Tina Gilbertson, Estrangement Counselor
Years ago as a young adult, I found myself feeling unfulfilled. My life in New York City and my career in television should have been fun and exciting, but I wasn’t happy. I decided to seek counseling to find out what the heck was wrong with me.
My experience in therapy changed the course of my life.
I underwent a personal renaissance as my self-awareness deepened. I was using some of my aptitudes – reasoning, writing and teaching – in my work, but the most important element was still missing.
As my heart opened up to fully experience the pain of my career dissatisfaction, a desire to help and support others came to the fore. Service was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. That’s how I decided to become a therapist.
I opened my therapy practice in 2007 and published my first book in 2014. Since then I’ve been specializing in estrangement counseling, particularly for parents rejected by adult children, because no parent should ever have to lose a child for any reason. I find this work to be complex and gratifying.
I fell into this rewarding professional niche quite by accident after writing this blog post. Until I started hearing from scores of rejected parents in response to that post, I hadn’t realized how many people needed compassionate support and practical information to find their way back into the hearts and lives of their adult children.
Because I already had experience working with adults in therapy who had cut off — or were thinking of cutting off — their parents, I started out with access to a treasure trove of information about why people estrange from family. Over the years, I began to read every piece of research I could find on parent-child estrangement.
I’ve now worked with hundreds of people on both sides of parent-adult child estrangement. That experience, combined with my understanding of what we’re learning from the research, informs my approach as an estrangement counselor today.
I’m pleased to focus on working with parents, because they usually have more power than they realize to create positive changes with their children. As a stepparent myself, I often remind myself of the impact I have by virtue of that role. I’m lucky enough to be able to say that my stepdaughter has so far never chosen to estrange herself from her dad and me. Nor have I ever estranged myself from my own parents. Either situation would be a huge loss for me.
I’m the co-founder, with my husband Mike, of the Reconnection Club, an online school and support hub for parents estranged from one or more of their adult children. I also host a weekly podcast, The Reconnection Club Podcast, in which I explore topics of interest to rejected parents.
I hold a master’s degree in counseling psychology and am a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Oregon (C2577) and Colorado (LPC.0012737).
As a Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider (BC-TMH #0371) I’m pleased to offer online therapy and teletherapy (phone counseling) to residents of Colorado and Oregon.
Sorry, I do not work with any insurance companies as they don’t consider estrangement counseling to be “medically necessary.”
I love feedback. If you have comments about my website, books, articles or services, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I’m proud to be a member of the American Counseling Association.