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How Parent Coaching Helped Me during a Family Mental Health Crisis

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On December 18, 2020, I wrote a blog on this website called A Parents Journey.  It was about the experience I had helping my daughter manage through her mental illness crisis, which became our family’s crisis.

Initially, my wife and I believed that if we found the right therapy for her, they would rehabilitate her, and all would be well.

Boy, was I wrong!

What was just as important as our daughter’s journey of change and improvement was how my wife and I addressed our emotions and parenting abilities.

My wife and I were misaligned in our parenting styles and communication with our child.  She was the “helicopter parent,” who often came to the rescue, while I was the “suck it up and get it done parent,” who wasn’t enough in tune with our child’s struggles.

The result was that while our child was getting the help she desperately needed, we continued to struggle as parents.  We both felt guilty that we may not have been good enough parents for our daughter.  We felt grief that our daughter wasn’t happy or succeeding, and we experienced angst with one another as we each believed our own parenting style was more appropriate.  Finally, we were anxious because we didn’t know how to move forward and ensure we were better aligned to support our daughter and each other.

Fortunately, we were encouraged to engage with a Parent Coach.  It was the smartest decision we could have made.

The coach we worked with over a period of a couple of months facilitated a conversation that enabled us to forgive ourselves and one another.   It provided us the tools and methodologies to better work together to support our child.  Most importantly, it gave us the opportunity to prepare for our daughter during and after her therapy.  It was so impactful, and it really worked.

As a result, I decided to investigate parent coaching more.  Our parent coach changed our lives. I figured there were many other parents who needed help.

First, I needed to understand the difference between coaching, consulting, and therapy.  What I discovered is that coaching is the partnership between coach and clients where the clients have areas in their lives they want to change or improve.  The coach empowers clients to find their own best answers and holds them accountable for their goals.

Therapy typically works by looking at the past and the root causes of mental and emotional issues. In contrast, coaches support clients, focusing on the present and future and the positive changes clients can make.  Finally, consultants typically present clients with solutions. Coaching involves specialized expertise rather than helping clients find their own solutions.

With this information, I knew I wanted to be a coach.  So, I investigated programs where I could get trained.  I ended up selecting two programs because they focused on different aspects that I thought would give me the best opportunities to learn.  One was the Parent Coaches Trainers Academy. The other the JAI Institute for Parenting.  I proudly completed both of these programs and am ready to expand my parent coaching practice.

I enjoy being a parent coach because helping parents is life-altering.  Parents who engage these services find their relationships with their children and with each other change for the better.  Parents have the intention and abilities to prosper, but they sometimes get stuck in the stress of their current circumstances. Working with a parent coach can unlock these barriers.

If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.

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About the Author: Andy Goldstrom is a Parent, Podcast Co-Host, and Certified Parent Coach.  He is dedicated to serving parents who have children struggling with mental illness through the website www.parentsjourney.net and his innovative parent coaching business.”

In 2020, he interviewed rtor.org’s Editor in Chief, Jay Boll, for Andy’s podcast Wilderness Therapy & Residential Treatment Center Journey.

If anyone has any questions or would like to discuss Andy’s parent coaching services or their specific situation, feel free to reach out to him at andy@parentsjourney.net or 770 633-2260.  He offers a free Discovery Session to see if there is a good mutual fit but is happy to engage with any parent who needs direction or just a person who will listen.

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The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.

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