About me

About me

When parents are supported and guided, troubled children do well.  This is where I can help.

Margaret Puckette is a compassionate and experienced counselor for parents of a troubled child, teen, or young adult with a behavioral challenge or addiction. Her book, “Raising Troubled Kids,” offers practical, clinically sound, and frank information on how to effectively parent a difficult child, support their future, and reduce stress at home.

“I draw on mental health research and current professional practices, my social work experience, my own experience as a parent, and wisdom gleaned from 100’s of other parents like you.  It is possible to manage a trying and stressful family situation by concentrating on what’s specific to you, your child, your family, and your life situation.  You have strengths to draw upon that you haven’t thought about; maybe you need a simple way to address a chronic problem that seems unsolvable; or maybe a few new practices in your home can improve everyone’s wellbeing.

My Story

Life with a schizoaffective teen,” tells what happened in my life, and what I discovered about raising a child whose symptoms became noticeable around age 12.  I needed to parent so differently than ‘normal’ children, but no one told me what my child needed or showed me how.  Unintentionally, I made many mistakes that worsened my child’s condition.

Searching for help, I dove into the books, read everything I could, and questioned mental health professionals and other families. I also got important counseling for myself.  I discovered I needed to reach out for help to extended family members and friends and asked them to be part of her “team.” She is in recovery as an adult, and her family will be there for her for her lifetime.  I started mentoring other parents as a volunteer, eventually becoming a professional family support partner, an author on raising children with mental disorders, and a family support group facilitator.

I am passionate about helping parents get ahead of their child’s illness, avoid mistakes, and give their child a better chance in life.

Child and Family Mental Health Work Experience

  • Parent Counselor, I specialize in counseling parents and caregivers like me, with children with serious behavioral disorders and addictions, ages 5 to 25+.
  • Certified Parent Support Provider – conferred by the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.  This certification requires over 2000 hours providing family support under the direct supervision of a licensed mental health professional, over 100 continuing education units during that period, and passing a rigorous 3 hour exam on the principles of counseling and family support.
  • Support group facilitator since 1999 for parents and family members of a child, teen, or young adult with a serious behavioral disorder.
  • Family Partner, Trillium Family Services, Portland, Oregon – I started a program to support families as a peer; revised documents to use family friendly language; and trained staff on what parents needed, practical advice and support for raising their child… but also self-care and family balance.
  • Family Partner, Wraparound Oregon, Portland Oregon – I mentored and coached families of youth with mental disorders who were involved in the juvenile justice system.


Conference Speaker

NAMI Oregon Annual Conference, Salem OR, 2018
Children’s Mental Health Conference Portland OR, 2011 and 2012
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Portland OR, 2010, 2011, and 2012
Family to Family, Portland State University, Portland OR, 2009
American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, San Diego CA, 2008
American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, Tampa FL, 2006

Guest lectures

Portland State University – post graduate classes in the School of  Social Work
Portland State University – undergraduate class, Social Studies
Oregon Health Sciences University – graduate class for psychiatric nurse practitioners, School of Nursing
George Fox University –post doctoral class, Department of Clinical Psychology
Oregon Health Sciences University – Presentation for child and adolescent psychiatrists


  • Oregonian interview on the subject of violence and mental illness
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting interview on the subject of teens and mental illness
  • KATU-TV interview on the subject of bullying in schools
  • Clear Channel FM 107.1 interview on the subject of bullying and child behavior
  • KOIN-TV News interview on the subject of depression in children
  • Oregonian stories on my support group, here and here


  • Member: Family Workforce Association – Alliance of parent peer professionals in Oregon, 2018
  • Family representative/adviser for the child and adolescent psychiatric program at Unity Hospital, Portland OR, 2016 – 2017
  • Letter of Commendation – Oregon Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, for “contribution to the well-being of adolescents and families with serious emotional and mental health issues.” 2012
  • Volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, ongoing
  • Chair, Benton County Mental Health Advisory Board, OR, 4 years
  • Member, Commission on Children and Families, Benton County, OR 4 years

Online publications

DrLaura.com:  “Typical Parenting Mistakes: 9 Ways We Make Things Worse“, 2017
Parentingbookmark.com:  “Strengthening Families Living With a “Black Hole” Child“, 2017
Wellness.com:  “Life With a Schizoaffective Teen“, 2017
ProfessorsHouse.com:  “Is my Teen ‘Normal’ Crazy or Seriously Troubled?“, 2017


“The Oregon Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry commends Margaret Puckette for your contribution to the wellbeing of adolescents and families with emotional and mental health issues.  Your book “Raising Troubled Kids” has helped many parents and is helpful to families internationally.  The members of OCCAP look forward to work together with you, and to learn even more from you in the future.”

–Marvin Rose, MD, President, 2012


Stand-up comic with Mental Health At the Mic

Mental Health at the Mic
“Reducing stigma one joke at a time” I’m part of a troupe that helps people understand mental health through humor.  Laughter heals.


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