The Parent Space

Next Available Course

  • Start date:    Tuesday 26th September 2017
  • 5 week group:    Three Tuesday evenings, three week break for half term, then the final two Tuesdays: 7.30pm - 9.45pm in Hampstead

About the course

What kind of issues do people come along for?

We find that many parents do not necessarily have one burning issue they want help with, but rather are looking for ways to enjoy their day-to-day experience of parenting more.  However, areas of concern that often arise are childhood worries, sleep difficulties, non-compliance, social difficulties, fussy eating and sibling problems.  We often also have parents whose children have quite complex issues (such as special needs, including ADHD or ASD, or physical health problems) which we address in relation to how they impact on the use of the strategies and skills we cover, in the same way that every family’s individual circumstances are considered.  We are also happy to discuss an additional individual consultation after the course if requested.

How does this course differ from other parenting courses around?

Most other parenting courses are facilitated by parent trainers, who are first and foremost parents themselves who have then carried out training in practical parenting strategies.  Whilst also providing this perspective and knowledge, our clinical background and experience brings an additional layer of expertise.  This enables us to consider the wider family dynamics which may be getting in the way of implementing any strategies that are taught.  Our own parenting model, incorporates the best elements of the parenting literature, research and background psychological theory, to deliver a coherent, stimulating and effective parenting programme.  Finally, our groups are much smaller than usual to ensure that strategies can be thought about in relation to each group members individual needs.

Why a group?  Wouldn’t seeing someone individually be better?

Having both worked extensively with parents in both individual and group settings, we began to see how parenting groups could really be life-changing for the families involved.  Especially with younger children, even seemingly entrenched problems could be resolved with the right thinking in the right areas.  The group setting widens the focus, allowing us to cover more material but the small numbers in the group ensures that individual concerns are also addressed and multiple perspectives heard.  We find that group members benefit enormously from learning anecdotally from other parent's issues and appreciate the support, reassurance and ideas that come uniquely from the group experience.  In a small minority of cases, parents request an individual meeting to address a specific issue or for a refresher session after completing the course and this can of course be arranged.

Do you cover set topics?

We were keen to ensure that The Parent Space would address the core difficulties that parents came across in the time-efficient, stimulating and outcome-focused way that many of today’s parents need.  Based on a thorough review of the parenting research and literature, and our own professional experience of working with a wide variety of parents, we developed our parenting model, which we deliver in five sessions. We cover core parenting strategies, but discuss these in the context of the real issues and difficulties group members bring.  In this sense, each group is tailored to the needs of its members. Our aim is to resolve any existing problems but, as importantly, provide parents with a framework for thinking about and confidently dealing with the new issues their children bring throughout their continuing development.

Can you run a group in my own home?

If you live within the London area and would like to get a group of friends together for a more personalised group in your home then do contact us to discuss.

Background

What is Clinical Psychology?

We are often asked how Clinical Psychologists differ from Psychiatrists.  Psychiatrists are primarily medically trained and then go on to specialise in the treatment of mental health problems, often by prescribing medication.   Clinical Psychology training consists of an undergraduate degree in Psychology, 1-3 years of working in a clinical setting, followed by a further 3 year training to complete the Doctorate.  Clinical Psychologists are more therapeutically trained to use a variety of approaches (such as cognitive, behavioural, family therapy and psychodynamic) and tailoring these to meet individual needs.  We have training experience across the life stages from children & families (where we specialised), through to adult and older adult, people with learning disabilities and various physical health settings (including paediatrics).

What to expect

I’ve signed up – what’s the next step?

We will contact you with possible dates and times for your individual pre-group meeting.  This will take place at the course venue, usually within 2 weeks of the course start date.  At this meeting you will have a chance to tell us about your family and what you are hoping to get from coming to the course.  We will also be able to outline more fully the course structure and of course answer any other questions you might have.  If for any reason you are unable to attend a pre-group meeting, we would ask you to complete a pre-group questionnaire to provide us with some further information.

What can I expect when I come along to the group itself?

Our venue is small and informal to encourage a friendly and eventually intimate group experience.  We have brief introductions and then immediately begin our first topic. We allow time in each session both for teaching and an opportunity to discuss your own practical examples. We have a short break in each session for coffee/tea.

How many people will be in the group?

We keep our group size small, maximum 6-10 group members (one couple being two group members). This enables us to provide as much individual thinking as possible, whilst still ensuring a good group dynamic where you can benefit from others’ experiences, insights and questions.

How the course works

Why do you need two group facilitators?

Between us we have diverse clinical experience within the field of Child Psychology, which brings a high level of expertise to the course. We have known each for a long time, are good friends as well as working colleagues and are very comfortable working together.  We feel that this translates into a warm friendly group atmosphere, whilst retaining a professional focus.  It also means that on occasion we are able to separate and give more individualised attention to group members.  We believe that this, together with our skills in group dynamics, ensures that the group runs smoothly and group members tell us that they have a more satisfying and productive experience as a result.

I am worried about sharing private family information with strangers?

We are very clear about the importance of confidentiality within the group and ask people to undertake not to discuss anyone else’s circumstances outside the group setting.  Everyone attending is in the same position and we have always found group members to be very respectful of this.

Does the course work if I attend without my child’s other parent?

We understand that it is not always possible for both parents to attend and welcome either individuals or both parents together.  We often discuss how to ensure the involvement of a parent who hasn’t been able to attend and provide handouts to facilitate discussion of the course at home.  However, as research evidence shows that parenting courses have even better outcomes where both parents do attend, we give a substantially reduced rate to a co-parent (including separated parents or step-parents) to attend whenever possible.  Where two parents do sign up, we would ask that one particular parent commits to coming to every session to ensure continuity for them and other group members.

I am concerned that I might be the only father in the group?

Although we do get more interest from mothers on the whole, we like to run mixed groups where possible.  We find that having fathers in the group not only adds another perspective but also encourages everyone to think more openly about their own situation.  However, the reality is that there are often more mothers than fathers in mixed groups and we would be open to running a group for couples only if there is interest.  Please register your interest and we will keep you informed.

Other

Do you offer individual sessions?

For parenting work we primarily offer groups, although we're happy to consider an individual approach should this be indicated.  We also work individually with children and their parents where there are primarily about concerns about behaviour or anxiety.

My children are older, do you cover any other age groups?

Our talk on 'Preparing Parents for the Teenage Years' covers many areas that concern parents who are looking ahead as their children grow older. We will also be running a parenting group of the same name, specifically for parents of children aged 9-12, that will be starting later in the year. If you are interested in this, please fill in our register interest form to let us know so that we can keep you informed of a start date.

Do you do talks or workshops?

Yes, we have delivered many talks on a variety of parenting and child psychology topics in schools, law firms, banks and other corporate environments. Please do contact us to discuss your requirements.