Parent Hope Project

 Hope building: From child project to parent project

young happy family

Have you found child relationships challenging and confusing?

It’s natural to want to fix and change a child/adolescent who is struggling to manage life. Hence it may be a surprise to hear that this program is designed to focus on the parent rather than to try to change the young person. A repeated idea in this program is that when parents shift their energies away from trying to fix or change their child and invest in what is in their control as parents, new hopeful pathways open up. Changing another is outside of anyone’s control, whereas changing self is always achievable. When a parent discovers ways they can promote more autonomy and responsibility in their child/adolescent, through how they manage themselves, it can recover a parent’s confidence. It doesn’t promise a quick fix for the young person but it does enable the parent to get back on track as a loving and firm leader. Usually, after some initial protests from the young person as they experience changes to old patterns of interaction, the parent begins to observe their child/adolescent beginning to manage their own life challenges more successfully. Even gradual changes can make a huge difference to a young person’s path towards adulthood. Information pages are available to assist with the parent’s change efforts. 

2021 course dates to be decided.

Program Structure 

An introductory meeting will take place to give you an opportunity to ask questions and help your coach to understand your particular family story.


Stepping back: Observation and awareness

Learning to observe the parent-child interactions when stress is high

Parents are assisted to:

  • – Find the most effective ways to lower the high stress of caring for a symptomatic young person
  • – Understand the child/adolescent’s developmental stage and how this shapes parenting,
  • – to grant appropriate independence and to foster connection with the young person
  • – Consider any patterns that might be fuelling tension in the parent/carer partnership
  • – To identify any patterns that may be triggering increased dependency or reactivity in the child/adolescent
  • – Distinguish between what is within a parent’s control and what is not.

“It’s important for me to understand the part I play in my relationships because that’s the only part I can change”.

mother and two kids


Stepping up: Adjusting self

Learning to adjust parent interactions to promote the young person’s growth in responsibility and wellbeing

Parents are assisted to:

  • – Experiment with acting only on what is in a parent’s control
  • – Reduce unhelpful tensions with the other paren
  • – Experiment with ways to connect without intensity
  • – To be able to hold one’s own limits with the child/adolescent without creating a power struggle
  • – Be able to say what I am willing to do as a supportive parent and what I’m not willing to allow as a loving parent
  • – Set a realistic action plan for maintaining progress


This program can be equally useful for one or both parents to attend. It can be very helpful for just one parent to work on changing the way they manage interactions. As one person changes, others in the family make adjustments that can lead to a healthier family.

This course is NOT for you if you are in crisis and wanting personal counselling.

It is educational in nature and not intended to be group therapy.

Program author Dr. Jenny Brown

If you have any questions please contact Living Systems at

To register, click on the Register Now button to the right.

“If you’re going to assist your child to grow their resilience, the first step will be to increase your own resilience in tolerating your child’s upset without feeling compelled to rush in and smooth over everything for them. The grown-up parent, who really wants to be a loving resource to their child, is prepared to work on themselves and not make a project out of their child.”

Living Systems Counselling is a registered society, charity# 107784308RR001. We are a leading provider of counselling, training, education, and research-based on Bowen family systems theory. We offer counselling for family, couples, addiction, mental health issues. 9 locations in the Vancouver Lower Mainland. We thank the BC Gaming Commission, District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, Individual donors and our members for their support.

209-1500 Marine Drive, North Vancouver, BC, V7P 1T7

Telephone: 604.926.5496…….Email: