Having a teen or young adult child with emotional difficulties can be very challenging for most parents. In these instances, many parents will feel uncertain about how to most effectively handle their child’s behavior. Understandably, parents will often find themselves experiencing a range of emotions including, anxiety, stress, frustration, guilt, and sadness.
While the primary method for treating psychological disorders is by directly treating the person who suffers with the disorder, there is a growing literature that suggests that working directly with parents of teens or young adults who are suffering with emotional difficulties can make a big difference. We now know that focusing only on the child who is suffering is often not enough.
With the above in mind, we offer parent consultation to parents who have teenage or young adult children who are experiencing emotional difficulties. This can be provided to parents of teens and adults without a child participating in therapy with us, or to parents who have a teen or adult involved in one of our CBT or DBT programs.
Parent consultations are less often traditional therapy sessions and more a way to help to develop and promote effective parenting. We work with parents to better understand and to even more skillfully respond to their child’s emotions. This may involve learning specific CBT and DBT skills around tolerating distress, mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and middle path. Some common goals of parent consultation include, figuring out how to help to relieve a child’s distress, reinforce new, more effective behaviors and extinguish unhealthy ones, and strengthen the relationship between parents and their child. In addition, parent consultation can also be helpful in dealing with differences in parenting approaches between parents.