Teaching a parent how to be a better parent is one of the hardest tasks in the world.
Therapists who deal with child and adolescent behavioral problems know this. Day after day you’ll see parents who are clearly struggling and struggling and making almost no headway. You can tell them what they’re doing wrong – but trying to help them figure out better approaches and techniques for handling their children is often a case of the blind leading the blind.
That’s not because you didn’t pay attention to your training, either. The vast majority of child and adolescent behavioral techniques put heavy emphasis on what not to do, but very little on what parents should do. That means that parents often backslide into their old habits, because even if they don’t create the home environment they want, at least those techniques work – temporarily.
No therapist should have to feel like their work is a hopeless cause, and so many who work in child and adolescent behavioral problems do feel this way. That’s a fixable problem, because you are already a good therapist. You are simply lacking a tool that you hadn’t realized you would need.
You already know how to identify unhealthy behavior. What I can do is teach you how to identify the emotional issues that prevent a client from stopping unhealthy behavior, communicate those problems to the client in helpful way, and present viable alternatives.
And as a bonus, because I know how draining therapy can be for the therapist, I’ll also share my time-tested techniques for knowing how much to give, when to let go, and how to handle your own disappointment if a client refuses to change despite your very best efforts.
Uncertainty is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be a part of your practice. Get the tools you need to be the best thing your clients ever did for themselves – and for their kids.