Psychological Self-Help

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responding to frustration with intense, sudden, inexplicable violent rage. Even
these children can usually be effectively taught needed skills and dealt with in
loving ways. An example of an effective treatment is given in the next
Several more Websites offer information about discipline:
A huge meta-analysis (Skowron & Reinemann, 2005) assessing the
effectiveness of 21 psychological treatment programs done between 1974 and
2000 and designed to help the child—and the parents--cope with various
kinds of child maltreatment. As you can imagine, there were different
treatment methods, many different reactions to the abuse by the child,
various ways of measuring outcome of treatment, different research designs,
some families volunteered and some were mandated, and so on. It is a
complex analysis. What were the overall conclusions? After getting treated,
71% of the participants were judged to be functioning better than individuals
in the untreated matched control groups. The treatments were considered by
the researchers to be moderately effective, but not highly effective. Look at it
this way, if the assorted treatments given to half of the 964 families in this
analysis had not been helped at all by the treatments, only 50% of the
treated subjects would, in that case, be doing better than the control
subjects. The consequences of maltreatment are very difficult problems to
solve so we should be thankful for small improvements. But massive research
is needed before we can dependably be highly helpful. Much better treatment
is needed.
In 2000, almost a million children were officially judged to have been
mistreated and of those about 483,450 received psychological treatment. All
of them should have been helped. Keep in mind that the goal is not to
eliminate all anger within a family…the goal is to avoid the harmful, hateful,
brutal aspects by developing an understanding the child’s or the parent’s
behavior and by finding more rational and reasonable ways to reacting to
them. Anger doesn’t have to belittle or hurt others. Lynn Namka
( ), Berthold Berg, Ron Potter-Efron, Bernard
Golden, and many other child/teen experts have written about families
“getting the mads out” using “healthy anger.” (See
Daniel Sonkin's (1992), Wounded Boys, Heroic Men, is a good book for men
who were abused as boys and want to deal with the left-over consequences.
For information about abuse resulting from a parent's addiction, go to
chapters 4 and 9. For more information about child sexual abuse and incest,
also go to chapter 9. 
Parent-teenager conflicts
About 60% of the students in my college classes had gone through
difficult conflicts with their parents (the others had acceptable or good
relations). This is the usual sequence: until puberty there is a closeness with
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