Helensburgh Feb 2024
Emotionally Intelligent Parenting
" It was good to realize that you’re not alone. It was helpful to feel the support and empathy of the professionals and other parents. After a week or so we could even find things to laugh about. I learned so much that really helped my relationship with my daughter when I put it into practice".
Who is this group for?
The group is widely accessible to parents or carers of children from pre-school to secondary. Whether your child has specific needs or you are struggling with your child’s emotional well being, you will develop valuable skills. The nature of a mixed group of parents with children of different ages and stages can contribute further to learning as you learn from each other.
How long does the group run for?
The group is run over 6 fortnightly sessions. Time between sessions may be longer to accommodate holidays.
How long is each session?
Each session is 2 hours, starting with a chance to make a complimentary cup of tea or coffee (biscuits also included!). Depending on how the group is running, we may take a small break but more often than not, there is so much discussion and learning going on we run through. The group starts and finishes on time.
How much does it cost?
Before signing up, you can arrange a free 15 minute telephone call with Dr Smith to ask specific questions about the groups. The 6 session group is £450 per parent but only an additional £100 if a partner can join you. It is significantly cheaper than individual sessions as costs are shared! Please discuss options for spreading the cost out with Dr Smith.
What is the background to the group?
It was first developed in 2016 in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health team in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It has since been run across CAMHS teams in Argyll and Bute and in Brisbane, Australia (where Dr Smith moved to 2019-22) as part of a private practice. The group draws on the research and theory from two areas; Emotional Coaching and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Emotion Coaching Emotion coaching involves an empathetic and accepting response to a child’s emotions, in which emotions are understood as opportunities for the child to learn and for a more respectful relationship between the parent/carer and the child. For example, the technique of a parent labelling their child’s emotion has been found to increase the child's emotional language skills. This approach is grounded in the work of Dr Haim Ginott, Clinical Psychologist. He described the importance of acknowledgment of feelings rather than denial to help children heal and become better problem solvers. His work has been taken forward and published in several influential books: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child; Your guide to a happier family Liberated Parents, Liberated Child; and How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk. The most comprehensive and accessible book for parents is that by Faber and Mazlish; How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk (abbreviated to HTT). This is the book that is used to structure the group. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a "third-wave" behavioral therapy. ACT for adults has gained empirical support across a broad range of psychiatric disorders and behavioral health issues. It has been adapted for children, young people and families and has an increasing evidence base. ACT is based on acceptance of unpleasant emotions, defusion from difficult thoughts, clarification of personally held values and corresponding goals, and enhancement of the effectiveness in moving toward those values and goals. Applied to parenting, it enables parents to accept the difficult thoughts and feelings that arise in response to their child’s behaviour and chose how to respond in a way that is in line with their values as a parent (e.g. to be caring, loving, consistent etc). Furthermore, it enables them to accept their child’s negative emotions, which has been found to predict better child emotional regulation. It is the aim of this group that by offering parents and carers skills in managing their emotional response to their child’s behavior and negative emotions, and skills in emotional communication, that they can help their children develop better emotional regulation, and thus better mental health.
What parents have said
"This is fundamental information for every parent”."