When a parent is struggling with their mental health, it can be hard on the entire family dynamic — particularly on the parent-child relationship. As the parent does their best to keep things afloat and avoid showing that they’re not doing their best, this can leave the child confused and feeling that something is off. It’s helpful for parents to navigate tough moments and feelings with a counselor by their side — someone to lean on, and offer support and guidance. However, supporting a parent comes with its own challenges. They lead busy lives with packed schedules, making it difficult to book appointments as much as counselors would like to.
Here’s how counselors can support parents between sessions, and at a distance.
Assigning homework between sessions allows parents to keep their mental health top of mind in their day-to-day lives. The assigned task brings their focus back on their progress and creates a better chance that they’ll keep up with regular sessions.
Benefits of homework:
- Give clients control over their wellness: Completing a homework assignment reminds them of their goals and what they are working towards
- Strengthen the counselor-client relationship: Creating a space for discussion of your progress, results, and needed changes fosters a healthy, open conversation between counsellors and their clients
- Makes progress tracking a breeze: Homework creates an anchor for clients to begin tracking their progress. It’s also a fantastic tool to look back on to see how far they’ve come
Help Parents Define Moments of Self-Care
Yes, parents are immensely busy taking care of their children and families. However, there are moments in the day when they can sneak in self-care, even if it’s just a few minutes. Maybe it’s taking 5 minutes to read before bed or a few deep breaths before picking up the kids from school. A few self-care moments sprinkled throughout the day can lift mood, and bring the focus back on their mental wellness — keeping it top of mind between sessions.
Counselors Can Support Parents With a Digital Homework App
It’s important to keep up with busy clients between sessions to maintain growth and ensure homework compliance. Research has found that counselors who don’t consistently follow up on homework assignments are less likely to generate patient regard for the activity. It’s all too easy for patients to forget about homework or put it off when out of the office — especially for busy clients like parents.
A digital homework app like Therachat is an innovative tool that counselors can use to support clients. This is especially beneficial for busy parents who can’t always make it into regular sessions. Therachat offers emotion tracking, skill-building, thought reframing activities, and progress tracking — all in one app. It’s an accessible tool that parents can reach for when they need a boost between sessions. It’s another way that counselors can support parents with their mental health.
Level up your counseling practice with a digital tool that better supports your patients between sessions. Learn more about Therachat for clinicians.