When you hear the phrase “stages of estrangement,” your mind probably goes to your adult child. “What will s/he do at each stage?,” you might ask. Or, “What am I in for?”
I recently wrote five articles on my new theory of stages of estrangement.
They outline not the stages that every estrangement goes through — nobody knows whether such stages even exist — but rather stages that YOU are likely to experience emotionally when your adult child rejects you.
As a therapist specializing in parent-adult child estrangement, I’ve watched parents go through predictable passages when an adult child becomes estranged.
For your convenience, this page links to all five posts in the series I wrote for PsychologyToday.com. Please read them in order if you can; they make the most sense in the context of a process.
Just remember that, like the well-known stages of grief, these don’t necessarily represent a linear or even a continuous process.
Different people experience these stages differently. They may stay in the same stage for years. They may entirely skip a stage. They may circle back to a stage they’ve already experienced, repeatedly.
Here are the stages in order:
What do you think of these stages? Do any of them feel familiar?Five predictable stages of estrangement for parents cut off by an adult child.
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