Emotions are at the center of psychological services in this practice. Happy, sad, mad, anxious, afraid, and disgusted feelings are all valued here. Children and families are taught to recognize their emotions more reliably, to understand the purpose of their emotions, to notice physiological sensations associated with their emotions, and to respond effectively to emotions.
When practiced at home, validation of emotions has the potential to contain the child in the short term, strengthen the parent-child relationship, and foster healthy levels of emotional expression in the home.
Below are three resources. The first reflects the importance of emotions in human experience. The second explains how to be empathic with others. The third discusses how parents can validate their child's emotions.
SPOTLIGHT ON CULTURE OF PARENTAL PERMISSIVENESS
The following link is to a book that may be especially important for parents whose children share thoughts of entitlement, express unkindness towards parents, display rigidity and a lack of flexibility, and show an overall lack of respect or appreciation in the home environment.
Collapse of Authority
IMPROVING PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIPS
In this practice, parents learn to model healthy expressions of emotion, engage their child with empathy, and validate emotions, while also effectively setting limits.
All homes have spoken and unspoken rules. I encourage you to make the house rules explicit and for those rules to reflect your value system (e.g., "In this house we help each other, tell the truth, share, do our best, pay with hugs, laugh, try new things, express gratitude, show compassion, dream big, use kind words, think of others, say please and thank you, and show respect for each other").
Below, I have attached my integrated model of parenting, which we have discussed in more detail if it is applicable to your parenting needs.
Please note: If we do not see a decrease in externalizing behavior in your child at home and/or at school, I may refer you and your child to see someone Certified in PCIT or CPS for more intensive support. The below links given explanations of the PCIT and CPS programs.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
Collaborative Problem Solving
FACTORS relevant to children's mental health
There are times when factors outside of the parent-child relationship can create distress in the child. Substance abuse, poor sleep hygiene, and neurodiversity (if unknown or unaddressed) can lead to psychological distress. Below are resources for thinking about and addressing some of these factors.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Substance Use Prevention
Sleep and Mental Health
High Functioning Autism
When children have a role in bullying experiences, whether the bully, the bullied, or the spectator, it is important to address.
Education for parents and children regarding the bully, the bullied, and the spectator can go a long way in solving these dynamics. Such education can be found by clicking on the photo below.
Bully, Victim, or Spectator
Sometimes there is a particular kind of bullying that includes objectification and body shaming. Below you can learn about the way I think about and work with this sort of bullying with patients who have been targeted. Typically in these situations, it is the bully who needs to change behavior and perspective. Nonetheless, in treatment, patients who have been targeted can begin to feel appropriate anger and search the best sources for healthy self-esteem, validation, and resilience in the face of stress.