Angry Daughter’s Behavior Causing Trouble

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My 20 year old daughter has had some anger issues for the last 12 + years – I do wonder if the onset of menses was a trigger? Key issues are separation of parents when she was 6 and pregnancy/termination when 16. She blames me for all issues and basically sees everyone else as stupid and wrong. We are all treated with contempt and subject to verbal abuse, slamming doors etc. Anger gets taken out on objects sometimes, she will lash out at her older sister in particular. I am not sure what to do to help her. Because she blames everyone else she won’t try to work on self control or attend therapy with me. She is seeing a therapist but I’m not seeing any significant improvement 5 months later. I need help working out whether there is a medical issue, whether I should be harder on her (throw her out?) – something has to change as it is causing issues in my relationship with my partner and my 22 year old son who has aspergers is really struggling to cope.

A. You said that your daughter is in treatment but that you are not seeing any significant improvements after five months. Your daughter is unwilling to attend therapy with you but perhaps she would allow you to attend therapy with her. I suspect that this problem likely involves problematic family dynamics and is more complicated than you realize. Also, keep in mind that she’s only been in treatment for five months. It may be too soon to expect serious changes in your daughter’s behavior.

It would be in your best interest to consult a professional in this situation. It could be a family therapist or an individual therapist. The therapist could assist you in determining the best course of action. You suggested that your daughter attend therapy with you but she is unwilling. Her behavior is negatively affecting the family and thus something has to change. If she won’t change her behavior, then you must change yours, so that you can attempt to improve the situation. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Mar 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Angry Daughter’s Behavior Causing Trouble. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/03/09/angry-daughters-behavior-causing-trouble/