Parent Guidance in Treating Childhood Behavioral Problems Using the Principles of Intrapsychic Humanism and SmartLove

by Carol Johnson, LCSW, Director of Staff Development, SmartLove Family Services June 15,2012 6-8 PM, Supper at 5 PM Many children who need support services often struggle with problems in behavioral and emotional self-regulation that can lead to difficult symptoms such as intense meltdowns, tantrums, moodiness, or aggressive behavior. Parents and providers alike can be at a loss not knowing the most effective way to respond to children and may end up engaging in endless power struggles or reacting in punitive ways that only cause more conflict with the child and inadvertently cause the child to feel worse about her/himself. The good news is that much can be done in parent guidance to help parents care for their children in ways that help them to be happier, to lose interest in their negative attention seeking behaviors and to turn to their parents to help them make more positive, constructive choices. Ms. Carol Johnson will discuss the many unique and effective aspects of the parent guidance approach used at Smart Love Family Services (SLFS), a not-for-profit counseling agency where she is Director of Staff Development. This approach helps parents tap into their constructive caregiving motives so they can be more effective in offering the accurate and loving caregiving they want to give their child. Ms. Johnson will discuss how SLFS staff teach parents the benefits of SmartLove and how to implement these parenting strategies to facilitate their child’s inner happiness. Using this approach, parents learn how to be available to help their child mourn losses, regulate their child’s behavior while enhancing their inner self esteem, and enhance and stabilize their child’s inner happiness at home. Ms. Johnson will show how using these strategies leads to stronger parent-child relationships and makes parenting more enjoyable. The SmartLove parent guidance approach is based on intrapsychic humanism, a depth psychology and developmental approach that was developed by two highly respected experts in the mental health field, social worker Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D. and psychiatrist William J. Pieper, M.D. Inner Humanism is the application of these ideas to caring for individuals of all ages in psychotherapy and SmartLove is the application of these discoveries to parenting and child development.