Counseling for Parents

Counseling for Parents

The best way to help a troubled child is to help their parents.

Margaret Puckette, parent counselor, helps parents with a troubled child

When I was trying to parent my troubled child, my lack of and skills and my emotions seriously hurt my ability to be a good parent.  I wasn’t able to find anyone with good advice or emotional support, but I got plenty of bad advice.  I know my anxiety worsened my family’s mental health, too.

Parenting a troubled child should never be a do-it-yourself project

I’m dedicated to helping parents help their troubled child.  And according to science, the right parental approach really does improve your child’s condition and the benefits are lasting.  I have witnessed this after years working with hundreds of parents like you.  You can master new techniques to reduce difficult or unsafe symptoms and improve everyone’s wellbeing.

Parenting a troubled child is completely different from what one does raising a ‘normal’ child. Commonsense techniques usually do not work–not praise, incentives and disincentives, reasoning, and fairness.  Doing these may even worsen your situation if they are the only options you use.

Let’s talk  

If your family is struggling and nothing is working, I can help you make breakthroughs with information and techniques used by professionals which you can apply at home.  Many of these are easier than you might think, but they require a different perspective and goals on your part.  It starts with how to manage your own mental health, then understand how troubled child thinks and why they do what they do, and how your child’s life may unfold over time.

There are no simple answers–a new path requires effort–but I promise you will feel relieved and hopeful after your first call.  

If you have general questions, email me at:  Read about my personal and professional experience here, and the testimonials from clients.

Getting Started

1.   Tell me your Story

mother telling storyFill me in by answering the questions at the bottom of this page.  I will contact you to discuss how we can work together.  We can save much time on a call if I know about your situation ahead of time.  You may find that writing this down will give you insights, too.  If helpful, I can contact you in advance for a free 30-minute conversation prior to any appointment to see if you are comfortable working with me.

2.  Set up a meeting

I will contact you as soon as I receive your Story.  We can set up a time that’s convenient for you, including evenings and weekends.  If appropriate, I strongly encourage a couple to be on the call.  It is not appropriate for me to speak directly with your child however.  A call is about you and what you need as a parent, and what you need for your own wellbeing.

3.  Payment

I prefer payment in US$ using PayPal.   We can make other arrangements if you prefer not to use PayPal.

For counseling sessions outside the U.S., calls will be set up via Skype.

Phone Sessions

I give you plenty of time, and strongly encourage other family members to be on the call except for your troubled child.  Sessions can be 90+ minutes.  You will receive a detailed written summary with an assessment and recommendations.  In the days or weeks following, I’m available for urgent calls, emails, or texts if you need help with an pressing issue, and this is included in the fee.  I gladly offer a sliding scale.

I recommend an additional session at least a month later, because new challenges will pop up once you start implementing changes.  You should expect new challenges; it means what you’re doing is starting to work!

What you can expect from me

  • You know what’s best and will do what’s right.
  • Belief in you without judgement;
  • Respect and compassion from someone who’s walking the same path 
  • Clear practical steps for reducing your child’s negative symptoms;
  • Techniques for creating a therapeutic home for your family (e.g. teamwork, values);
  • House rules that work, structure that works, and communication styles that work;
  • Support for all family members and their important roles:  how to help each other as a team, and how to repair important relationships.
  • Answers for coping with: denial, fearful behavior, parent relationship, schools, health care providers, extended family and friends, or challenges with your child’s friends or others in your community.

Please read the Disclosure and Ethics document.

Your Story

Please tell me about your situation taking as much space as you like, then click on Submit.  Absolutely everything you share is kept confidential as required by U.S. regulations on privacy, which are from the Health Information Portability & Privacy Act or HIPPA.

Your Story
This helps to develop an action plan and specific steps to help you, your family and your child. Everyone is important.
This will help with problem-solving to develop practical steps for addressing the behaviors.
We can determine which relationships to strengthen and which to limit, and how. Families and their troubled child need the support of good people for their wellbeing.
It helps to know what's worked or failed, and develop an action plan for steps to improve mental health in addition to professional treatment. There are lots of options.
When we can clearly identify existing causes or triggers for your child's distress, we may be able to develop ways to reduce their impact.
Please add comments about other concerns you may have, especially those that affect you and your ability to parent.
If you'd like to contact me directly, email
I can answer general questions by email, but I can’t offer any advice until I know more about your child and family. A session is needed for an in-depth account of family history, observations, treatment history, and other important information. Each family and child is unique, and parents need customized support that fits their situation.

Questions about fees or anything else about my services are welcome anytime:

troubled kids get better

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