Catherine Gruener, M.A., M.A., LCPC, NCC is an Adlerian-trained licensed clinical professional counselor, national certified counselor, and certified Positive Discipline educator with training in Parent Management techniques from the Yale Parent Center. She holds master’s degrees in neuropsychology and a second master’s degree in counseling psychology. She is the incumbent Secretary for ACACI and professional member of ICA. She has worked in the mental health field since 1994 and provides individual and family counseling, parent counseling, and parent education through Gruener Consulting in Oak Brook.
One of the intervention modes that is often overlooked when counseling children or adolescents is parent training. Parenting truly is one of the “most difficult and important tasks of life,” (G. Kenneth West, 1986). Parenting not only offers adults a chance to heal their pasts and have a healthy attached relationship, parents and the family unit greatly influence a child’s behaviors towards the tasks of life (work-school for children, love, and relating with others). Adlerian based parent education programs have been found to decrease problematic child behaviors, improve adolescent motivation, improve parent-child relationships, and increase parental well-being, approaches, and attitudes (Lindquist, 2014). Parent Management training has been found to improve child behavior from clinically diagnosed problems to nonclinical levels of functioning in the home, improve maternal depression, decrease stress, and improve family interactions (Kazdin, 2005). By changing parenting approaches, orientations, strategies, and techniques, children benefit: problem behaviors resolve, parent-child relationships improve, and families become more connected.