Strengthening the Executive Role in Multi-Stressed Families

CE Hours: 6.0
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

Thursday, February 6th, 2014, Philhaven, Mt. Gretna, PA
Friday, February 7th, 2014, NHS, Colmar, PA

This workshop identifies the common challenges of parenting in multi-stressed families.  These caregivers, often having traumatic family histories, become easily overwhelmed by the day-to-day management tasks of nurturing and guiding their children.  They may not be familiar with the basic principles of good parenting, may not feel comfortable with the “executive” role, may feel alone, and may be in chronic conflict with their partners.

This workshop begins with a review of the big picture on parenting and child development, reviewing current findings on the types of parenting practices that strengthen children’s resiliency.  Major focus is then given to how caregivers come to embrace a parent identity and how therapists can facilitate this process.  A distinction is made between parenting and being a “parent.”  Strategies are also provided for fostering greater comfort with the executive or leadership aspects of the parenting role. The afternoon portion of this workshop is devoted to caregivers’ relationships with one another – the co-parenting alliance.  Three maladaptive co-caregiving patterns commonly found among multi-stressed families are identified, along with the predictable challenges, family dynamics, agency interactions, and “traps” for therapists that are associated with them.   Strategies are highlighted for engaging the under-involved parent and constructively managing inter-parental conflict in sessions.

This workshop is designed to help you: 1) identify parent-child interactions which promote or constrain the development of social-emotional competence, 2) explain the processes that help caregivers move toward adopting a parent identity, 3) practice methods for helping parents take an executive or leadership role with their children, 4) describe the nature of a co-caregiver alliance and reasons it is important,  5) recognize and distinguish between three common dysfunctional co-caregiver relationship patterns, and 6) facilitate team work and positive communication between caregivers on behalf of children.

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