Love and Relationship

By Rob Gent | Added June 18

Love and relationship is incredibly challenging, amazingly rewarding, and often simply terrifying.  There are no guarantees and those that need to experience the love are sometimes the most resistance.  This is the case for many families that enter into Calo.  Parents have continually provided loving touch, words of nurturing, and care only to experience the child pushing away and engaging in behaviors which feels in direct opposition to the love which is being offered.  Many parents have verbalized their frustration at the pure irrational act of a child refusing to be cared for and actually doing something to sabotage the love which is being so passionately given. 

One parent accurately described the feeling as though, The child is like a bowling ball with no finger holes.  No matter how much love is poured out or shown, there appears to be no penetration.  The parent expounded and said, Though I and others have saturated the child with love for so many years, it continues to run off the sides of the ball with no affect.  This is clearly a very hurtful, hopeless, and terrifying place for a parent to be.   

How does anyone experiencing this not ask why?  Say to themselves, Could I have done more or something different.  What has caused this that love and nurturing cannot overcome?  Why would this loveable being choose to hurt themselves and others around them? It just doesnt make sense that this child received love, safety, care, and nurturing and yet they choose to make their lives so awful, difficult, and scary.  These questions as well as countless like them come up in therapy constantly.  They are a normal response and a necessary part of the grieving and healing process.

It is an extremely bonding and healing moment when the parent can begin to authentically share these feelings with the therapist.  The hurt, frustration, anger, guilt, shame, and confusion associated with the child becomes a shared experience with the therapist and an intimacy which creates healing is formed.  These moments develop a connective therapeutic relationship from which the parents trust in the therapist to coach, guide, and lead the family into healthy, intimate, and genuine interactions.  As this relationship progresses, love and relationship become less terrifying, more accountable, incredibly gratifying, and amazing rewarding. 

About the Author

Rob Gent, MA, LPC Owner, Vice President of Training and Development

Originally from San Clemente, California Rob headed south to San Diego where he graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication. He then headed to the Midwest where he graduated with honors from Webster University with a Master of Arts in Counseling. Rob has had a passion for working with youth since he was in college. He feels extremely privileged to be able to participate in the emotional and behavioral growth of adolescents and their families. This passion led Rob to complete all of his practicum units at a child advocacy center where he became intimately experienced with the therapeutic healing and growth of children and their families faced with varies types of trauma and abuse. This invaluable experience motivated Rob to work in private practice where he specialized in testing, assessment, group therapy with adolescents in a school setting, and individual therapy. Being a part of CALO has allowed Rob to utilize his education, experience, and passion in a therapeutic environment focused on providing the highest quality of treatment. Rob lives in Osage Beach with his wife Katy and their sons Bailey and Riley.

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