Transition & Parent Coaching

Parent Coaching

Wilderness Programs
Louise and May took a course to be certified as parent coaches because we wanted additional tools that would help enrich our relationship with our clients and parents. Coaching provides a safe and open space for our parents and their children to problem solve. Through questioning, the client is able to come up with healthier ways to develop their own strategies to solve their own problems. Parent coaching is not the same as a therapist or a consultant. A therapist listens, diagnoses a mental health issue and then outlines treatment for the client. A consultant is a person who looks for solutions to problems. Being a consultant require giving advices on a specialized topic. A coach moves the client to new behaviors and actions through asking questions that allows the client to take ownership over their problems and be the problem solver which often leads to a healthier future. The client actually sets the agenda and solves the problem which is completely opposite of consulting.

When working as a parent coach, it is important to help the client set specific goals and the steps needed to achieve that goal. The client needs to decide how each goal will be measured to be able to see improvement or growth. These goals need to be achievable, relevant to the problems, and time sensitive. As a parent coach, one must watch out for barriers that can prevent the process moving forward such as family conflict, cultural differences, fear of change, or judging oneself in a negative manner. A parent coach works as an agent to help the client be accountable for goal setting. Occasionally the parent coach must help the client recognize what is really going on which requires empathy, insight, honest feedback and powerful questioning. Powerful questions are often open-ended and often begin with who, what, why, when, and how. These types of open-ended questions can often uncover options not considered by the client before when looking for solutions to the set goals. As these goals are met, it is important to examine new areas of primary focus in order to set new goals. In addition, it is important for the parent coach to restate what was heard or observed during their session which can be valuable feedback for the client moving forward.

As the parent coach and client’s relationship deepens, the parent coach needs to be genuinely present during the conversations. The client feeling heard by the coach allows the client to let go of the outcomes and be present in the moment. The truth is that we are all human beings who want to be understood and heard without judgement. This is the role we hope we can play for our clients when they need a parent coach more than a consultant or a therapist.

Young Adult Transition Programs

Wilderness Programs
When students are in high school, often parents provide the structure, accountability, and boundaries for their son or daughter to do well in school. However, according to a 2018 article in U.S. News & World Report on College Freshman Retention Rates, as many as 1 in 3 first-year students won’t make it back for sophomore year. There are many reasons that students don’t return including poor study skills, lack of preparation for the academic rigor of college work or a lack of good time management. Many college courses expect a student to be mature enough to study and organize large assignments independently. Another reason is lack of self-management skills around healthy eating, healthy sleeping, and a sense of isolation and loneliness from home and peers. Often, when students struggle, they begin to isolate, quit attending classes, and begin to “self-medicate” with either video games or substances.

Substance use can quickly escalate and often students explore and engage in risky sexual behaviors while intoxicated. Many women report getting raped by an acquaintance while at parties. As things spiral out of control, students often struggle with anxiety and also with depression. Sadly, many parents do not know of any of these struggles or know just the “tip of the iceberg”. Often students will not sign a release for parents to receive grade reports and unfortunately, parents find out a student has been placed on academic probation or has been asked to leave when it is too late to take measures to correct the downward slide in grades. Other students maintain grades but begin to show signs of significant substance abuse.

Students return home demoralized, full of shame, and with a loss of academic self-confidence. They feel they are alone in their difficulties and see peers moving ahead with diplomas, jobs, and careers. Parents and students alike are unaware that there are great college transition programs that can support these students and help them regain traction back into a healthier life adjustment. Some students attend young adult wilderness programs as a way to get intense therapy and to determine how to overcome self-imposed barriers. Others go to a phased young adult transition program that may start with life skills and a part time job and gradually allow a student to re-enter college, often at a small and supportive community college.

At The Price Group, we research the alternatives and help to determine what supports and programs will fit for the individual student. Some need strictly academic help, some need recovery programs, and some need help with social skills and finding a healthy peer group. There are many reasons for struggles in college and young adulthood and we help research these transition programs to find the one that most closely matches the student’s issues and needs.