Benefits of Short-term therapy for parents and child: Study

Benefits of Short-term therapy for parents and child: Study

Therapies play a major role in the treatment of many neurological and psychiatric disorders and improve the mental health of individuals. American Psychological Association conducted a pilot study. The study discovered that giving short-term therapies helped parents and their children in improving parenting skills and reduce stress. And reduces symptoms of post-traumatic stress in children.

Challenges Faced by Homeless Mothers and Children

The study consisted of 144 families which included a mother and one child. The age range of the children varied from 18 months (about 1 and a half years) to 5 years old. Florida International University, collaborating with Lotus House in Miami conducted the research. In the U.S. it is one of the largest women’s homeless shelters.

The lead researcher was Paulo Graziano, PhD, and is a professor at Florida International University in the Department of Psychology. He said that 99% of the families agreed to be a part of the study. There was daily interaction between the shelter staff and the families to build trust. Many of the mothers were not taking any kind of therapy.

In the United States, there are records of more than 2 million children who are homeless. Children who are homeless deal with issues like poverty, mental diseases, behavioural issues, and traumatic events. An earlier study found links between homelessness and higher parental annoyance, bad parenting habits, and aggressiveness. These issues lead to chronic medical problems, increase likeliness of substance use issues and mental health problems.

The study made use of two different kinds of evidence-based investigations. The researcher teams taught the Lotus staff, both types. In their weekly appointments, mothers and their kids got treatment. Over the course of three to four months, the instructor led the weekly lessons. The evidence-based therapies were:

  1. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
  2. Child-Parent Psychotherapy
Objectives of the Study

50% of participants were given Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and the remaining 50% were given Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy consisted of reducing negative interactions with children and using positive parenting techniques during the play sessions. Whereas in Child-Parent Psychotherapy with the help of play and language, identification and addressing of the triggering situations leading to trauma is done. After the identification appropriate emotional support and help in problems in daily life is provided.

The therapies in both the groups resulted in stress reduction and helping in reducing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress in children. As a result, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy was more effective in setting of shelters.

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