Parent training is a form of therapy which we at The OCD & Anxiety Center commonly include in the treatment process for children and teens and even adults living at home with their family members. We strongly believe and have witnessed that involving parents in the treatment process is necessary and greatly increases the efficacy of the treatment. In a parent training session, one or both of the client’s parents meet with a therapist to learn and practice effective strategies for motivating and supporting their child through the child’s own treatment. The frequency and duration of parent training needs will vary by family. However, we have found that parent training is often key in helping children and teens more quickly and completely experience the benefits of therapy. The only place children and teens spend more of their time than school is at home with family. Parents can therefore be useful models of coping and problem solving, and powerful agents of change.
Our parent training model is grounded in behaviorism. This means that desired behaviors in children should be rewarded so that children are likely to repeat them; and problem behaviors ignored so that they decrease. Through parent training, parents will learn to:
- Make effective reward systems
- Set helpful boundaries for children
- Disengage from being governed by children’s anxiety
- Handle anxious outbursts, defiance, or other problem behaviors in their children
- Assist children in facing difficult situations
- Help children use the coping strategies they are learning in individual therapy
- Encourage children to complete therapy homework assignments
- Motivate their children to participate in therapy
Parent training sessions are structured opportunities for parents to learn and practice new ways of managing their children with support from our professionals. Rather than simply talking about the behaviors that they would like changed, parents have the opportunity to engage in role-play and other rehearsal strategies with clinicians. The focus of parent training is on rewarding progress in children to encourage further improvement, rather than punishing undesirable behaviors. This reward focus is supported by decades of parenting research, and is often empowering to parents and children alike. Parent training can help with:
- School Anxiety
- Separation Anxiety
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social Anxiety
- Panic Attacks
- Excoriation (Skin-picking)
- Trichotillomania (Hair-pulling)
- Failure to Launch
For families who experience most problem behaviors outside of normal business hours, our specialists can also arrange to provide coaching in the home or by phone. For example, we have served many families whose children and teens experience behavior problems in the morning before school. For such clients, we can arrange to coach parents through the getting-ready process on-site, or remotely.
Most families in which one or more children suffer from behavioral or emotional problems can benefit from parent training. If you or someone you know would benefit from parent training, please reach out to us at 630-522-3124 today!