Metcalf, L. (2008). Counseling toward solutions: A practical solution-focused program for working with students, teachers, and parents. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Being a parent can be quite stressful at times. A variety of issues can arise during parenthood. As a parent there may be times when you struggle to know what approach to take towards child-rearing. Thankfully, there are a variety of psychological strategies, methods and techniques that can help you work through your child-rearing issues and improve your relationship with your child. Parent counseling is a type of psychotherapy that helps parents cope with child-related challenges and difficulties.
How Can I Tell If I Need Parent Counseling?
You may need parent counseling if you experience two or more of the following emotions:
· Anxiety from constantly arguing with your child or spouse.
· Feelings that you have to “tiptoe” around your spouse or child just to avoid an argument or temper tantrum.
· Feelings of inadequacy because you cannot control your child’s destructive and/or unhealthy behaviors.
· Fears that your child’s emotional and behavioral problems will intensify as he/she ages.
· Concerns that past traumas will continue to follow your child into adulthood.
· Fears that your past experiences will affect your ability to be a good parent.
What Psychological Issues Are Treated with Parent Counseling?
Emotional and/or psychological issues can make parenting especially challenging. For instance, if you are anxious or depressed, you may find normal parenting challenges more than you can handle. Parenting counseling can help reduce stress, alleviate depression, prevent panic attacks and reduce anxiety. During therapy, you learn how to effectively cope with stress so that you can be the best parent you can be. In addition, if you suffer from anger issues, parenting counseling can help you effectively control your anger so that it does not interfere with your parenting responsibilities.
Parenting can be very stressful, especially if you have a child with psychological issues and/or behavioral problems. You may think that you are not stressed, but in reality you probably are and just do not know it. It is important to note that stress can manifest in a variety of ways such as: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, excessive worry, irritability, rage, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, etc. Stress can also affect your parenting skills if you have recently experienced a traumatic loss such as: the death of a child or spouse.
What Happens During Parent Counseling?
If you feel overwhelmed with parenting responsibilities or if you have parenting issues that you just cannot resolve, then it is time to seek parenting counseling. A parent counselor will teach you the tools that you need to successfully confront your fears, improve your communication, cope with stressful situations, resolve conflicts and successfully parent your child.
During therapy, your parent counselor will assign homework so that you can apply what you learned in your counseling sessions to your home life. Your progress will be closely monitored until you have met your parenting goals. It is important to note that your parenting counselor will probably want to meet with both you and the child’s father, if possible. Having both active parents participate in therapy can be highly beneficial for helping your child adjust to a new situation, rules and/or routines.
In addition, your counselor will teach you how to work with your child’s teachers, react to your child’s unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors, effectively communicate with your child, manage your child’s psychological issues, cope with stressful situations, improve your parenting skills, set realistic goals, monitor your child’s development and balance parenting and work commitments. The main goal of parenting counselor is to improve your relationship with your child and strengthen your family bond.
GoodTherapy.org. (2013). Parenting. Retrieved fromhttp://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for- parenting.html.