COVID-19: All sessions are offered online

Mentalization-Based Treatment for Parents: Reflecting Parenting

Reflecting Parenting (RP) Group is an evidence-based intervention based on principles of Mentalization-Based Treatment (MBT) and Attachment Theory. RP aims at helping parents reflect on what is going on in their infant’s/child’ s mind and learn to interpret their children’s behaviors as communicating needs and intentions. RP also focuses on helping parents becoming aware of and remaining grounded in their own experience as a first step to responding effectively to their children’s needs.

Group will run weekly (evenings or Saturday morning) for eight weeks for 90 minutes. For more information contact Monica Hinrichs

Program Outline

Session 1: What is Reflective Parenting?

Why is it helpful? Getting to know you and hearing about your child/children. Research background, outcomes related to Reflective Parenting and making the approach meaningful to your parenting.

Session 2: How your own state of mind of a parent affects parenting

How can you manage your child’s behaviour if you can’t get a grip on your own mind? Thoughts, feelings, beliefs, past history, the impact of emotion. A tool called the Parent Map is used to help parents reflect on their own minds; for example, what triggers strong emotion and how their mind influences their relationship with their children.

Session 3: Managing your own feelings whilst trying to manage your child

This week we continue with talking about the Parent Map. Talking more about the difficulties in parenting and helping you build a map of how you want to parent and when you parent at your best.

Session 4: Thinking about the back story to your child’s behaviour

Promoting different perspectives and ways to understand the meaning behind behaviour. It helps parents take a developmental perspective (e.g. what behaviour is common and to be expected), and helps parents examine their own assumptions about their child’s intentions. We teach you in this session how to develop a new stance to parenting. A reflective or mentalizing one in which you can start to understand your child in a different way and help him/her manage his feelings and behaviour with your help.

Session 5: Managing your emotional temperature and that of your child

In order to achieve a better relationship. In this session, we use two tools: the emotional thermometer and the Parent APP to help you to connect with your child in a different way and manage your own feelings at the same time.

Sessions 6 and 7: How to manage discipline within your relationship with your child

It is hard to be reflective and not to react strongly sometimes as a partner, particularly when your child does something that really tests you and your relationship with them. Session 6 and Session 7 look at how to be an authority figure in your child’s life, but also how to understand why they are behaving a certain way and then to reach a way of helping your child to manage his or her feelings and behaviour without you having to resort to overly authoritarian measures.

Session 8: Keeping Reflective Parenting going

This session helps you to look to the future and how you can enjoy better times with your child. The importance of play and good times will be discussed and how reflective parenting can help you achieve more of this. at what influences children to cooperate and examines different ways of disciplining children.