Therapeutic Parenting

Building or rebuilding a parent-child relationship starts with a desire for togetherness, is strengthened by a foundation of understanding and reinforced by the support provided by the therapeutic relationship with a therapist. Kim Golding’s Foundations for Attachment programme forms the basis for our adapted program. In the program we hope to help parents develop an understanding of their young person’s emotional development, help parents build therapeutic parenting skills and practice consistent self care in a holistic manner.

Relational Minds has adapted the original program (that was written for foster carers and residential staff) to be suitable for biological parents, teachers and other professionals. Great care needs to be taken in the language used when working with biological parents who may feel a sense of guilt about their situation. Foundations for Attachment is non judgmental and focused on building through repair of relationships. The founding principles are based on neuroscience and attachment theory; this process works!

The adapted program consists of 3 modules and can be delivered individually or in a group format.

Individual Parents/Carers

  • The program is delivered in 6 hourly sessions
  • Ongoing support can be provided through the Connection phase of our Parenting For Mental Health process where we will help parents focus on certain aspects of the program and help with their implementation.
  • The original group program is delivered over 3 days (6 hours each) or 6 days (3 hours each).
  • Our adapted program is delivered over 3 days (3 hours each) with further sessions offered to consolidate connections, learning and implementation together.

The difference in this program compared to other Parent-Child Relationship programs is that all clinicians, and indeed our whole organisation is grounded in the principles of Dyadic Developmental Practice. We provide the rich relational aspect that is essential to developing a therapeutic alliance, promote learning and building confidence in the parent, empowering them to promote their child and family’s recovery from mental health difficulties.

This parenting programme is informed by DDP principles and has passed through the DDPI endorsement process. It is recommended that DDPI Endorsed Parenting Programmes are run only run by facilitators who have undertaken at least Level One and preferably Level Two DDP training and are confident in the use and modelling of PACE. All Staff at Relational Minds (including Reception staff) have at least level 1 training in DDP.

Goals for Attachment Parenting

1. Build the child’s capacity to feel vulnerable and sad.
2. Build the child’s capacity to be curious
3. Build the child’s capacity for relational joy

The Modules

Module 1: Understanding the Challenges of Parenting

  • The developing emotional brain and regulation system
  • Impact of trauma on the nervous system (the brain) and possible causes that disrupt the development of trust. The window of tolerance.
  • Parenting challenge 1 – Blocked trust. Possible Reasons why blocked trust occurs. Kids who don’t believe that they are unconditionally loved. Present in all mental illness.
  • Fear of abandonment and the 3 types (tiger, possum and the chameleon).
  • Reflection on the young person
  • Parents can help them develop:
    • Capacity to feel sadness (feeling emotions safely)
    • Capacity for curiosity
    • Capacity for relational joy
  • Parenting Challenge 2: Fear of relating.
  • Parenting Challenge 3: Shame
  • Parenting Challenge 4: Miscuing and Attachment Patterns
  • Introduction to therapeutic parenting (PACE)

Module 2: Therapeutic Parenting

  • Building Connections
  • Open and engaged or defensive
  • Maintain the attitude of PACE
  • Why traditional parenting strategies don’t work
  • Behaviour support instead of behaviour management
  • Regulation based parenting – PACE
  • Connection with correction
  • Parenting in the moment

Module 3: Self Care

  • Understanding your attachment history
  • Self Care
  • Blocked Care
  • Conclusion and Review

Ready to make an appointment?

You can call or use webchat if you are feeling suicidal, are affected by suicide or are worried about someone who you think is considering suicide to get support and help. The web chat option does require you to register and create a password, so there are a few steps to this in case this may add to your overwhelm.
If you’re experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide:

Call Kids Help Line any time for any reason if you need help, especially if you are struggling with difficult emotions or are feeling distressed. They are there to talk to you and help. For anyone 25 or under.

The Lifeline phone line is available 24/7. Their text line is open midday to midnight and requires you to answer some pre-survey questions to register to use the service. Text: 0477 13 11 14 Webchat is available 7pm-midnight and can be anonymous, there are questions, but they are not mandatory to answer.

For all ages.

If you have difficulties relating to your gender or sexuality, the Q-life service may be able to help.

Q-Life is a free anonymous phone or webchat service run by Switchboard. The service is open 3pm – midnight every day. They do not offer ongoing counselling, rather they can offer support regarding any issues you are having related to gender or sexuality that you would like to discuss anonymously.

Thank you for your patience at Relational Minds clinics as we cope with increased demand. We are able to see you sooner now. Our admin are the busiest of all. Sending us an email is the most efficient way to get a response.