Helping Children Reclaim Their Birthright to Happiness: Applying the Principles of Intrapsychic Humanism to Child Treatment and Parent Guidance

A Presentation by Carla Fick, Psy.D. and Carol Johnson, LCSW and Co-Sponsored by Smart Love Family Services Friday, June 18, 2010 Light Supper Served at 5 p.m. In this seminar Dr. Fick and Ms. Johnson will present the core aspects of inner humanism treatment, using a shared case example of child treatment and parent guidance to illustrate Smart Love*. They will demonstrate how this treatment is ideally suited to helping children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds with the broadest range of diagnostic concerns. Dr. Fick will present a brief summary of Intrapsychic Humanism's view of normal development, the most important developmental achievement of primary happiness, and the psychopathology that is the cause of inner unhappiness. She will use case material to illustrate how SLFS staff use inner humanism to engage the child in her/his search for inner happiness. Specifically, Dr. Fick will present the core components of child treatment: facilitating the child's motive to regulate the caregiving of the therapist, understanding the difference between the therapist's personal and caregiving motives, and distinguishing between process and content meanings of the child's communications. Lastly she will illustrate the importance of helping the child know about and mourn losses through the treatment relationship, and regulate her/his aversive reactions to pleasure. Ms. Johnson will discuss tapping into the parents' constructive caregiving motives and helping parents to be more effective in offering the accurate caregiving that they want to give their child. She will discuss how SLFS staff teach parents the benefits of Smart Love and how to implement these parenting strategies to facilitate their child's inner happiness: being available to help the child mourn losses, regulate the child's behavior while enhancing the child's inner self esteem and working to enhance and stabilize the child's inner happiness at home. Dr. Fick is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Clinical Services of SLFS. Ms. Johnson, a licensed clinical social worker, is a clinician and clinical supervisor at SLFS. * Smart Love: The Compassionate Alternative to Discipline That Will Make You a Better Parent and Your Child a Better Person by Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D. and William J. Pieper, M.D. (Harvard Common Press, 1999).