Desperately Seeking Parents

by Dr. Dathan Paterno

“Desperately Seeking Parents” is not my first book. In addition to my dissertation, I have written a collection of journal writing assignments for adolescents and young adults called The Take Home Therapist. But this really represents my first foray into something marketable.

The main idea of the book holds that parents have abdicated their role of authority in the family. They have allowed, for many reasons that I discuss, their children to “rule the roost”. Most parents would not acknowledge this (although many parents with whom I work have), but many children now perceive themselves as their parents’ peer. Unfortunately, many parents inadvertently support this point of view.

It is time that parents take back their families and reestablish a proper family hierarchy. In homes with a proper hierarchy, parents view and assert themselves as the primary authority in the home; their children are called to submit to this authority. When this happens, families run much more smoothly; children are better trained, better behaved, and actually develop better social skills.

“Desperately Seeking Parents” discusses why parents should be the authority, where this authority comes from, and how parents can assert (or reestablish) their proper role in the family.

Meet Dr. Dathan Paterno

Dr. Paterno affirms that all people are biological, social, and spiritual beings. He believes that all of these are relevant in assessing and responding to a person’s struggles. To ignore any of these facets of the personality, then, would be to ignore an essential facet of a person’s being, functioning, and suffering.

He adamantly denies the currently held myth that emotional disorders/problems are the result of genetically transmitted, biochemical imbalances. While he recognizes that biological factors are relevant to psychological/social/emotional problems, he sees “symptoms” as meaningful and purposeful, within the holistic context of the person. This means that almost all problems are essentially normal responses to abnormal situations.

Dr. Paterno denies that psychotropic medications are necessary, effective, or generally safe. Instead, he utilizes non-medical alternatives, which have been proven — in an ever-expanding body of research and also in his professional experience — to be largely more effective, safe, and humane.