4.

Parenting
Therapy

Parenting is rewarding but hard work, and presents many challenges.  Just as raising a child brings joy, intimacy, and growth, it can place enormous strain on your intimate relationships, and on relationships with other family members, and also changes your sense of yourself in profound and unique ways.  Parenting stirs up and reactivates emotionally sensitive areas for all adults, but can at times overwhelm our familiar strategies for managing stress and challenges.  

 

Because of my extensive experience with children and families,  I  offer parents a supportive and thoughtful environment in which to understand the relationship between the child's emotional and behavioral development and the parent's own psychological sensitivities.  As a parent myself, I appreciate how important it is to be able think collaboratively about your parenting challenges in supportive and non-judgmental relationship.  

 

What kind of difficulties can be helped with parenting therapy?

 

I offer consultation and treatment for parents struggling with diverse challenges with their children, including:

 

  • Difficulties setting rules and limits

  • Separation challenges such as conflicts around transitions of bedtime,   school, and being left with babysitters

  • Emotional containment, tantrums, and physical acting out

  • Difficulty in establishing balanced and satisfying relationships with family members, peers and school personnel. 

 

 

How do I know when I might benefit from parenting therapy?

 

It's normal for all parents to feel  isolated and overwhelmed at times, just as it is for our children to go through difficult days and developmental stages.     However,  if you find yourself stuck in a familiar, negative pattern with your child, and the usual strategies of reaching out to friends, family, and your family doctor are not enough,  it may be time for parenting therapy.  When interactions with a child become overwhelming, it's often difficult to understand where the problem began and how to change negative patterns.  Blaming the child or a specific parent can unfortunately become an easy solution to a complex problem.  At this point, consultation with a psychologist can help bring greater clarity and solutions to strengthen the parent-child relationship and help get the child's development back on track.

 

 

Why parent therapy instead of child therapy?

 

Remember the oxygen mask?  Helping yourself first also applies to psychotherapy.  Engaging in psychotherapy or consultation as a parent becomes a unique opportunity to nurture yourself and strengthen the ability to bond and connect, both for yourself and your child.  It can be a highly effective way of preventing psychological distress in your own child, and reinforces the effectiveness of your child's therapy if he or she has already begun their own treatment. 

 

Parenting provides each of us with  rich opportunities to form more intimate, connected and deeply loving relationships.  As a psychologist, my role is to assist you in building a stronger "bridge"  between yourself and your child, and help you understand and effectively navigate the conflicts you are experiencing in the unique and loving relationship you have with your child. 

Dr. Esther Ehrensaft, Ph.D.

1996 Union Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94123

 

Tel: (415) 749-1060

© 2018 by Esther Ehrensaft, Ph.D.