Metacommunication will end as quickly as it started, and family behavior may actually deteriorate even further. One’s initial approach to the targeted other is usually critical in determining one’s ultimate success or failure at any given attempt at metacommunication.
However, if I seem to get in trouble with escalating negativity from the patient playing the targeted other even while employing the usual countermeasures, I know that I should stop, and try a different initial approach.
If a direct confrontation is to succeed, there can be no sense whatever that the conversation is an adversarial proceeding. Adult children must remain absolutely empathic and say nothing that clearly suggests that their parents are to blame for their own problems, even if they had been severely abused. The best way to start such a confrontation is to employ disclaimers. The use of disclaimers was discussed in a previous post.