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Parent Coaching, 3: What is a Certified Parent Coach?

What is a Certified Parent Coach? I had the same question.  As an Educational Consultant, I happened upon ADHD coaches in the DC area who were not just organizing the student to support their learning profile but they were meeting the student where they were and helping to them forward. I always loved talking to the coaches because they provided me with a standard of what a strong, competent advisor at a day or boarding school should be for an ADHD kiddo.  They don’t force the paper writing, they review where a kiddo is and ask open-ended questions to get at where they needed to be (in truth, from where I sat, their “instruction” appeared rather magical).  

And then I learned about Certified Parent Coaches.  It occurred they came from the same world in many ways.  First and foremost they were certified; there was a lot of training to achieve this and the value should not be underestimated.  And then I looked around and asked a lot of questions of Parent Coach Professionals, founded by Barb Cass & Vicki Jones. Both have extensive experience working with teens and families in therapeutic programs. The coaches at Parent Coach Professionals are credentialed by the International Coach Federation and have demonstrated mastery of the core coaching competencies.  In addition to achieving the ICF credential, they have extensive training in a variety of coaching specialty areas such as behavioral coaching, love and logic, neurolinguistic programming, and positive psychology. (Parent Coach Professionals also offers a coach training certification program for those wishing to become certified coaches or to enhance their professional skill set, a course approved by the ICF.)   

So, how is this broad group different from the family therapists at a program, or even the referring professional who helped your family place your child?  Parent Coaches overlap with these other professionals in their dedication to your family, but parent coaching is not therapy. Parent Coaches utilize the coaching model to partner with parents in generating solutions that are meaningful in their particular situation.   The team at Parent Coach Professionals utilizes skills-based, solution oriented coaching to help families achieve their goals and create the type of relationship they want with their children. They assist families in identifying supportive tools and techniques to create the change they desire.  They assist families while they still have children in the home, while transitioning into a therapeutic program, or as the child transitions back into the home.  Parent Coaches can provide assistance with home contracts and other valuable tools. 


7 Questions To Think About When Hiring A Coach or Mentor 

1.  What has you considering coaching at this time?  What outcomes would you like to achieve?
2.  What process do you believe would work best for you, your family, your child?  Individual parenting coaching, family coaching?
3.  What is your budget?
4.  What time commitment do you have for this process?
5.  How important is it for this professional to interface with others professionals already working with your family or child?
6.  If your child is in a program, are there coaches already available?  Would an objective party be beneficial to you?
7.  How do you work best with professionals, do you prefer face to face, Skype or do phone sessions work well?


About the Author

Jenney Wilder M.S.Ed launched All Kinds of Therapy in 2015, as the only independent online directory for the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry. With an impressive case of ADHD and her starter career in the 90’s in Silicon Valley, the dream for creating a website with features like side-by-side comparison and an integrated newsletter was born. Jenney stopped counting treatment centers and all types of schools that she has visited when she hit 500 many years ago. She was the sponsoring author of the only Economic Impact Study of the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry, which revealed the only true financial figures about this industry (in Utah). Jenney has a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College (NY) and a Bachelors of Arts focused on History from Wheaton College (MA).