Title

From Every Direction: Guilt, Shame, and Blame Among Parents of Adolescents with Co-occurring Challenges

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-15-2015

Abstract

This article explores the results of a qualitative inquiry into guilt, blame, and shame as experienced by parents of children with co-occurring mental health and substance use challenges. These interviews represent both the lived experience of parents, as well as the perspective of clinicians who work with these families. The parent–clinician alliance is taken as a central context for considering how these experiences may affect the dynamics of the helping relationship. Analyses of these results suggest that guilt, blame, and shame are often experienced by parents and have important implications for engagement and therapeutic processes. Parents associate feelings of blame with interactions from a number of helping professionals and connect personal characteristics, parenting behaviors, and relationship issues with experiences of shame and guilt surrounding their children’s behavioral health challenges. Finally, the information that is shared across these interviews is used to guide the development of a number of practice guidelines for social workers who work with families of adolescents that experience co-occurring mental health and substance use issues.

Publication Name

Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

Volume Number

32

First Page

443

Last Page

454

Issue Number

5

DOI

10.1007/s10560-015-0381-9

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