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Do you feel overwhelmed in your parenting role?

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Is your child struggling with anxiety and worries?

Why choose Parent-led cognitive behaviour therapy?

mother and child in embrace

What is it?

  • Parent-Led CBT is a collaborative process where the therapist supports the parents whose child or young person is struggling with anxiety, or where the parent themselves are struggling with anxiety in their parenting role.

  • It is an opportunity to work with the therapist to explore what is maintaining the anxiety. Strategies and tools can then be introduced to break that negative cycle.

  • The process of working with a therapist also supports the parent in helping their child understand and manage their worries and fears.

  • Working with a therapist is an opportunity to explore any parenting approaches that may unintentionally be maintaining the child’s anxiety.

  • As a parent you can continue the work after therapy has finished, implementing the tools to maintain progress, and manage any potential future setbacks.

Who do we support?

In parent-led CBT we can support the parent if they are struggling with anxiety, stress and worries in their parenting role. Sometimes a child or young person may also struggle with specific fears, social anxiety, general anxiety and worries. This can impact on their friendships, school and homelife. The child or young person may be offered support, but if they do not want to engage with that then where do you go? You may be offered a parenting group, but if group support is not for you then where do you go?

Parent-led CBT is working purely with the parents but is a whole family approach to introduce strategies for long-term positive change.

How we work

A full assessment of the difficulties is done with the parents and, depending on the age of the child or young person, they can also meet with the therapist for the assessment. This can take between 30 to 50 minutes. It is also an opportunity to meet with the therapist and ask any questions you may have about the process. There may also be a few questionnaires to fill out but this can be done after the assessment. A treatment plan is then agreed which can include up to 8 sessions, and these can be weekly or fortnightly.

Over the sessions we work together to meet identified goals, with agreed home work for between sessions so that you can practice new strategies and establish new habits.

Strategies and case example

Some topics we might cover would be:

· Managing first time parent worries

· Managing parental stress

· Managing our inner critic and other unhelpful thinking styles

· Recognising your strengths and achievements as a parent

· Problem solving with your child

· Building your child’s self-esteem, confidence and independence

· Active listening and communication

· Managing conflict

· Introducing rewards and consequence

· building consistent boundaries

· and much more.

For example: Susy was struggling at home with her 6 year old son, often getting in to arguments and he would refuse to do homework. She recalled regular times of conflict since he started school and she had tried to support him with his homework. They would go round in circles, frustrations building with each other and the situation. With the help of a therapist she was able to reflect on the situation and explore what was maintaining the conflict. She identified she was holding strong beliefs of what he ‘should’ be able to do in comparison to his peers. She also had strong beliefs of what she felt she ‘should’ be achieving in her parenting role. In both these cases they were not meeting her expectations and resulting in frustration. Once she had recognised this, she was able to adjust those beliefs. She began to focus on what he could do and acknowledge his achievements. She also began to challenge her unhelpful thinking styles, introducing a more compassionate approach to her parenting. Together they created a routine for homework and chores, with a clear reward system for his achievements. The times of conflict greatly reduced, and homework time was no longer a war zone.

How to get in touch:

If you would like to know more about parent-led cbt then you can either fill out the contact form on my homepage, or email me at

Image: Kittikorn @ Canva


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