I have been writing about power struggles for over twenty years. It began with patients of mine asking if they could take notes in sessions, or asking me to write out the power struggle model. The essence of the power struggle model is learning to identify those things one can control and then keeping one’s energy focused only on those things.
The model began to develop when I recognized that sometimes it seemed to work very well, and other times it seemed to fall far short of my expectations. By studying the times that it did not work out so well, I decided that two rules were needed. After a while I realized that there were times the power struggle model did not work, even when I followed the two rules. I studied the times the model did not work and eventually arrived at four rules that need to be in place for the power struggle to work, every time!
I have worked as a therapist in one form or another for over thirty-two years. I began working as a probation officer and have continued to work with families and adolescents with problems ever since. For many years now, I have been considered an expert in how to deal with crisis in families and difficulties with children and adolescents, and specifically the issue of power struggles.
Now the acid test! My seventeen year old has decided that he does not have to follow rules and that he knows everything he needs to know to make his way in the world. He has decided not to live at home, and to attend school only when the mood strikes him. He is currently living in a location or locations unknown to me and only rarely responds to my