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Working With Parents in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Date: Apr 16, 2018 8:00 pm

This course examines the role of mental health professionals in working with parents of children and adolescents.  This six-session program will cover a range of issues faced by clinicians in their work with parents.


Mondays: Dates: April 16 – May 21, 2018: 8:00-9:30 pm

$300 Professionals

$175 Students

Course Description:

9 CEUs


Dates: April 16 and 23, 2018: Instructor: Tammy Kaminer, Ph.D.

As clinicians, we meet with parents who are overwhelmed, distressed, and worried about their children. In particular, parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can experience intense feelings of helplessness and despair as they try to make sense of the young child’s strong, raw emotions.


These two classes will focus on how we can help parents to support a child’s needs by interpreting child behavior through a child development lens. Topics to be covered include: adjustment to the parental role; motor, cognitive and social-emotional development in the first four years; the impact of atypical development on the child and parents; and the role of the clinician as a holding environment for the parent and the parent-child relationship.



April 30 and May 7, 2018: Instructor John Matthews Ph.D. - Basics of Relational Parent Work with Children and Adolescents

May 14 and May 21, 2018: Instructor:  Todd Germain L.C.S.W., O.T.R. - Parental Stress and Trauma:  Getting Lost Parenting Capacities Back 'Online'

Parents often come to us feeling quite alarmed about their child's behavior and/or their own perceived lack of competence to respond effectively. This alarm can create a sense of chronic stress and distress for parents, in a way that may leave them "at a loss" and/or afraid for what their child may do, or may be or become. This sense of loss and fear can engender in some parents a level of threat state that is "outside the range of usual human experience," and therefore can have quite traumatizing effects. We will take a closer look at this idea of stress trauma in parenting, the ways in which this trauma can knock reflective capacities ‘offline,’ and discuss ways to help parents begin to build confidence in their interactions and "hold the child in mind" once again.



1. Be able to discuss the role of the professional when consulting with parents of infants

2. Be able to explain the value of becoming a secure base for parents

3. Be able to describe ways to help parents explore and discuss their feelings about their child and how to be a parent to their specific child

4. Be able to assess the range of parental reactions to their toddler's emerging autonomy and aggression

5.Be able to list practical suggestions for helping parents when they are feeling anxiety, shame or anger about their child's behaviors

6. Be able to describe the theoretical and clinical context of parental work

7. Be able to demonstrate the range of possible parent interventions in child psychotherapy

8. Be able to explain stress trauma in parenting and the ways in which it effects parents

9. Be able to discuss ways to help parents to regain lost parenting capacities after experiencing parental stress trauma