Psychologist To Speak At Parents For Parents Support Group

Information on parent-child interaction therapy will be shared at the April meetings of the Parents for Parents support groups.

The meetings will be Wednesday at The Resource Center’s administrative offices, 200 Dunham Ave., Jamestown, and April 10 at the Connections North Center, 10825 Bennett Road, Route 60, Dunkirk. Both meetings are from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The guest speaker for both meetings will be Dr. Andrea Zevenbergen, clinical psychologist at the State University at Fredonia. She will provide information to parents on how to communicate with their children using parent-child interaction therapy, so information and/or requests are phrased positively and give clear directives for the child to follow.

Parent-child interaction therapy is based on the fact that for children who have mental health challenges and/or cognitive impairments, often little of the interaction between the parent and child is positive; instead there is typically some arguing and distress for the parent and the child. Parent-child interaction therapy creates a more positive relationship between the parent and the child. Parents are taught how to give directives to the child in a way that makes it more likely that the child will follow the directive (e.g., only giving one command at a time, making sure the child is paying attention to the adult, having the child repeat the command, if possible).

Parents, caregivers and all who support individuals with challenging behaviors are encouraged to come to the workshop and support group. The regular parent support meeting will follow the presentation. Light refreshments will be served.

Parents for Parents is a monthly parent/caregiver support group organized by The Resource Center and Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. The groups, directed by a licensed master social worker, connect and support families of individuals with special needs. The groups offer support, information, speakers and presentations on topics pertaining to parents and caregivers in Chautauqua County. The meetings are an opportunity for parents and caregivers to come together to discuss common triumphs, challenges, issues and concerns. The Jamestown group meets the first Wednesday of the month, while the Dunkirk group meets the second Wednesday of the month.

New members are welcome to join Parents for Parents. Meetings are free. Parents desiring assistance with child care, respite or transportation should phone in advance to make arrangements. Those planning to bring their children must call ahead so that organizers can have enough refreshments and children’s activities on hand.

For more information, call 661-1490 for the Jamestown meeting or 366-8176, ext. 268, for the Dunkirk meeting.