In treatment of adolescents, Impact Letters are often misused explained Brad Reedy to Lon December 13, 2018. In treatment programs, Impact Letters are often asked of parents with children in a teatment program to communicate how the child’s actions have negatively impacted them. Reedy’s concerns come from the observation that often in practice, the focus becomes about the parent’s personal hurt from the child’s actions rather than support for how the child can do better.
When this happens, Reedy says the results he has seen often become a blaming of the child rather than expressing hope and intention on how the child can make better choices. The child might be filled with guilt temporarily from an Impact Letter from his/her parents, but that guilt can easily create other negative emotions and is ineffective in helping the child heal and make more positive decisions and choices.
Brad Reedy Ph.D. is the author of “The Journey of the Heroic Parent” and also is the Co-Founder and Clinical Director of Evoke Therapy Programs in Utah and Oregon.
Listen to Brad and Lon’s discussion of how Impact Letters can harm children.