In recent years, I have come to understand that it is more important to help parents learn to make powerful and positive connections with their children rather than me. It is in fact essential that the bond between parents and their children be further developed and strengthened. I now understand that, as a therapist who works with families, I am more of a teacher, a facilitator and sometimes a “cheerleader” for exhausted, confused, anxious or angry parents. With my therapeutic support and guidance, parents are taught to positively and effectively intervene in the lives of their children. It is these encounters that most help the healing process.
Although there are some situations where children do need to be seen individually, my goal is foremost, whenever possible, to bring the family together in the end. Whether I’m helping them to develop better communications skills, to be more loving and affectionate with one another, or to be more consistent and set healthy limits, it is important that a parent or other significant caregiver be a part of this experience.
I also find that my role in working with families is to help parents explore the complexities of their own lives, thoughts and feelings, so that they may overcome whatever negatively impacts their proficiency in meeting their children’s varied needs.
“If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.” - Diane Loomans