Family consultations consist in 2 to 6 meetings between an individual family with a child up to the age of 10 and one or two professionals. These meetings are particularly useful when parents have a specific question or concern about their child’s development or behavior.
In the case of a family with an infant, toddler, or young child, the parent/s and child will be seen together in the same room by two parent child experts, one of whom will speak with the parent/s while the other gets to know the child through play and observation. (See Side-by-Side Model)
Parents of children aged 6 to 12 are generally seen without the child, although the child may be seen separately or together with the parent/s, depending on the nature of the specific situation presented.
There is a wide range of subjects that parents may wish to discuss during a family consultation:
- infants’ sleeping, feeding, holding, and emotional regulation
- toddlers’ emerging push for autonomy and control, tantrums, aggression, sleep issues, separation, language development, toileting, adjustment to nursery school
- discipline and limit setting
- issues between siblings
- older children’s learning issues, screen time, peer relations
- tweens’ adjustment to bodily changes and managing social relationships
- dealing with major changes and/or crises in the family
During the consultation
- your concerns will be explored and discussed in depth
- you will get feedback about your child’s development and functioning
- you will be given practical suggestions for dealing with the issue that concerns you the most
- you will be able to report and reflect week by week on progress or challenges in making changes with your child
At the end of the consultation, the parents and professionals together will decide if further help is needed. When indicated, families may be referred for specific evaluations or ongoing treatment.