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Behav Modif. 1993 Oct;17(4):407-56.

"What really happens in parent training?".

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Department of Parent and Child Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


The purpose of this article was to describe the therapeutic processes involved in a parent-training program for families with conduct-disordered children. Videotaped transcriptions of over 100 hours of group discussion therapy sessions provided the data for this study. Findings indicated that the therapeutic process of helping parents learn to manage their children's behavior problems was based on a collaborative model. This model included six roles for therapists, which were labeled building a supportive relationship, empowering parents, teaching, interpreting, leading and challenging, and prophesizing. In addition, the script for parents included five recurring themes related to helping them cope more effectively. These were promoting parents' problem-solving, helping parents "come to terms" with their child, gaining empathy for their child, parents' accepting their own imperfection, and learning how to "refuel." Examples of each of these roles and themes are discussed.

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