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The Uncontrollable Child: Understand and Manage Your Child's Disruptive Moods with Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills
Matisyahu Miller, LCSW | Foreword by Judith Beck, PhD
New Harbinger / Softcover / 2021-04-01 / 1684036860
Families and Parenting
price: $27.95
216 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Evidence-based skills, insight, and methods drawn from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help you gain a greater understanding of your child’s behavior, parent them with compassion and confidence, and restore peace to your home.

Is your child extremely irritable most of the time? Do they have difficulty interpreting social cues? Are they impulsive and prone to outbursts or explosive rages? Parenting a child who has emotional dysregulation can be a bumpy ride. You’ve probably received advice—some of it unsolicited—from friends, teachers, and family members. But strategies and techniques that work for other kids are usually ineffective when it comes to your unique child, and can even lead to more stress for everyone in your family. The Uncontrollable Child is here to help.

Written for parents of children with emotion dysregulation disorders, including disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), The Uncontrollable Child is a lifeline. It contains a powerful set of skills based in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)—including mindfulness, validation, limit-setting, and behavior-shaping—to help you better understand your child and their behavior, and successfully find balance between acceptance and change, flexibility and consistency, and limits and love.

As a parent, you want the very best for your child, but if you have a child with explosive emotions, you need extra help. Let this book guide you toward creating a nurturing, healthy, and loving environment in which your whole family can thrive.


“This is an enormously helpful book for parents struggling with out-of-control kids. Grounded solidly in research, it offers practical and useful advice that can really help parents manage their own emotions and the emotions of their spirited children. It starts by first calming parents and offering a realistic and highly useful plan. Buy this book!”
—John Gottman, PhD, author of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

“Matis Miller’s book is a gift for parents of sensitive, emotional, and sometimes impulsive children. His examples of complicated family life ring true, capturing excruciating dilemmas recognizable to most parents. His well-informed suggestions are compassionate, elegant, and practical. The Uncontrollable Child is a deceptively easy-to-read masterpiece that weaves together behavioral theory, dialectical principles, and evidence-based practices from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) into loving, effective parenting strategies. Miller will help parents survive and solve rigid, polarized parenting traps.”
—Charles Swenson, MD, psychiatrist in private practice, and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

The Uncontrollable Child is an instrumental resource for your parenting reference library. Matis Miller offers clear and thoughtful concepts, and effective navigational tools for some of the most challenging issues in the province of parenting; beautifully illustrating the power of integrating opposites: acceptance and change. He reminds us that the greatest gift we can give our child is a healthy parent.”
—Wendy Terrie Behary, director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The Schema Therapy Institutes of NJ-NYC and DC; author of Disarming the Narcissist; expert; and educator

“Many parents and children struggle with miscommunication, escalating emotions, and struggles around cooperation (or the lack of it). Too often the solutions are to blame someone (sometimes the parent, sometimes the child) and put a lot of work into trying to change the one being blamed. Fortunately, Matis Miller offers a far more useful, and less blaming, approach that balances acceptance and mindfulness with change and learning principles. By understanding these problems as residing primarily in parent-child transactions, he offers a bounty of practical, skill-based interventions largely based on DBT—without judgment or blame. These approaches can be useful for all parents, whether behavior difficulties are ordinary or regularly out of control. Matis provides clear instructions for parents that will be helpful to any family!”
—Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD, professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, and author of The High-Conflict Couple

“Matis Miller’s The Uncontrollable Child is a uniquely valuable guide to parenting dysregulated children. Given the rise in childhood mood and conduct disorders in recent years, this book provides highly practical, evidence-based strategies that are firmly grounded in a deep understanding of the complex thoughts and beliefs that inform mastering the art of finding the balance between love and limits. I highly recommend this book for all parents.”
—David Pelcovitz, PhD, Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University in New York, NY

“Matis Miller’s outstanding The Uncontrollable Child brings hope to parents of difficult children. It guides parents in parenting their children with balance and love rather than control and force.”
—Rabbi Yechiel I. Perr, president and dean of Derech Ayson Rabbinical Seminary in Far Rockaway, NY

The Uncontrollable Child by Matis Miller is a distillation of his mastery of the field and his years of experience into an accessible, easy-to-follow parenting manual for the child who, until now, was seemingly uncontrollable. He empowers parents through a clear and methodical journey to understanding the inner workings of their child, their emotions, and their behavior based on the tenets of DBT—and how to change them.”
—Samuel D. Mandelman, PhD, developmental psychologist at the Institute for Cognition and Learning in Brooklyn, NY

About the Author:

Matis Miller, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker, and certified cognitive and dialectical behavior therapist with more than fifteen years of experience. He is founder, director, and supervisor of The Center for Cognitive & Behavioral Therapy of New Jersey. His educational and training background includes certification in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) from the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and intensive training at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Miller has also been awarded certification from the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). He is a seasoned lecturer on CBT- and DBT-related topics—addressing parents, clients, and professionals—and is presently focused primarily on supervision, education, and consultations.

Judith S. Beck, PhD, is director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and past president of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Daughter of influential founder of cognitive therapy, Aaron T. Beck, Beck is author of The Beck Diet Solution.

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