Parent Group


Support group for parents of children coping with pain and health conditions

 

Parenting is the hardest job there is.

When your child is in pain, your job is that much harder.

 

The most effective treatment for pediatric pain and illness is biopsychosocial. This means that the best way to help your child is to target not only the biological underpinnings of her illness, but also her psychological and social functioning. 

 

Research shows that the inclusion of parents in treatment fosters better outcomes for children with pain and health issues (1). It's well-documented that the way parents respond to their child's pain is associated with decreased pain severity, decreased functional disability at home and school, and fewer physical symptoms (2, 3, 4). In fact, without appropriate parent support, it's harder for children to make steady gains. Thus, parents are a critical part of the treatment process.

 

Parents of children with pain and illness also experience significant and understandable stress and worry. Having social support and a place to problem-solve is a critical strategy for parents coping with this kind of pressure, who often feel isolated and alone. Getting this kind of group support and training ultimately circles back around to help your child, because when parents are less stressed, kids are less stressed!

 

This new parent training-and-support group is specifically designed to benefit parents of youths with pain and health conditions, particularly migraines and headaches, abdominal pain, post-concussive syndrome, and auto-immune diseases. This is a unique and invaluable opportunity to connect with other caregivers struggling with similar issues, get much-deserved support, and learn CBT-based "coping tools" that will help your child thrive. These groups are facilitated by Dr. Z and address key issues, including:

  • School and academics
  • Anxiety around pain/illness episodes
  • Impact of pain/illness on family functioning
  • Sleep issues
  • Effective coping strategies
  • Helping your child get out of bed and return to life.

Groups will meet one night per week (TBD) from 5:30-6:30pm for approx 8 weeks. Specific session length and content will be determined by group size, participants’ needs, and questions.

 

Space is very limited and spots are by invitation-only. Parents are welcome to apply for an invitation on the contact page. More information about structure and dates will be provided upon acceptance.

 

 

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References and further reading:

1. Coakley R. & Wihak T. Evidence-Based Psychological Interventions for the Management of Pediatric Chronic Pain: New Directions in Research and Clinical Practice. Children 2017, 4, 9. 

2. Eccleston, C.; Crombez, G.; Scotford, A.; Clinch, J.; Connell, H. Adolescent chronic pain: Patterns and predictors of emotional distress in adolescents with chronic pain and their parents. Pain 2004, 108, 221–229.

3. Eccleston, C.; Palermo, T.M.; Fisher, E.; Law, E. Psychological interventions for parents of children and adolescents with chronic illness. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 2015, 51, 1036–1038.

4. Claar, R.L.; Simons, L.E.; Logan, D.E. Parental response to children’s pain: The moderating impact of children’s emotional distress on symptoms and disability. Pain 2008, 138, 172–179.