Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a situation or problem that you sit down at your computer and desperately Google the most descriptive search words you can think of to get some help? I certainly have. When we reach that level of frustration we are usually looking for any perspective on the matter, be it expert or anecdotal. The best and most useful information comes from someone who has not only experienced what we are dealing with, but has developed that experience into useful guidance and advice.
I stumbled across the services of Dr. Joshua Coleman in my own frantic search for handling an estranged relationship with my adult children. I knew I had found a valuable resource and I vowed to share it with others who could benefit. His website invites a portion of his book, “When Parents Hurt” to be previewed at no cost. I quickly purchased my copy, read it, marked it up and reread it. At this moment I honestly cannot remember to whom I lent it last.
Dr. Coleman, as it turns out, is highly credentialed. He is a psychologist with a private practice able to write with empathy and candor because of his own estrangement with his adult daughter. He currently enjoys a good relationship with her allowing his insights to range from managing the hurt and indifference to maintaining the relationship once it is healed. I found his approach, based on establishing boundaries and refraining from conflict, to be sage and wise; albeit difficult. Human beings are designed to self defend and most estrangements involve an instance where that defense escalated out of control.
Estrangement is but one area where Dr. Coleman can be of help. He offers live teleseminars on timely issues such as marriage, raising children (including the unique challenges of twins) and getting husbands to be more involved in the home. He allows his listening audience to submit their specific questions in advance of the teleconference for address during the interactive part of the presentation. There is a fee for live participation and there is also an opportunity to purchase recordings of previous webinars.
If communication with others who are struggling with similar issues is helpful to you, Dr. Coleman’s forum area is filled with discussions and feedback on grandparenting, stepfamilies and harmonious living. Social issues such as the economic stress of unemployment and the increased demands on working mothers are also subjects of interest and comment.
An internationally known expert offering services geared to families, Dr. Coleman is in high demand on the speaker circuit and on television. He has appeared on everything from Good Morning America to Sesame Street. He is a frequent guest on local talk radio and produces a semi-monthly newsletter which can be subscribed to on his website, http://www.drjoshuacoleman.com