A new service which helps parents understand and support their children with a host of new techniques, has begun at The Retreat in York.

Understanding how to respond to children and address their needs is often challenging for parents, says The Retreat. There may be times when you just don’t know how to deal with a situation or talk to your children about something.

Child-parent therapists work with parents and children together, supporting them to know what to expect at each stage of their child’s development

Using activities to practice specific techniques, experts can help parents overcome difficult situations and confrontations, avoid stressful situations and have a more intimate bond with their child.

The Retreat’s parent-child therapy uses a number of special techniques, working with highly qualified therapists.

One technique, explains Jennifer Bailey, Clinical Lead and Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, involves ‘Reflective Functioning’: “This is a way in which we can really support a parent’s ability to understand and engage with their child in very difficult situations. It’s the ability to imagine mental states in ourselves and others. Once we can understand this, we can really improve your relationship with your child.”

Reflective Functioning is the ability to imagine mental states in ourselves and others. Once we can reflect, we can understand our own behaviour and responses, the behaviour and responses of others, and how these interact and intertwine. We begin to understand the behaviour of children and their internal mental state. Once we can understand this, we can improve your relationship with your child.

The Retreat’s parent-child therapy is helping parents to:

  • See and understand the world through the eyes of your child and from their point of view, helping you to understand their thoughts, ideas and intentions
  • Understand your child’s feelings and respond to them, knowing that sometimes your child’s feelings can affect your feelings and vice versa, in complicated and sometimes painful ways
  • Communicate with your child to show them that you are trying to understand them and acknowledge their individual thoughts and feelings. Your thoughts and feelings affect your children’s thoughts and feelings and affects how you interact with our child, again in complicated and sometimes painful ways

Another useful technique used in parent-child therapy is guided observation questioning, known as Behaviour, Meaning, Feeling.

This technique involves watching your child and really noticing every tiny thing they do, moment to moment and examining what their behaviour means and what they are trying to communicate. Our therapists will guide you through this and help you recognise key behaviours in your child and what they mean.

The Retreat’s child-parent therapy sessions

Child-parent therapists work with you and your child together, supporting you to become an expert in your child’s overall development. We will support you to know what to expect from your child at each stage of their development

Using activities to practice specific techniques, we can help you overcome difficult situations and confrontations, avoid stressful situations and have a more intimate bond with your child.

For more information, please contact The Retreat, York on 01904 412551 or go to Childrens Services | The Retreat York