Parenting can be fulfilling and life affirming, full of moments of joy and connection, but it can also be frustrating, exhausting and emotionally draining. There are times when buttons are pressed and we respond in ways that we later regret. We want the best for our children but can struggle to connect and struggle to believe in ourselves as good enough parents.
Through therapeutic parenting, you learn how to strengthen your relationship with your child. Understanding how you can effectively meet the needs that lie underneath the challenging behaviours, especially where traditional discipline doesn’t appear to work. Parents are encouraged to use PACE (being playful, accepting, curious and empathic). Consequently, parents become therapeutic parents which in time enables the family to enjoy healthy loving relationships.
Separating parents can also benefit from support. I can help parents work out how they can separate in the best way possible for their children. Then having a co-operative parenting relationship based on trust and open communication.
Therapeutic parenting may include one to one work with parents, or involve the child in the form of parent-child attachment work, Filial Therapy or DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy).
Filial Therapy is a psychoeducational family intervention in which the therapist trains and supervises parents as they have special child-centred play sessions with their own children. It can reduce challenging behaviours, improve parent-child relationships, and strengthen the family as a whole. It can be helpful for anxiety, depression, abuse/neglect, single parenting, adoption/foster-care, attachment disruptions, high conflict divorce, family substance abuse, traumatic events, oppositional behaviour, anger/ aggression problems, chronic medical illness, ASD, step-parenting and blended family difficulties.
Sessions take place each week for an hour. The parents initially meet separately with the therapist before play sessions with the child.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy – DDP
DDP involves the therapist helping family members to develop healthy patterns of relating and communicating so all feel safe and connected. Children can then be helped to integrate the impact of experiences of trauma and loss, increase abilities to regulate emotional states, improve reflective functioning and socialise adults and peers.
These are achieved by helping parents with day-to-day parenting based on principles of PACE, as well as through therapeutic session.
Safety and connection leads to a reduction in the level of fear, shame or coercion that family member’s experience. Family members learn to be open to each other’s inner life, as well as the outwards behaviour. This builds safety and develops reciprocal relationships. All members of the family learn to cooperate and shared meaning is given to family experiences.
Sessions take place each week for an hour. The parents initially meet separately with the therapist before sessions with the child.