Parent-Child psychotherapy is a form of therapy that is most suitable for parents with babies or young children under 5 years of age. The therapist works together with the parents and young child. The therapeutic sessions enable a deeper understanding of the difficulties. The therapist supports change through thinking about how the relationship between the parents and young child might develop to overcome the concerns. The therapy is often brief as positive changes can begin to happen quite quickly.
helping with babies
If things are going well enough for you and your baby it can be such a special time alongside the ordinary stresses and strains that all parents experience. However, when things become really difficult for you and your baby you can feel very vulnerable and overwhelmed. You might also feel unconfident about the 'bond' between you and your baby.
Sometimes support from family and friends is not readily available or cannot help quite enough. Perhaps the advice from a Health Visitor or your GP might not be making a difference. In these circumstances it might be a good idea to consider therapeutic help and support.
There are different kinds of problems that can be causing concern to parents about their babies. They include:
- feeding difficulties
- crying for long periods of time
- finding it difficult to comfort your baby
- sleeping difficulties
- lack of eye contact
Parents usually meet the therapist together with the baby in the first instance. Further sessions might continue to be with both parents. Sometimes further sessions might be with the mother and baby on their own. It is a question of working out what might be most helpful.
There are sometimes particular factors for parents that have contributed to a stressful and difficult time with their baby. Such factors might be:
- a traumatic birth
- medical complications for baby or mother
- an experience of bereavement within the family
- post-natal depression
- difficulties in the parents' relationship
- problems experienced by parents in relation to their own parents
The sessions provide an opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the difficulties that are being experienced so that you can begin to feel more confident about new possibilities for change. It is this process of understanding and carefully working things through that enables things to improve.
helping with younger children
Children under five experience major emotional and psychological changes that are an ordinary part of their development at this age. They are seeking to develop a more confident and secure sense of themselves. The children are faced with the challenge of new separations as they become more involved with the world outside of home. These important changes often run alongside going to playgroups, attending nurseries and getting ready for the start of primary school.
Sometimes parents experience difficulties in relation to their young children that could really benefit from therapeutic help and support. Common problems that can arise are:
- anxiety, including separation anxiety
- temper tantrums
- sleeping difficulties
- eating problems
- being withdrawn
- difficulties playing with children of same age
- problems with toilet-training
Parent-Child psychotherapy helps the parent and child to find ways of understanding what the difficulties might be about. The therapist supports new developments in the relationship between parent and child that can enable the difficulties to be worked through and overcome.