Naturally there are other factors that we cannot control that influence our children's development (random events, temperament, inherited vulnerabilities). But when it comes to what we can do to shape our kids’ growth, the research is solid. Parents who show up are the ones who have made sense of their own life experiences, creating a “coherent narrative” and know how to offer "parental presence". The fact that you are reading this says you are showing up for your child by seeking the guidance you need.
With the help of your therapist, you will discover that parental presence is knowing how to show up inside and out. Inside we come to understand how the past has shaped who we are in the present in a way that frees us to be what we want to be now and in the future. And outside, we learn how to have an open, receptive awareness—to have parental presence—so that our child feels felt, understood, and connected to us, even in our most challenging parenting moments. And that’s where we’ll begin, with helping you consider how well you’ve made sense of your experiences with your own parents and how you can be present in the lives of your kids today.
Check out our theraeputic techniques and program options below.
At Eckert Centre, our psychology team approaches parent support counselling from an attachment informed lens.The “father” of attachment theory, John Bowlby, said this about attachment: "Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person's life revolves, not only as an infant or a toddler or a schoolchild but throughout adolescence and years of maturity as well, and on into old age. From these intimate attachments a person draws strength and enjoyment of life and, through what he contributes, gives strength and enjoyment to others. These are matters about which current science and traditional wisdom are at one." (Bowlby, J. (1980) Attachment and Loss: Volume 1. Attachment. Basic Books: New York.) Whether you are just starting out as a parent, raising young children, or in the midst of parenting teenagers, understanding how to read and respond to your child's emotional needs, at each developmental stage, can make all the difference.
Programs offered at Eckert Centre:
Circle Of Security Parenting: COS-P is an internationally acclaimed relationship-based parenting program. It is a short-term (10 to 20 sessions) structured approach for parents of children under the age of seven (adoptive and foster families may still benefit from COS-P even if their children are older). It can be delivered individually, with parenting partners, or in a small-group setting. COS-P has proven science behind its effectiveness in giving parents a clear roadmap of how to build closeness with, and independence from, their children (based on attachment theory). Parents are supported by a trained therapist in enhancing their capacities to both comfort their children and promote exploration and autonomy.
The goal of building and maintaining secure parent-child bonds is accomplished by supporting parents to “see” their child’s emotional needs (attunement) and “respond” to their children’s emotional needs even when the child’s need causes internal discomfort for the parent (called “shark music”). The COS-P approach asserts that parents have a universal desire to do the best for their children. This helps parents to courageously reflect on the problematic patterns of interaction between themselves and their child, learn from these experiences, and move forward with new ways of responding to their child’s needs (by being “Bigger, Stronger, Wiser, and Kind”) which facilitate healthy child development.