Children of the Rich



Growing up rich is not an unmixed blessing. Great wealth has undoubted benefits, but it is not good for children. It distorts their functional relationship with the world, it belittles their own accomplishments, and it grotesquely amplifies their sense of what is good enough. It is addictive. Wealth may even become a barrier to a relationship with a therapist. One job of a therapist to the rich is to teach people how to be middle class and to achieve moderately, and to teach rich parents to accept such unmagnificent normality. The rich, of course, have all the same problems other people have, perhaps complicated by the wealth, perhaps just frustratingly unrelieved by the wealth. Suggestions are made for treating these unfortunate victims of excess and for overcoming the therapist's naïve counter-transference reactions to the families of the rich.