Creating a reflective process to promote long-term resilience

The outcome of a meaning making and relationship-centred approach as opposed to simply giving strategies is that a process is set in motion that can be utilised by everyone long after they have ceased to be in contact with the therapist. We make an assumption that the reflective process becomes internalised by the children, young people and parents, thereby providing them with a more permanent model of how to respond to future problems. Thus the process of stepping back, of not immediately accepting that what you see is what you get, and creating a hypothesis about what may be happening, is a method that is eminently transportable for children, young people and their parents.

Supporting parents to assume authority and ‘own’ what they know

Clinical evidence indicates that programmes and therapy that empower parents to think for themselves, and articulate their needs, in the long term provide the best outcomes for children (Miller and Sambell, 2003). A problematic recurring theme of contemporary parenting in this regard relates to parents’ confusion about how and when to assert their authority. Parents typically confuse the use of authority with being authoritarian, which leads to extremes in either being too permissive or too controlling. A good outcome of time-limited psychotherapy is one in which parents’ authority is instated, as well as their ability to work as a parenting team. Supporting parents to ‘own’ what they know, further acknowledges and capitalises on, the real inherent knowledge that parents have about their children, setting them to make use of this knowledge on an ongoing basis.

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