126: When You are Estranged from Your Adult Child: How Did This Happen & How Do We Heal? with Tina Gilbertson

“As long as the factors that led your child to create distance remain in place, he or she will not be able to settle into an easy, relaxed, loving, and close relationship with you.” “What you do in response to estrangement very much matters and can make the difference between a prolonged estrangement and a healed one.” When children grow into adults, the nature of the parent-child relationship changes as well. On this episode, I talk with Tina Gilbertson, psychotherapist and author of Reconnecting with your Estranged Child. Her book is a quality, comprehensive resource and guide for parents who are ready and wanting to heal this rift that’s come between themselves and their adult child. Throughout our conversation, Tina offers profound compassion for parents and children with this type of strained relationship, along with tips on how to heal. She explains why it’s essential to allow your child space to grow, why they may have felt the estrangement was necessary, and how parents can reflect on the reasons why this estrangement occurred. About Tina Gilbertson: Located in Denver, CO, Tina works as a psychotherapist, speaker, and author of the book Reconnecting with your Estranged Child. She specializes in estrangement counseling, particularly for parents rejected by adult children. In 2019, Tina co-founded the Reconnection Club, where she offers education, community, and support to help estranged parents repair their estranged relationships with their adult children. Some Questions I Ask:
  • How were you drawn to this work? (2:43)
  • What does it mean to be estranged from your adult child? (6:38)
  • How does estrangement happen? (13:40)
  • Could you talk about the significance of unmet shared needs between an estranged parent and child? (22:21)
  • What are the do’s and don’ts for a parent with a child who has asserted a no-contact relationship? (34:58)
  • How can an estranged parent approach a child that’s been alienated from them at a young age? (40:50)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
  • What motivated Tina to write her book (2:10)
  • How parents still have power and influence within their relationships with their children. (5:58)
  • The various types of estrangement. (6:41)
  • What factors contribute to the estranged relationships between parents and children. (13:47)
  • How estrangement functions as an act of self-preservation. (20:31)
  • How finding self-compassion enables acceptance of others. (26:03)
  • Why contact is not the solution to estrangement. (27:36)
  • How parents can sit with and move through feelings of abandonment, panic, and desperation after a child goes no-contact. (35:14)
Connect with Tina Gilbertson: Website Reconnecting with your Estranged Adult Child by Tina Gilbertson Reconnection Club Website The Reconnection Club Podcast