Do you need help dealing with your Toxic Parents?

Then it's time to take action! Book your free Discovery Session with me today and lets talk about how you can begin to make the changes you need to get your life back in your control.

I have helped many people transform their relationships with their parents in ways that they never thought were possible. 

I want to help you do it too. 

Book your free, 20 minute Discovery Session now!

This is a recording of a webinar from 2014 which explains the effect of toxic parents and gives you tips and strategies to help you deal with them.

This video has clocked up well over 1000 views on youtube. I hope it helps you too.

"Thank you Kerry for addressing such an important topic. It's something that's not being talked about, it's like a big elephant in the room that nobody wants to see. 

I feel like you described me personally in your presentation.

To anyone looking in from the outside, it would look like I was the one with the issues but those close to me know and understand just how toxic my family is. Thank you for the validation that it's not 'just me'."


Toxic Parents: How do you know if it's time to let go?

Our parents are the ones who should love us the most.

So we think and so we believe and in an ideal world, it would be true.

In our hearts and in our minds, we WANT it to be true.

But sometimes it isn’t.

Sometimes for whatever reason, we as adults come to understand, maybe after years of guilt, frustration, hurt, emotional abuse and manipulation, financial burdens or relationship break ups and lots of disappointment that one or both of our parents are toxic people.

As much as we wish they were different. As much as we long to believe that they do really love us and care about us and will be there for us, when you have a toxic parent, there will come a day when you have to face the facts.

Our relationship with them is full of emotional, physical and spiritual poison and it feels like it’s killing us.

By definition, any toxic relationship is primarily characterized by actions and behaviours that are emotionally damaging. It is riddled with feelings of guilt, insecurity, self-centredness, control, manipulation, insult and threat.

A healthy relationship is one where there is mutual love, caring, respect and compassion, where there is care for the welfare and well-being of the other, where we feel loved and accepted for who we are and the relationship feels SAFE.

A toxic relationship does NOT feel safe.

It feels anxious and destructive and drains us emotionally, physically and spiritually.

It feels like a burden, an obligation and a trap and because it’s our parents, it’s not generally a relationship that we talk about or even consider ending.

It’s acceptable to divorce your partner, it’s acceptable and encouraged to leave any sort of toxic, abusive relationship in fact, it is actively encouraged, EXCEPT when the toxic person is your parent.

That’s where the guilt really kicks in!

This is the person who helped create you and shape you and gave you life.

This is the person who raised you and put a roof over your head and put you through school.

This is the person who is supposed to love you the most and always be there for you and love you no matter what.

But instead, your parent is the person who is constantly criticizing you, who is always putting you down and manipulating you with guilt.

This is the person who is telling lies about you and to you, sabotaging your relationships, attempting to control you and demanding all of your time and your energy.

This is the person who is spiteful, malicious, contemptuous or impossible to please.

This is the person who always lets you down, who breaks promises and is unreliable and tells you that you are never good enough.

This is the person who who will not be happy until your life is as miserable and unhappy as their own.

You cannot appeal to your toxic parent’s better nature and hope they will “get it”.

You cannot reason with them or depend on them.

They do not care how tired you are, how sick you are, how overwhelmed you are. They want what they want when they want it.

Loving your toxic parent will not protect you from who they are or how they behave.

Being the best daughter or son in the world will not change your toxic parent or make them finally approve of you.

A truly toxic parent has no concern about what his or her behavior does to you or those around you. They will have no hesitation in destroying your mood, your relationships, your finances, your goals or your physical or emotional health.

In my clinical practice, I have had many clients who are the victims of toxic parents.

  • Parents who pit one child against the other.
  • Parents who delight in planting seeds of malice and mistrust and doubt.
  • Parents who see their adult children as competition or who are jealous and resentful of their success or relationships or family or lifestyles.
  • Parents who want to keep dragging their child down into their own pit of misery and bitterness and addiction.

If you found a venomous snake in your house, you wouldn’t reason with it, analyze it, google it to see if perhaps you were doing something to attract it in the first place.

You would take action to get it out of your life!

A toxic relationship with your parent needs you to take action!

This doesn’t mean it will be easy because it won’t. It will be one of the most difficult things you have ever done.

  • It will involve dealing with masses of guilt and lots of soul searching and tears.
  • It will mean finally giving up the dream that you can have a close, loving relationship with your parent and giving up those dreams brings feelings of grief and loss.
  • It will mean risking the disapproval of extended family and friends and may cost you some relationships from people who cannot accept your choices.
  • It will mean making a decision on the action you will take that will make you feel as safe as you can be when dealing with your toxic parent.
  • It will mean deciding how much of a relationship you will have, setting strong boundaries and doing what you can to protect yourself and limit the toxic fallout.

The GOOD news is, it can be done but you WILL need support, understanding, clarity, good advice and lots and lots of self love!

Here are some tips to help you start the process:

Accept the fact that you cannot change your toxic parent. 

You know this logically but you really need to get this emotionally. This is the way they are and it has NOTHING to do with you!

You may have been trying to figure them out for years, looking for the way to make things right, trying to find the right words to please them but what you need now is to just accept that this is who they are.

It is not your job or your task or your responsibility to change them into who you want them to be or who you think they should be. Accept your toxic parent exactly the way he or she is right now.

Don’t give in to guilt.

Toxic parents are experts at manipulation and their key weapon is guilt. They have spent years knowing exactly which button to push and when to get the result they want.

You may have been trained for years to put their feelings before your own or have given in to them to keep the peace. Ask yourself this question: “Am I making my parent’s feelings and needs more important than my own?”

Guilt is a method of controlling you and making you do what they want. Learn to recognize when you are being manipulated by guilt and refuse to take it on board. If you have trouble with this, get help.

Years of chronic guilt is difficult to overcome as you may not be able to see things clearly and guilt is often associated with strong anxiety, which is why when you give in to guilt, it initially feels better as the anxiety goes away. However, this is usually followed by resentment and anger and more anxiety.

Limit contact with your toxic parent wherever possible.

Decide how much contact you can handle with your parent and start setting boundaries.
Make or take less phone calls. Let it go to voice mail or set a time limit for the length of calls.

Make yourself less available. You need to honour your own time, relationships and limits.
Learn to say “no” by starting small and working up to bigger things.

Again and I can’t stress this enough: dealing with a toxic parent, taking actions steps is NOT EASY. But IT MUST BE DONE!

  • For your emotional and physical health.
  • For your happiness and well being.
  • For your relationships with your partner and your children and your life.
  • For your right to live the best possible life you can have, in safety and peace and love.

You are not responsible for your parents happiness.
You are not here to live the life they want you to live.
You are not here to live up to your parents expectations or dreams. You are here to live your own dreams.
You are not here to sacrifice yourself for them. They as adults have made their own choices and will continue to do so.

Here are some tough questions you have to ask yourself:

  • Am I willing to sacrifice my own health and happiness for my toxic parent?
  • Am I willing to sacrifice my relationship with my partner for my toxic parent?
  • Am I willing to sacrifice my job or my income or my finances for my toxic parent?
  • Am I willing to give up my dreams and my needs and my career for my toxic parent?

Ultimately, this IS your decision, it IS your choice even though at the moment it may feel that you have no choice at all.

If you need help to find your choices, to explore your options and get help and support in your relationship with your parents, I will help you find your way and do as much as I can to help you take the steps to freeing yourself from your toxic relationship. One little step at a time.

It will be challenging, it may be full of sadness and grief and fear but you can do it! I have seen relationships change in amazing ways and sometimes, in ways people never thought possible!

Have a look around my website and if my work feels like a fit to you, contact me so we can talk about how I can help you free yourself from your toxic parent and live your life on your terms.

Kerry Jeffery ©2014.



My most popular Blog Posts

The only question you need to ask yourself.

What most of us don’t really realize is that to our subconscious mind, everything we think is real.

When you imagine an event, your subconscious mind cues your body to create the chemical reactions that create your emotions including anxiety, happiness and everything else in between.

Worrying is essentially telling ourselves a scary story that our bodies react to as if it were real and anyone who has ever been stuck in worry story, can testify as to the very real affect it has on our bodies and our emotions.

So many of the things that we react to are really nothing more than a story in our heads.

“I don’t think she really likes me.”

“Maybe he thinks that I’m rejecting him.”

“If I fail, it’s going to be a disaster.”

Get the picture?

All of these types of thoughts whether it’s worry about what someone thinks of us or labeling ourselves and our behaviours, is just a story about what we imagine may happen or may be real.

Read the rest of the blog here.

Are you stuck in anxiety, depression or worry about what other people think?

This blog will help you.

Do you suffer from "Self-Limited Happiness Syndrome?"


It’s the ultimate thing that we all want isn’t it?

“Being happier” is one of the key goals that sends many of my clients to work with me.

They want to “feel happier” about their bodies, relationships, jobs and lives.

The funny thing that happens when we start examining exactly what “happier” means to them, is that all these fears, anxieties and limitations about happiness start coming up.

The biggest and most self-limiting belief goes something like this:

“If I really allow myself to feel happy, then when my life turns back to shit, it will hurt too much and I won’t survive it.”

When we dig a little deeper, the logic behind this belief becomes something like this:

I know how to deal with being unhappy or lonely or depressed. I know the rules, I know what to expect, it’s familiar and there is something safe about it, even though I feel miserable.

But if I let myself get too happy, if I starting believing that happiness can last, if I start getting too comfortable feeling good or loved or looking forward to things, if I get dumped, if I am rejected, if I am disappointed or deceived or wrong, I can never go back to how I was before I knew what real happiness was like.

I will know what I have lost and what if I can never be that happy again?

I will end up worse off than I was before.”

Read the rest of the blog here

Do you self-sabotage your happiness and peace or are you scared that the happiness you have now will not last?

This blog will help.

Think you can't sleep? Why your Sleep Beliefs are keeping you awake.

We all know that feeling. Tossing and turning. Looking at the clock and mentally adding up just how many hours sleep we could get before the alarm goes off if we could JUST GET TO SLEEP NOW!

Waking up in the morning feeling tired, cranky and very sleep deprived and thinking thoughts like “I haven’t had enough sleep. Why can’t I sleep? If I just had more sleep I would feel SO much better.” Every night worrying about not getting to sleep, not staying asleep or not getting enough sleep.  Sound familiar?

You have tried hot milk, alcohol, counting sheep and even sleeping tablets but you are still having trouble getting to sleep, getting enough sleep and staying asleep.

It’s time to go to the source of the problem. It’s time to start changing your thoughts and beliefs about you and sleep from you + sleep = trouble to you + sleep = peace.

Read the rest of the blog here

"Busy" brain, insomnia or belief that you just can't sleep?

This blog will help.

Free Hypnotherapy Mp3.

If you are having trouble sleeping, switching off your

"worry mind" or just need to feel deeply relaxed,

comfortable and calm, this hypnotherapy MP3 will help

you do just that.

Download it here from Drop Box to your computer and


Deep Sleep Mp3

Recommended Reading.

I love books and reading has always been an important, rewarding and enriching part of my life.

Here are my Top 3 Most Essential Books and in the spirit of transparency, these are linked to my affiliate account at the Book Depository.

Since I found the Book Depository a few years ago and discovered that they ship free to anywhere in the world, my book collection has been growing rapidly and I have been sending everyone I know to them.

Becoming an affiliate was the next logical step. Click on the book cover image for the link.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay is the book that I credit as a major step and inspiration in my journey to get from where I was, to the life and career I have now. Reading this amazing book and actively working its principles made such a huge, positive change to my life at a very difficult time. It also sent me in search of finding a therapist who could work with me using her amazing principles.

I didn't find that person, but I became certified as a Workshop Leader and Life Coach and thus began my journey.

Why do I love it?

Louise writes simply, using practical advice with a positive, spiritual approach to life, work, forgiveness and the immeasurable power of learning self-love.

You can get the plain print edition but this is the one I own. I love the gorgeous, full color illustrations on every page. It feels lavish, lush and beautiful.

Louise will take you by the hand and lead you through every area of your life with simple yet powerful steps, new beliefs and challenges to get you looking at your life in a very different way.

From page 9: "We are each responsible for all of our experiences. Every thought we think is creating our future. The point of power is always in the present moment. Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt. The bottom line for everyone is 'I'm not good enough.' It is only a thought and a thought can be changed." Louise Hay.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is one of those simple books full of profound wisdom. We have so many ways of making ourselves suffer by how we think and how we choose to see the world.

Why do I love it?

The 4 Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
  2. Don't Take Anything Personally
  3. Don't Make Assumptions
  4. Always Do Your Best

Don Miguel Ruiz gives clear examples of the power of each of these agreements to change your life for the better.

From page 92 "Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self-pity, suffering and tears." Don Miguel Ruiz

I love Byron Katie and use many of her techniques in my therapy. Her simple but powerful technique that she calls "The Work" is capable of eliminating so much of the pain, anxiety and suffering that we unknowingly inflict upon ourselves.

Why do I love it? This book gives chapter after chapter of case studies with Byron using the work with real clients and very common thoughts and beliefs.

From the back cover:

"This book is a collection of fifteen dialogues with Byron Katie. Some of the people who worked with Katie had painful illnesses, others were lovelorn or in messy divorces, some were simply irritated with a co-worker or worried about money. What they all had in common was a willingness to question with Katie's help, the painful thoughts that are the true causes of all suffering."

Powerful and transformative techniques that once learned, you can easily apply to your own life.