On February 15, 2016, I convened a focus group of several CODOPs (Children of Difficult Older Parents). Now, I have worked with hundreds of CODOPs over my 30+ years of psychology practice. These have been adult children of mean moms, of controlling parents, of alcoholic dads, of narcissistic mothers, etc. Yet, the focus group was my first opportunity to ask CODOPs who had not sought out psychotherapy with me one burning question, “What are your biggest issues and needs related to having a difficult older parent?”
Here is what I learned from them.
The following experiences typify life as a CODOP.
CODOPs are hungry for help. They articulated their desire for:
I am grateful to the focus group members for sharing so openly with me and the other participants. Their input reinforced and deepened my understanding of their struggle. Their contributions are helping shape my work of building a supportive community of CODOPs in Dallas.
If you are, or know, a child of a difficult older parent, I hope you will connect with me about how to join our community. It is free of charge, and I am confident that it will prove valuable to participants. Just give me a call, or use the contact page on this website. I look forward to hearing from you.
“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.