As a parent myself, I understand that desire to want to fix everything, and the distress you feel when your child is struggling; it can be hard to connect with others that can empathize with what you and your child might be experiencing, but you don’t have to go through feeling confused, frustrated, or afraid for your child, by yourself. Sometimes therapy is helpful for children and teens to learn to work through their feelings, navigate their social world, or recognize and change unhealthy behavior patterns, BUT, sometimes, parents need help being in control AND supportive. Counseling for supportive parenting is specifically aimed at helping the parent identify their own sources of anxiety and frustration that might stem from their upbringing or the society at large, and working to let go of the need to control, fix, and prevent suffering at all costs. Parents will learn to allow children to experience natural consequences and how and when to provide support. No, your child didn’t come with a handbook, and yes, we are all just doing the best we can, but give me a call if you want or need to do something better for your child.
Many young people have their own ideas about their needs and how therapy can be helpful. In order to facilitate the therapeutic relationship and establish rapport, time is spent individually with the client for most. For younger clients, the parent’s presence is occasionally requested and the therapist may use the presence of the parent to facilitate the process by reinforcing skills or sharing personal and family values. During these sessions, the therapist models supportive communication skills and thoughtfully guides the parent. This approach can be very effective for resolving acute problems and often strengths the parent/child relationship. Older teens will likely spend more time in individual treatment; however, the therapist will check in with the parent regularly to obtain information regarding progress and behaviors observed in the home. All services for a minor are provided with consent of the parent/guardian.