Becoming a parent is a major life adjustment. It takes time to get to know your child, your style of parenting, and to feel confident about the choices you make. Sometimes talking through all of this with a professional can be helpful.
How Does it Work?
Perhaps you already feel confident about the choices you are making, but need some support and encouragement. There may be times when it is difficult to see the situation objectively because you are a single parent, an overwhelmed parent or your feelings about your child’s behavior are ruling the way you parent. Sometimes couples do not agree about the “correct” way to parent and struggle to find common ground. In any of these cases, therapy can provide insight, helpful and practical suggestions, and an empathetic and listening ear.
Not only do parents benefit from this type of therapy but their children benefit as well. In some cases it is effective to have both parents and children participate in therapy together. Some parents find it helpful to attend a class or a parenting group in addition to therapy.
Therapists who specialize in helping people with their role as parents usually have experience working with children and families. They may also have specialized training or teaching credentials in parent education.
How Long Does it Take?
Sessions usually last 60 minutes and are held weekly. Research suggests that it takes an average of 10-15 therapy sessions to resolve problems. Parenting classes may be two hours weekly for a period of 4-6 weeks.
Step-parenting provides some unique challenges and opportunities. In many cases, divorce, death or some other traumatic event precedes the creation of a blended family. Before a person or couple enters therapy for step-parenting help, it is advised that the family seek therapy for whatever preceded becoming a step-parent.
Misbehavior in children is common in a new blended family as many adjustments are taking place. Step-parents often need help in learning how to deal with feelings about their step-child, visitation, and their unique role in the child’s life.