Chaela D Stewart, LMFT
Connecting Couples Therapy
Attachment Based Couples Therapy
Offices in Santa Rosa and Petaluma
Regain the spark, depth, and intimacy your love relationship deserves!
New Parent Support Groups
Are you struggling with problem behavior with your child? Are you embarrassed or frustrated by your child's behavior and your reactions? Is your child not listening, aggressive, or having difficulty with separation? Are you feeling like a bad parent, stuck, or worried about how your parenting is possibly hurting your child?
Parent consultation is a short-term, alternative to family therapy or child therapy in which I meet with parents and assist them in concrete methods of improving their parent-child relationship. At the core of behavior problems in children, similar to problems with couples, is the need for more security in their primary relationship. A lot of parenting books and techniques focus on addressing the child's behavior and do not address the safety and security that the child needs to feel in order to inherently want to do good. Subsequently, many of the popular parenting techniques that may work short-term, actually create more physical or emotional distance between the parent and child and worsen the symptoms long-term.
The cure is always in the relationship: in the secure, loving attachment with the parent. Even the most loving parents are often surprised by the challenges they have with their children, finding themselves exacerbated, and lacking the patience and support they need. The good news is that you are the answer to your children's challenges and you have the ability to more fully tune-in to what your children are needing and missing. My way of working with parents is to help you get a clearer picture of your child's developmental needs and attachment wiring in order to help you accept your child, deficits and strengths, and parent from the security they need you to.
Healthy, happy parents are the cornerstone of a solid family and secure children. From time to time parents find themselves needing help. When this is the case, it's essential to get the support you need in a timely manner so that you can go back to feeling competent and confident in your parenting and family life. I have worked with children and their families for several years. My experience ranges from leading a new parent support group, to working with "severely emotionally disturbed" and at-risk children and their parents, guardians, and teachers in both the public school and in the residential group home setting. In addition, I have two children of my own, plus a bonus teen, so I know first-hand how challenging parenting, step parenting, and blended families can be, as well as the relational impact that becoming a parent often has on a couple.
I provide a variety of short-term, collaborative family services to assist parents where they are at.
Using my training in Family Systems theory and attachment theory, as well as my recent trainings with Dr. Gordon Neufeld, author of the book "Hold onto your Kids," I provide a variety of services to support parents, as they support their children.
If your family is in transition and you are separating or divorced, this is a critical time for children. Parents need to know how to hold their children emotionally and keep their children feeling safe and secure, no matter how young or old. Unfortunately, this time is usually so challenging for the parents, that children's needs are often on the back-burner. However, attachment needs are still first and foremost, and your deep and loving connection with your children is more essential than ever.
There is nothing more important than the love and security that parents offer to their children. During this challenging time, I will provide a designated time and place to safely and amicably work through how you want your family's future to look as well as to problem-solve the daily adjustments that need to be made. I will assist you and your co-parent with concrete ways to continue to both hold your children close and meet their attachment needs, during the transition to new schedules and new homes. I will help facilitate parenting conversations that bring the focus back to the most important aspect of your evolving relationship; your joint children and their well-being. I help couples keep their communication respectful and purposeful and assist parents in drawing on their separate and mutual strengths instead of focusing on their ex's shortfalls.
I offer new parent support groups to assist with the transition to parenting and the emotional needs of the new parent. I facilitate a small, intimate group of parents with their babies as we spend 8 weeks discussing relevant topics and fears typical becoming fully responsible for a new life. We allow time to discuss the birth, nursing/feeding, sleep, body changes, adjustments to work and home life, partner relationship transitions, emotions, sex, and infant attachment/bonding. This is a fun way to bond with a group of other new parents and find both friendship and support for the early years of parenting.
Contact me if you would like to set up a speaking event at your school, group, or organization.
"Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent."
The best, and potentially only, parenting book you'll ever need.
I have had the pleasure of meeting and training with Dr Neufeld live in 2011 and 2014, as well as in the Neufeld Institute's distance education in 2012 by completing the Level 1 Intensive: Making Sense of Kids.
Hold on to Your Kids, by Dr. Gordon Neufeld, and Dr Gabor Mate
The Essential Parenting Book
Here is my favorite book from the developmental psychologist that I am currently pursuing advanced training with:
If you have any question concerning the different services I offer, or how I can be of help, please don't hesitate to contact me. I will help find the best solutions for you and your family's needs.
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