Are you struggling to find harmony at home?
Is there a lot of bad behaving, back talk and disrespect?
Do the milestones feel more like a minefield?
Are the toddlers or teenagers in your home making you crazy? A study showed that "depression is actually most common among mothers of middle school children as they catapult into the tween years". Studies suggest that support from other parents may even out your relationship at home.
Identify relationship patterns within family that cause individual hardship and the system to breakdown
Identify what is working within your family so that we can repeat successes
Define your individual and family goals
Specify a plan of action so that you know what to do next
Work on positive communication so that conflict becomes constructive
Evaluate your progress so that you can celebrate it together
Despite our good intentions, we often find ourselves behaving in ways that go against what we really want for our families and relationships. ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is a mindfulness and acceptance based approach that is highly effective in reducing reactivity while helping us choose actions that encourage family wellbeing. ACT is an evidence based approach that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase our psychological flexibility.
Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully, and based on what the situation affords, and changing or persisting in behavior in the service of our chosen values. ACT has been evaluated in over 200 randomized-controlled clinical trials in a variety of settings. Studies of brain processes associated with the mindfulness component of ACT shows reduced reactivity in the “fear center” of the brain (amygdala), and increased neuronal growth in networks that govern self-control, empathy and compassion. Behaviorally, people report significant reductions in stress, enhanced wellbeing and greater effectiveness in their work and in their relationships.
The goal of ACT is not to eliminate one's experience of life, but to learn how to experience life more fully. When we can learn methods for letting go of our struggle, get clarity on what we value, and commit to living full, meaningful lives, we can be more effective in our parenting. Rather than reacting in stressful situations, we can find the space to get in touch with what is important to us and then behave in ways that move us in that direction.
PARENT AND PARENT GROUP COACHING
Parenting coaches are emerging as a new way for parents to gain support for a variety of parenting issues. Unlike my psychotherapy clients who may have some of the same concerns as coaching clients, but also are being treated for diagnosed mental health conditions, coaching is more like consulting- providing tools, ideas, and support without treating underlying issues, like ADHD or depression. A parent coach is a trained professional who, through a supportive relationship and intentional coaching process, helps parents navigate challenges with each other and with their children, and enhances skills within family members to strengthen their honest communication and sense of connection. Parent coaching is a collaborative and empowering platform for parents and caregivers to explore possibilities for better relationships with their children by clarifying and living into their values. A parent coach offers alternative perspectives around family situations, uncovering strategies to shift behavior and family dynamics in a way that dignity and respect for each family member is reinforced, that everyone feels heard, and that empathy, safety, structure and play are balanced to meet the needs and goals set by the family.
Some issues covered
Stress-related parenting issues: Find ways to take care of yourself and manage your stress.
Parenting practices: Assist you in following through with research-based practices in regards to issues such as homework, electronics, time management and exercise.
Developmental activities: Strategies that support your child’s development.
Parenting during transition or crisis: Help you be the best parent you can during a crisis or hardship, such as divorce, move, or loss of a loved one.
Practical problems: Help you create a plan to address childcare issues or educational problems.
I am trained and experienced in a number of parent curricula including:
Common Sense Parenting
Parenting with Love and Logic By Fay
Our Home Runs By VanEpp
Emotion Coaching by Gottman
I can offer support 1-1, 2-1 or in groups (both in my office or an agreed upon setting). Contact me for details.
Group (or parent) coaching involves weekly sessions for a period of 2-3 months (depending on topic). Each session is approximately 60 minutes. Work within the sessions is a combination of education, activities and discussion. Contact me if there is a topic for group coaching you would like to be considered for a customized group.