This paper describes how a psychodynamic therapist can work productively with the parents of adolescents and children in psychotherapy, even when the parents resist treatment. It also discusses some of the difficulties and frustrations therapists face in working with resistant parents who, in fact, are not their patients, suggesting how therapists can better understand and empathize with resistant parents and their conflicts. The issue of and the reasons for the parents’ anger toward the therapist are explored, and techniques for improving the positive therapeutic relationship with them are discussed. Clinical vignettes give examples of parents who can not set limits, parents who are depriving toward their children, and parents whose own psychopathology interferes with their child’s therapy. Recommendations for the therapist are also given.
Keywords: Parents, Psychotherapy, Children, Adolescents, Resistance, Treatment