Family Therapy with Young Children Study Group: Focus on Parenting
9 Fridays Weekly
January 26-March 22, 2024; 9-10:30am ET
13.5 CEs | Live On Zoom

Facilitator: Howard C. Wolfe, MA, LMFT & Kelly Garcia, LMFT

Program DatesJanuary 26, February 2, February 9, February 16, February 23, March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22, 2024

Family Therapy with Young Children Study Group: Focus on Parenting is a weekly, 13.5 CE event that will meet in nine 90min segments. This group will be structured as a study group and as such will look at approaches to supporting families who have a young child struggling to grow up. The struggle could be related to family members having a neurological issue (ADHD, sensory integration and regulation challenges, spectrum disorder), the structure of the family (parents not able to be a team, leadership problems, boundary issues) or the mistaken goals of the child. Topics might include:

  • Moving from an individual therapy to a family therapy perspective where the parents are the agents of change, by involving teachers, grandparents, coaches, nannies, etc.
  • An understanding that parenting is the transmission of values and approaches to life as a human. Parenting is largely a values driven activity. How do we go about understanding a caregiver's parenting style and values? What are our values for family life and parenting? What are the ethics of promoting one type of parenting over another? How do we address disagreements between spouses? Between parents and the therapist? How did we arrive at our approach to parenting?
  • Uses and abuses of various diagnostic systems. Medical vs. relational diagnosis

This course will center around the book Children: The Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs, with additional insight from The Greenspan Floortime Approach by Stanley Greenspan and his ideas about how a child’s hard wiring interacts with the family (social) environment. The course will use video as an educational platform: specifically, from Supernanny with Jo Frost where she introduces us to families and then demonstrates various parenting methods to get the parents back in charge, and promote a satisfying and calm family atmosphere. The course will also use case consultation, where study group participants could present a family they are working with.

Continuing education units will be distributed to those who attend all nine sessions. If folks need to miss one session, they will be asked to write a 2-3 page summary about the content from Children: The Challenge and how they plan on implementing this information with an identified family.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be better able to:

Learning Objective 1: Describe the 4 main styles of child rearing (Authoritarian, Permissive, Attachment, and Democratic) and how to help parents decide on a style based on the advantages and disadvantages of each one. 

Learning Objective 2: Teach techniques of Democratic Parenting using logical and natural consequences to parents, teachers, and other caregivers using family therapy and parent education methods.

Learning Objective 3: Engage more effectively with parents around contracting with parents, using a problem list, using a family intake meeting, and coaching parents.

Schedule (all times in ET):

9-9:15: Review of previous topic and introduction to current topic
9:15-9:30: Discussion of principles from Children: The Challenge.
9:30-9:45: Identification and practice of interventions within the Dreikurs model for parent/child relationships
9:45-10: Introduction and discussion of case study/case consultation
10-10:15: Continuation of discussion of case study/case consultation
10:15-10:30: Review, discussion of gains made.

FREE for Members – Become an NEAFAST Member! 
$80 for Non-Members

13.5 CEs: $175 for Members, $203 for Non-Members

Sign Up for the peer group Here!

Howard C. Wolfe, MA, LMFT was trained as a Family Sociologist before completing two marriage and family therapy programs, one at Penn State (MA) in Human Development and one at The Minnesota State University (PhD program) in Home Economics. He has been practicing for many years in a variety of settings including street work with youth, mental health clinics (as a clinician, supervisor, and director), and in private practice. He has directed two successful Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Substance Abuse Prevention Grants. His work is split between providing training and consultation on child guidance and substance abuse prevention and treatment for youth, and a private practice in Marriage and Family Therapy in Arlington, MA. His career is dedicated to helping children grow up and understanding the things that keep them from growing up. He believes that the Family Systems approach can play an important and unique role by promoting healthy parenting and families through couple and family therapy and parent education. Visit his website

Kelly Garcia, LMFT completed her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a focus on Couples and Family Therapy at William James College. She began training as a therapist first at an adolescent partial hospitalization in Lowell, and next at a community clinic and school in Lynnfield. Since graduation, she has provided individual, group, couples and family therapy for children, teens, families, and adults. She has worked in a residential home for children, in a community-based and outpatient-counseling center, and currently in private practice.

This activity is pending certification by the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy (NEAFAST) on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions for LMFT professional continuing education.

This activity can be retroactively approved for CEs for Massachusetts LMHCs. Learn more at

Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact us at [email protected] for the status of social work CE accreditation

Please note: It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.

This program is being offered independent of any commercial support or conflict of interest. Clinicians with any level of experience are welcome to participate.

Cancellation Policy: Please email us at [email protected] if you are unable to make it. We will give a full reimbursement for cancels prior to August 15, 2023.