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Estrangement is a separation from family members, spouse, social group or another group like work colleagues. As well as being a painful process to go through, it is an experience not fully understood by people who haven't experienced this as well as by our wider society.

Even though estranging oneself from spouse or friends, and especially family members is taboo, it can still be a healthy choice. 

There are different ways we can estrange ourselves - infrequent contact, email or phone contact only or complete end to contact. 

Estrangement may be permanent or for a certain length of time.  A temporary estrangement can provide a chance to work on healing ourselves; sometimes then deciding to extend an estrangement or make it permanent. Or to return to the relationship with a new way of relating which shifts the dynamic.

Counselling support can be useful for people going through this process. 

Adult children who have been raised by addicted, narcissistic, absent or traumatised parents may need support to avoid repeating this pattern in future relationships. 

Parents from whom adult children have absented themselves may feel confused as to why this has occurred.

At together together we have a great deal of experience of working with estrangement and understand that this is a challenging process which is benefitted by therapeutic support. Often a great deal of suffering has preceded the decision to estrange.

Those of us who have ‘parented’ our own parents, disassociated in order to protect ourselves, conformed or acted out in adapting to the needs of others, will then need support in rediscovering their healthy self. We may have been raised with an external focus to look after others and need more self focus. Ultimately, counselling or group work can provide exposure to a healthy relationship which can then be internalised, offering an alternative to the dysfunctional internalised parent.

If you would like support with estrangement on a one-to-one basis or by joining a group or workshop, email together together using this link.

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