The Journey of The Heroic Parent
A couple of months ago, James Mason Centers for Recovery hosted an evening with Dr. Brad
Reedy, author of “The Journey of The Heroic Parent: Your Child’s Struggle & The Road Home.”
Our families enjoyed a catered dinner and shared the evening with other parents in the
community. Dr. Reedy brilliantly shared his philosophies, tools and insights as to how parent’s
can more effectively reach their struggling children. The event was well attended, and we
received much gratitude from our parents!
JMCR has now incorporated Dr. Reedy’s book into our group family therapy sessions. Each
family is given a copy of “The Journey of The Heroic Parent” when they enroll their child into our
program and a new chapter is discussed every other week in our multifamily session. The
concepts are easy to grasp, but powerful in their ability to empower parents to shift their
perspective in the way that can completely change how problems in the family are viewed and
You will without doubt want to read “The Journey of the Heroic Parent” yourself. Just to give a
small taste of some of the freedoms that it offers to (often struggling) parents…here is an
example of what you will find…
Effective parenting takes work and seemingly lots of it!, The twist is that it is not the kind of work
that most parents instinctively think is part of raising challenging children.
Let’s start with a question that Dr. reedy asks in his book.
“How can a parent create solutions for their children when the problems and solutions can be
found in their own emotions?”
Reedy points out that evaluating our own feelings can often feel like a detour in the process of
Dr. Reedy’s helps us understand that effective parenting is often about discovering and being
able to evaluate our own responses to circumstances involving our children. It’s very easy to
see our children’s actions, and to jump to correct them without looking inward and seeing what
part of our reaction might have more to do with us than the actions of our child. Perhaps these
emotions that come from our own past experiences are now coming to the surface and clouding
our view of the situation with our children. Understanding our own reactions, why we feel the
way we feel and taking time to do our own discovery on how our feelings may have contributed
to our conclusion could go a long way in allowing us to create better methods of communicating
with our child.
If we were able to see ourselves more clearly, could we then see our child more clearly? Might
it make a difference in our ability to connect with them and offer to them what they really need
from us? As parents, we often feel a multitude of (often overpowering) emotions. Fear, shame,
powerlessness and uncertainty are a few of the emotions that can lead us to make decisions
that may not ultimately be beneficial for our children. Many times our reactions and decisions,
when based on these feelings only create more of the same feelings both in the parent and the
child. The power of personal perspective can be very freeing as it allows us to break the cycles
and patterns in our relationships.
“We learn to understand different parts of ourselves—feelings, fears, old scripts,
external voices, guilt, imperatives, social pressures—and as we come to know