Recently I have noticed a number of clients who have terribly damaged relationships with their parents. I don't mean the regular "mom is driving me crazy." It is a chronic and negative issue in their lives. How do you tell someone that it might be best for them to stop talking to their own mother. Or rather, how do you get someone to come to that conclusion themselves? This article doesn't really answer the question, but does address it.
When Parents Are Too Toxic to Toleratehttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/health/20mind.html?ref=health
Granted, no parent is perfect. And whining about parental failure, real or not, is practically an American pastime that keeps the therapeutic community dutifully employed.But just as there are ordinary good-enough parents who mysteriously produce a difficult child, there are some decent people who have the misfortune of having a truly toxic parent."