The creation of my new book, Loving Hard-to-Love Parents: A Handbook for Adult Children of Difficult Older Parents, has been a journey of growth for me.
The journey began in late 2015, when the concept of CODOP (adult children of difficult older parents) congealed. I realized that I had worked consistently with adult children of difficult elders since opening my practice in 1982. Despite my total immersion in this work, I did not identify it as a discreet topic with its own body of knowledge until 2015.
Many reasons supported my decision to write a book about CODOP. My own practice had seen hundreds of real families who embodied this phenomenon. Working with these families had allowed me to learn their dilemma in depth, and observe which of their approaches were helpful and which were not. The results of my passing on track-proven approaches to subsequent families validated their robust utility. Finally, it was painfully obvious that the families who came through my practice were just a sliver of the population of families who needed these approaches. For all these reasons, I resolved to write a book.
In parallel with starting the book, I began speaking about CODOP to professional and lay audiences, and holding CODOP support groups. My confidence in the meaningfulness of the CODOP program was progressively strengthened by the strong positive response I found in these audiences.
Undertaking the book launched me onto a learning curve. I decided to forego the challenge of finding a publisher, and instead to self-publish. Of course, I had no idea how one does such a thing, so it was time to start exploring online and finding kind and knowledgeable people who would answer my hundreds of beginner’s questions. With their help, by fits and starts, I wrestled my new learning into this plan:
The journey included many emotions:
So, this has been my journey, my transition, into independent authorship. Like every transition, it involved learning new skills, processing many emotions, and putting in the raw work of time, effort, and money. Like everyone else in the world, I had to GROW INTO my next stage.
I have been very gratified by the book’s reception so far. There will be a gala launch party in late August at Belmont Village in Dallas. Stay tuned here for details as the date approaches. I hope you’ll attend!
“My passion is ensuring that every adult is mentally ready to succeed in all transitions that comprise the adult years. The meaning in my life comes from helping my patients see themselves, their situation, their future, and the entire world with new eyes and a newly courageous attitude.