The Hardest Job in the World
As a parent, I know just how hard the job is. After the birth of my first child, I decided I needed some support in navigating this new and challenging journey! I was lucky enough to find a skilled and caring therapist. The experience was so life-changing that I decided to become a therapist so that I could accompany other people on the same path of personal healing and growth. If you are a parent, I care deeply about helping you and your family.
I believe that nearly all parents want the best for their children, and that they are doing the best they can to provide it. Even if you’ve had experience with other people’s children, you may be surprised by how different your interactions are with your own kids. Babies and children don’t always behave the way the books say they will, nor how the rest of your family thinks they should. Everyone has an opinion, and they don’t always agree. This can lead to self-doubt, frustration, and even more stress than already comes with the responsibility of caring for another life 24/7 for many years. Enjoying your children—the reason you had them in the first place—may seem like a distant and fading hope. My work with parents addresses three main factors that support positive parenting and a satisfying family life.
Sorting Out Your Past
The first way in which I support parents is to help them make sense of their own histories. Scientific research suggests that parents who have created a meaningful story out of their own experiences—even if they had difficult or abusive childhoods—have a greater likelihood of raising children who are secure, resilient, and well-regulated. Therapy is by its nature intended to help with this process.
Keeping Your Head About You
Secondly, I work with parents to increase their own physiological self-regulation. I do this using the combination of traditional talk therapy, and Somatic Experiencing techniques, which I have outlined on my main website. The stress and fatigue that often accompanies parenting can leave you vulnerable to emotional overwhelm. At such times, uncontrolled reactions of anger, anxiety, or sadness may intrude on your ability to parent from a loving place. These responses are greatly influenced by our “downstairs” brain, which takes over in times of increased stress. By increasing self-regulation, the likelihood is increased that you will be able to have full access to the “upstairs” portion of your brain, where functions such as planning, response flexibility, empathy, and patience are located. When you are better able to stay calm and in control of your reactions, you are more likely to parent in the way that feels good to you, and contributes to calmer, more cooperative behavior in your children. More than once, my clients have remarked that when they feel better regulated, they notice that other family members are calmer, and that this occurs without any conscious effort on their part.
In Parenting, Ignorance is NOT Bliss
The third aspect of my approach with parents is to provide information about child development and suggestions regarding specific parenting interventions that might be helpful. Most of us did not receive any formal education in child development or parenting. I have years of experience—as a parent, and as a child, adolescent, and family therapist—that I use to help you to feel more confident in your role as a father, mother, or caregiver. Except in very rare circumstances, I will not tell you what to do, because I believe that you will know what works best for you and your family, given the right kind of information and support.
Here’s to You
I believe that parenting is the hardest, most important, and most rewarding job in the world. I welcome your inquiry regarding a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation to discuss the possibility of working together. I hope to have the opportunity to help you and your family achieve more harmony, enjoyment, and love.