Being a parent is one of the most important jobs one can be trusted with. It’s a job that is rewarding and full of joy, but it can also be stressful and challenging. A parenting support group is a meetup where parents struggling with similar challenges can come together, without judgment, to feel heard and supported, while learning tips to strengthen their relationship with their child. By joining this support group you have a chance to gain insight, develop supportive relationships, and benefit from sharing your experiences while hearing other parents’ experiences.
This parenting support group will be held bi-weekly for eight weeks for a duration of 1.5 hours. Different topics related to parenting skills and challenges will be discussed while being provided with different therapeutic tools and resources. This will be considered a closed group where we offer up to 10 parents to participate as group members.
Parenting: A skills training manual (6th edition) by Louise F. Guerney, Ph.D
Session 1: What Parents Can Expect of Children
- Getting to know everyone.
- Create a safe environment, discuss group rules, icebreaker/talk about each other’s situation.
- Children generally go through the same changes of growth and development but not exactly the same way or at the same ages.
- Discuss growth patterns and stages of readiness.
Session 2: Showing Understanding, part 1
- Discuss communication skills and the importance of hearing to understand.
- Showing understanding can build children’s confidence in themselves and increase their respect for you.
Session 3: Showing Understanding, part 2
- Further practice in the skill of showing understanding.
- Introducing new situations that parents frequently run into.
- Learning to put aside the parent’s feelings before responding to the child’s feelings.
Session 4: Parent Messages
- Learn how to send parent messages to communicate your feelings to your children, which will encourage children to behave in appropriate ways.
- Parent messages tell your child how you feel about problems they create and what they can do to help you out – or- how their actions please you.
Session 5: Structuring
- Structuring and restructuring are ways to avoid problems by thinking about what you want to happen and taking positive steps to see that things come out the right way. By planning ahead with your child, you are structuring for success, and taking positive steps to prevent problems from occurring.
- Set up situations in ways that help children do things they need to do so things work out well.
Session 6: Reinforcement
- Creating a cycle of approval and reinforcement by rewarding and praising children for good behavior.
- Improves relationship between parent and child and motivates children to keep up good behavior.
Session 7: Rules, Limits & Consequences
- Learning how to appropriately set up rules.
- Learning rules and limits can help children to learn responsible behavior.
- Setting up too many rules for children to follow may contribute to an increase in negative behaviors.
Session 8: Putting It All Together/ Group termination
- Learning how to use the skills learned at the right times.
- Discussion of termination
- Review of learning experiences, challenges, and goals/tasks achieved.
About group facilitator & co-facilitator:
Jeymarie Guerra, is a bilingual (Spanish and English) licensed mental health counselor in the state of Florida; currently working with individuals and families who have a wide range of therapeutic needs. She approaches therapeutic relationships with an open mind, empathy, and unconditional positive regard.
Jeymarie graduated with a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in 2016. Jeymarie, holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University in 2013. Jeymarie attended Florida Institute of Technology to specialize in behavior reduction in 2017. Jeymarie is currently under supervision to become a registered play therapist nationwide, and is currently working to become a certified nationwide trauma focused CBT therapist for children ages 3-18.
“My therapeutic approach is usually a combination of Person-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), Behavioral Therapy, and Play Therapy. I believe that every individual deserves their session time to be personalized to their needs as reflected on their treatment plans and therapeutic interventions. I believe that my clients are ultimately the experts on their lives. My goal is to empower, motivate, and inspire change with the knowledge, support, and evidenced-based tools and/or practices that I have acquired on my own personal and professional journey.”
Amanda Walch is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern currently working with children, adolescents, and adults that want to address various issues such as trauma, mood disorders, ADHD, and behavioral/emotional issues. She believes in offering an integrative approach where she focuses specifically on the needs of the client. She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Play Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in her practices
Amanda received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Florida International University and earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She has clinical experience working in crisis stabilization units providing individual, group, couple, and family counseling. She has experience working with childhood issues including infant mental health, trauma, sexual/physical abuse, grief/loss, mood disorders, divorce issues, anger issues, anxiety, family issues, school adjustment issues, etc. She also has experience with children, adolescents, parents, and families by providing individual and family therapy to assist families with emotional support and positive parenting skills.