Shifting Families from a Behavioral to a Relational Understanding of their Children

CE Hours: 4.0
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 Venango County Via Zoom

The effectiveness of both prevention and intervention programs, whether it is Early Head Start or family therapy, depends on parents “buying-into” the idea that their relationship with their child is directly tied to outcome. As a group, parents of children who are most at risk for chronic emotional and behavioral problems reflexively misinterpret their children’s challenging behavior as manipulative, selfish, or oppositional, with little regard for social or psychological context.  This workshop identifies common ways that therapists unwittingly reinforce a behavioral view of children’s problems, describes the nature of a relational perspective, and offers strategies that can help parents see their children in relational context.


As a result of attending in this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the key differences between a behavioral focus and one that is psychological and relational
  2. Explain the negative impacts of transactional parenting on the social-emotional functioning of children.
  3. Identify the common personal and contextual forces that pull therapists into a behavioral focus when working with children and adolescents who have SED
  4. Identify “process-oriented“ strategies that help caregivers attune to the relational context of their children’s behavior and buy-into relational interventions

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