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Working With Parents in Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Date: Apr 17, 2019 8:00 pm

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



Wednesdays: April 17, 24 – May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2019: 8:00-9:30 pm

$300 Professionals

$175 Students


Course Description:

9 CEUs


Dates: April 17 and 22, 2019: Instructor: Joan Musitano LCSW, MSEd

Working with Parents of Infants and Toddlers


The first class will focus on the first year of life, with special attention to the initial months.  It will address the transition to parenthood, the developmental and relational tasks and challenges of the first year, and will present some guiding principles of infant-parent psychotherapy along with a case illustration.

The second class will go over the main developmental tasks toddlers grapple with, highlighting the emotional upheaval and some of the extreme behaviors that are characteristic of this phase.  A reflective approach to helping parents cope with tantrums and aggressive behavior will be presented.


Working with Parents of Infants

1) Participants will learn the main developmental and relational tasks of parents and infants during the first year;

2) Participants will explain the reasons a parent of an infant might seek help from a therapist;

3) Participants will explain basic theoretical principles for working with parents and infants.


Working with Parents of Toddlers

1) Participants will discuss the developmental tasks and challenges of toddlerhood;

2) Participants will a mentalization-based approach to working with parents of toddlers, focusing on tantrums and aggression



May 1, 8, 2019: Instructor John Matthews PhD - Basics of Relational Parent Work with Children and Adolescents



Basics of Relational Parent Work with Children and Adolescents


In the first class we will look at the theoretical and clinical context of the parent work that accompanies individual child and adolescent psychotherapies.  The second class will survey and illustrate the range of possible parent interventions in child psychotherapy.


Class one learning objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the different levels of context affecting a child’s functioning (nuclear family, extended family, immediate culture, mass culture);
  2. Participants will be able to discuss different cultural interactions with parenting.

Class two learning objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the range of interventions possible with parents depending on their capabilities;
  2. Participants will be able to apply a perspective-modifying approach in parent guidance.



May 15, 22, 2019: Instructor:  Todd Germain LCSW, OTR. - 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 laram 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 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.