July 17, 2017

Jenny Brown: Working with Parents

Consulting work to restore parent’s confidence in their capacity to assist their struggling child adolescence or young adult.

Jenny provides an individualised coaching program for parents who have a young person struggling with mental health and/or social/behavioural symptoms.

The meetings are designed to provide parents with guidelines to optimize the way they support their young person’s wellbeing. Parents are helped to cope with their feelings and reactions towards their symptomatic child/adolescent and to consider their role in encouraging their child’s/young person’s potential for healthy development.

It aims to:

  • Optimize the way you support your child/young person’s wellbeing
  • Shifting focus to the parent rather than trying to change the young person
  • Promote more autonomy and responsibility in your young person through how you manage yourself
  • Getting back on track as a loving and firm leader
  • Not a quick fix but with changes to old patterns of interaction, the young person is helped to gradually improve the way they manage their own life challenges

Parents are not to blame for their young person’s difficulties since many complex factors contribute to symptom development – including genetics and the child’s broader family and social environment. Parents however can play an important part towards symptom reduction by adjusting how they interact with their young person.

Hope building: From Child Project to Parent Project

It’s natural to want to fix and change a child/adolescent who is struggling to manage life. Hence it may be a surprise to hear that this program is designed to focus on the parent rather than to try to change the young person. A repeated idea in this work is that when parents shift their energies away from trying to fix or change their child and invest in what is in their control as parents, new hopeful pathways open up. Changing another is outside of anyone’s control whereas changing self is always achievable. When a parent discovers ways they can promote more autonomy and responsibility in their adolescent, through how they manage themselves, it can recover a parent’s confidence. It doesn’t promise a quick fix for the young person but it does enable the parent to get back on track as a loving and firm leader. Usually after some initial protests from the young person, as they experience changes to old patterns of interaction, the parent begins to observe their adolescent beginning to manage their own life challenges more successfully. Even gradual changes can make a huge difference to a young person’s path towards adulthood.

This clinical work can be equally useful for one or both parents to attend. It can be very helpful for just 1 parent to work on changing the way they manage interactions. As 1 person changes, others in the family make adjustments that can lead to a healthier family.