Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social work with children, Child psychotherapy-Parent participation


The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate how clinicians engage parents in their child's therapy. The study attempts to learn from a clinicians' perspective about their parent work. Participants were asked to discuss their experiences, thoughts, and feelings about parent work especially about engaging parents in the treatment of their child. The sample included twelve clinicians who had at least two years of experience working with children, adolescents, their parents and/or families. Seven of the participants were licensed clinical social workers, two were licensed marriage and family therapists, one was a licensed mental health counselor, one was a licensed independent clinical social worker and one had a Masters degree in Social Work. The participants' years of experience range from two to twenty-five years. The study explored clinicians' experiences of engaging parents by asking about a case that was successful and one that was difficult. One of the major findings was that the difference between whether a case was successful or not depended on the characteristics of the parents. Each participant attempted to engage the parent and some of the parents were able to respond and some were not. The study also found that participants seemed to enjoy the aspect of parent work.




ii, 45 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2008. Includes bibliographical references (p. 38-39)