Many families experience the most difficult behavioral challenges with their children outside of the therapy office. Problems such as aggression, compulsive behaviors, or difficulties with self-regulation may be significant in the home, at school or in the community. Parents can feel overwhelmed with trying to find the best response in the moment to help manage their child’s feelings, needs and behaviors, as well as their own.

Therapeutic behavioral coaching works with parents and children in their home and community by targeting behaviors that keep a child from having productive interactions in these environments.

The coaching can happen in place of more traditional therapy or as an adjunct treatment to psychotherapy.

This model of treatment is based on child development (Dan Siegel, MD “Interpersonal Neurobiology”), attachment parenting, (William Sears, MD), and cognitive-behavioral theories.

Phases of the Treatment

1. Assessment/Planning:

This work is solution focused and begins with 1-2 sessions of observation and assessment in the home, school or community site to gather information, identify problematic patterns, and establish therapeutic goals. If families are working with a primary therapist and adding this as an adjunct service, treatment can be coordinated with the primary therapist upon request to synchronize therapeutic goals.

A behavior plan will be developed that targets specific behavior patterns. Changes in these negative patterns will improve a child’s life and lead to happy, healthy and productive choices.

2. Behavioral Coaching:

The behavioral coach works in the identified setting by coaching parents and children in recognizing and changing their relational and behavioral patterns as they occur in the moment.

The work involves deconstructing the behavior patterns to understand the feelings, needs, and values that are being expressed through behaviors (function of behavior) and then establishing alternative behavioral choices that will meet the same set of needs, feelings, and values in a way that is more positive and harmonious for everyone. If we can understand the function of problem behaviors, we can teach a child more positive behaviors that serve the same function, and the problem behaviors are no longer needed.

Behavioral coaching will positively reinforce the use of the new, alternative behavior choices until the change that we are working for is established and integrated into each member of the family, and the family system as a whole has reached a new level of cooperation and well being.

Targeted Behaviors

  • Self Regulation
  • Aggression
  • Self-harm
  • Defiance
  • Avoidance
  • Fears/phobias
  • Sleep issues
  • Executive Functioning
  • Anxiety/Coping
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Social Integration

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