What’s the difference between parent coaching and psychotherapy?

In our experience (we do have a psychologist on our team :)), and based on what our clients tell us, some main differences between therapy and Wits’ End Parenting are…

1. A difference in focus and strategies. Many if not most therapists focus on feelings and the client’s management of feelings. We focus much more on the communication patterns between the parents on the kids — and we also focus much more on setting things up so that difficult feelings decrease, so there is less need to manage them. We also take a good hard look at practical, physical realities, for example, schedules or family routines. Our approach tends to be very concrete and practical, which makes the material much easier to implement.

2. A difference in the helping professional’s view of the client and the problem. Psychology and psychotherapy have deep roots in a view of the client as “troubled,” emotionally off-balance, or otherwise deficient. Although some therapists resist pathology-oriented interpretations, a pathology orientation is an integral aspect of most therapists’ training.

3. A difference in focus on the parents vs. the kids. When a child’s behavior is the problem, although many therapists do work with the parents, they tend to work as much or more with the child. In contrast, our focus is less on teaching the child and more on teaching you how to teach your child. We think this if much more efficient. It’s way more effective for you to manage a negative behavior when and where it happens than it is for you to rely on a third-party to attempt to resolve the problem by talking about it a day or a week later in therapy.

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