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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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Any clue as to what i can do to reach out to a child with

Customer Question

Any clue as to what i can do to reach out to a child with borderline personality disorder who is angry with me at this time , but not justified?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 7 years ago.
Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. Your question is not closed until you are satisfied with the answer.

I suggest you read about Borderline Personality Disorder to learn appropriate interventions and responses to the borderline person when they become angry at you for no reason. There is an excellent book called STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS, which you can get at or any bookstore.

For the time being, however, you must not try to defend yourself. People with BPD act on their perceptions, not necessarily the truth, and they will not change those perceptions when challenged. In fact, even though it is counterintuitive, the best way to respond to them is with validation. Example: say something like "I can tell you are really angry at me. I must have done something really bad to you." Then you must be willing to listen to the diatribe that will surely come without--repeat without trying to set them straight or change their mind. You must just continue to agree that whatever they think you did was terrible and then ask them what you can do to regain their trust.

Not too many people can do this. Most of us really want to set the record straight and mount a defense, which is the worst thing you can do. If you think you will have difficulty with this policy, please read the book before you contact your daughter. Trying to fix things will only make them worse. Only after you are sure you can stay calm and listen to whatever she has to say, should you reach out and try to contact her. You need to start with an apology, tell her you want a relationship with her and let her vent to you.

This is difficult, but not impossible. Just make sure you have done your homework beforehand. I wish you the best.
Warm regards,
Carol Kryder LMFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I must reread the book , I have had it for a long time. Pleased with your answer --no one has quite put t that way that i need to be non defensive.

I have another question she has a daughter who will be 18 and i am estranged from her also. She is from what i hear very very bright and has finished her freshman year and is studying this summer in Japan. She wants to be a genetecist and has card blache scholarships.It seems she just goes along with her mom and I don't have any contact with her. Do you think there is some hope---sometime???? maybe

Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 7 years ago.
As long as your granddaughter is not borderline herself, there is definitely hope. You should contact her and try to clear the air.