Is Parenting Harder Than You Thought?

You’re often overwhelmed and anxious, if not frustrated and disappointed. And tired. Always tired.

Raising kids is harder than you imagined. It’s hard to know how to coach your kids through strong waves of emotion. How to guide them in their social interactions. How to balance holding their hands and letting them do things for themselves. Sometimes, it feels like you and your child or teen are on opposite teams, fighting for control. You want the best for your child, so why are some of your interactions so difficult?

Parenting Has Changed

Parenting has changed a lot since you were young. Parents these days are more stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed than they used to be. The same can be said of our kids. The demands on children these days – academically, socially, and more – are higher than they once were. It’s not surprising that we’re now seeing a record number of mental health diagnoses among our youth.

We’re exposed to an infinite amount of information about how we should be parenting our kids. Media and social media influence how we act and interact, and of course, impact our children. Parents are certainly less authoritarian these days, and while this shift has helped children to feel more heard and understood, it’s sometimes hard to strike a balance in guiding our kids and maintaining our connections to them. Parents these days are tasked with teaching their children how to grow into good people while simultaneously being mindful of their emotional worlds, creating trust and safety at home, and nurturing the parent-child relationship. It’s a lot to balance.

Parenting With DBT At Gatewell

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy designed to help people regulate their emotions and improve their interactions. While it was originally developed as a therapeutic treatment to help people struggling with a variety of symptoms and disorders, it’s been adapted for use in different populations and in different settings. DBT skills are taught to adults, adolescents, and children and presented not just in therapeutic spaces but in workplaces and schools for widespread reach.

Details About Our Parenting Course

This parenting course is open to parents/caregivers and meets 10 times over Zoom.  Instruction is live/interactive, and students are assigned homework to reinforce learning. The course fee is $650 per student (discounts are available for multiple family members).  The course can be taken alongside your teen’s DBT skills group or as a standalone offering.

In this live, online parenting course, you’ll learn basic DBT skills to help you regulate your emotions and improve your interactions with your children. Of course, in learning these skills, you might also model them for (and teach them to) your children.

Our Curriculum

Our 10-session parenting course covers five primary topics from DBT:

1) Core Mindfulness Skills: Mindfulness is at the heart of DBT. Here, you’ll learn how to focus your attention and thinking. Mindfulness skills encourage you to observe, describe, and participate in life and to do so from a non-judgmental, focused, and effective stance. Mindfulness helps us know what we’re feeling and when intervention is necessary, and it allows us to interact with others less judgmentally and more effectively. This can positively impact our relationships at home.

2) Emotion Regulation Skills: Emotion regulation skills helps you gain increased awareness and understanding of your emotions. You’ll learn what you’re feeling (and why) and how to ride out strong emotional waves. We’ll cover how to dial back the intensity of our emotions, as well as how to make ourselves less vulnerable to strong emotions in the first place.

3) Distress Tolerance Skills: These skills help you cope with crisis situations without making them worse. They help us navigate some of those more challenging parenting moments. You’ll learn how to accept certain realities and how to weather the storms of life. If you’re someone who struggles with knowing what to do when facing challenging experiences and who is sometimes flooded with emotions, distress tolerance skills can help.

4) Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: These skills teach you how to interact with others more effectively. Here, we cover listening and communication skills, as well as basic assertiveness skills. We’ll focus on balancing honoring your relationships with our children with your relationship with yourself.

5) Walking the Middle Path: Here, we focus on how to move away from extremes in how you think and act, and how to find balance in your interactions with your kids. Primarily, we focus on balancing validating and accepting your kids with problem-solving and teaching them new, more effective behavior. With a middle-path approach, we strike that delicate balance between acceptance and change as we nurture our children and shape their behavior over time.

Meet Your Instructor

Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld is a clinical psychologist, certified eating disorders specialist, and certified group psychotherapist. She has worked at some of the finest institutions in the country, helping folks address emotional and behavioral concerns. Dr. Rosenfeld is intensively trained in DBT through Marsha Linehan’s Behavioral Tech. She leads multiple DBT skills groups per week and uses the skills herself in managing interactions with her children.

Become The Parent You Know You Can Be

Parenting is tough, but it you don’t have to do it alone. Learning DBT can help you reduce your emotional reactivity and improve the interactions in your home. The DBT skills can allow your family to find greater balance, connection, and peace. Contact us to enroll.

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*Please note that this is not a therapy group. No diagnoses are assigned or therapy notes are kept for the group. The content presented is strictly educational. If you are interested in a therapeutic DBT skills group, or one that isn’t specifically related to improving your parenting, our general skills groups might be a more appropriate choice.