Empowering Today’s Parental Authority Figures

Ron Taffel on What Families Can't Function Without

The days of children being seen and not heard are long gone–a change that’s welcome in most modern families. Now, however, kids and teens are increasingly expressing themselves through extensive online social networks, which open them up to new spheres of influence that challenge parental authority in an unprecedented way.

Held hostage by the fear of pushing their children further into a family-supplanting youth culture, parents struggle to emotionally support their children while also challenging problematic behaviors with moral guidance. As therapists, we need to be able to exercise our own authority in helping parents confront their fears and step up to the plate.

Ron Taffel’s non-blaming, empowering approach to helping parents directly addresses the blurred lines of authority that are making our clients feel disempowered and anxious. In this quick clip, he discusses the therapist’s role in dealing with the lack of essential authority in today’s families.



Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.

Ron Taffel

Ron Taffel, PhD, is Chair, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in NYC, the author of eight books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.