Being a parent is a multifaceted job and can be challenging with children of any age. We offer parents the opportunity to learn skills to manage their own emotions in response to parenting as well as to manage difficult behavior in children of any age.
CBT and DBT Resources for Parents
Being a parent is a multifaceted job and can be challenging with children of any age. We offer parents the opportunity to learn skills to manage their own emotions in response to parenting as well as to manage difficult behavior in children of any age. We emphasize increasing mindfulness in parenting to allow for more enjoyable and rewarding parenting moments.
Mindfulness in parenting has many benefits. John Kabat-Zinn describes mindful parenting as becoming attuned to the possibilities, the benefits, and the challenges of parenting with a new set of eyes. It includes having an awareness of the things that are truly important as parents go about the day-to-day activities in living with and caring for children. A mindfulness approach cultivates understanding and addresses parents’ needs as individuals. This enhances parents’ abilities to connect with children and address their needs as well as to appreciate the joy and benefits of being a parent.
Parent Coaching: Individual
With Individual Parent Coaching, CBT/DBT Associates offers parents the opportunity to develop skills to more effectively manage their child’s emotional distress and/or behavioral challenges. Parents will learn strategies to better manage their own emotions and respond to and shape the behavior of children of all ages: toddlers, school-age children, teenagers, young adults, and adults. Depending on the age and challenges of the child, strategies can be learned to improve relationships, increase the likelihood of compliance for requests, decrease problematic behavior, collaborate with schools, improve communication, and effectively problem-solve and negotiate. Parents can meet for a one-time consultation, a few sessions, or weekly. Parent coaching is tailored to the needs of each parent, and can be done with more than one parent.
Parent Coaching: Groups
CBT/DBT Associates offers various parenting groups based on the problem or age of the child. Parents can join a group that fits their needs, or request to create a group with friends or family members to meet specific needs.
Previous groups have included:
- Parenting Teens is a CBT-oriented group for any parent of adolescents in middle school and high school. The group teaches parents skills to increase desirable behaviors and decrease undesirable behaviors of their teens, to improve the quality of their relationships with their teens, to enhance communication, to effectively problem-solve and negotiate, and to manage unhelpful thoughts and emotions in response to teens.
- Positive Parenting is a CBT-oriented parent coaching group for parents of children ages 6-12 who are demonstrating behavior problems, including noncompliance, oppositional behaviors, physical aggression, temper tantrums, poor impulse control, hyperactivity, disruptive behaviors, and bedtime/sleep problems.
CBT/DBT Associates offers treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety, and/or skills to manage the stressful transition and demands that come with being a new parent for mothers and/or fathers. Consistent with the importance of mindful parenting and the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapies as a treatment for depression, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has recently been shown to be effective in the treatment and prevention of depression during the postpartum period. MBCT includes a combination of mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral strategies that are taught to help individuals shift from the automatic way in which they relate to thoughts, emotions, and sensations associated with depression or negative emotions to more awareness and intentional skillful actions. Using MBCT, our postpartum services allow new parents to learn to be mindful and learn ways to cope with the stressors of parenting.
Parents: It’s okay. It’s okay if this pandemic is throwing off your parenting style. Crises tend to do that. Mary Katharine Ham, a writer and CNN commentator, knows firsthand: She lost her spouse, and her identity as a parent, in 2015, while pregnant with their second child. “The good news is that the parent you are today is not the parent you have to be tomorrow,” she advises. “Your parenting identity is not nearly as intransigent as your pants-less, potty-training toddler.” It’s also okay to take breaks and care for yourself. Actually, it’s not just okay; it’s crucial: “Amid all the concern about their children’s emotional health,” our Dear Therapist columnist, Lori Gottlieb, notes, “parents tend to forget that the most important thing they can do is take care of their own emotional health.