks or doesn’t work right while you’re here, that’s undoubtedly the result of my incessant tinkering with things I shouldn’t touch. I can’t help myself.
When we launched, I was a psychotherapist in private practice who’d been specializing in supporting parents estranged from adult children for about five years.
Here’s how that specialization developed…
A long time ago, I wrote a blog post for my own website (tinagilbertson.com) called, “What to Do When Someone Won’t Talk to You” (you can still see that article here). Right away, I started hearing from distressed parents who wanted to know, “What if it’s my own child who’s not talking to me?”
I was taken aback by the number of parents who wrote to me. I hadn’t realized that parent-adult child estrangement was a THING.
At the same time, I knew there were clients in my therapy office who weren’t talking to their parents. I put two and two together, and started passing along to rejected parents the important information I was gathering about the thoughts, feelings and motivations of these estranged adult children.
I could see that my clients weren’t happy keeping their parents at arm’s length, and although I never met their parents, I knew they must be devastated. I saw an opportunity to bring both sides together by educating parents about the issues I was hearing about in the therapy room, that tended to lead to estrangement.
After many articles and much correspondence with parents in despair, I decided to put my best ideas down on paper. I wrote a brief Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children, which in 2020 became a full-length book, Reconnecting with Your Estranged Adult Child. Much of what we talk about here in the Club is outlined in that book.
As I worked with more and more parents affected by estrangement from adult children, I began to feel not only a deep affection, but a true kinship with these brave souls. I could easily imagine being in their shoes, if I hadn’t been just plain lucky with my stepdaughter. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. Many of us get away with not being perfect, but others are taken to task and face a tremendous challenge in estrangement.
At this point, I have years of experience helping parents reconnect with their offspring. I have hundreds of stories to share, having learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t vicariously through my (now exclusively parent) clients.
Mike and I both love working with estranged parents. It’s unbelievably rewarding to support someone in breaking through to their kids with sincerity and compassion.
As a couple who have been lucky enough to avoid estrangement from our own parents or adult daughter, we can nevertheless imagine how easy it would be to find ourselves in that unenviable position. We have nothing but compassion for people experiencing the loss of connection that brought you here.
We’re honored to serve as your guides and hosts in The Reconnection Club, and we’re committed to helping you heal. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any ideas for improving the Club’s resources or the way we do things. Your satisfaction with your membership is our top priority.
Look for us in the Community pages and say hello if you see us. We both drop in regularly. For more about our approach and the aims of the Reconnection Club, check out our mission and values.
If you’re not yet a member, please stay in touch by joining our mailing list. We’d love to send you some resources to help you reconnect with your child.