Ineke van Rijsselberg, ‘The role of haptotherapy in treating parentification’,, International Journal of Haptonomy & Haptotherapy (07/31/19)

Appropriate therapy

In this article is argued that the problems an adult parentified in his childhood faces, within his intimate relationships, friendships and working relationships, can be positively influenced through haptotherapy. Clients will be able to regain the developmental deficiencies and by growing inner awareness learn to change the patterns parentification caused. (…) Parentification occurs when children take on the role of the parent in situations where parents are incapable of taking on this role themselves. (…) For nearly a quarter of adult psychiatric patients parentification is the primary cause of their illness. (…) Haptotherapy seems to be an appropriate therapy for parentified adults who experience difficulty dealing with pressure, burnout, mood or anxiety problems, trauma or lack of confidence. If severe trauma or a personality disorder and parentification are involved, the haptotherapist can be invited to work within the already existing treatment team. For parentificated children, haptotherapy can also be a meaningful addition to their existing treatment.