Parent Counselor and Coach

Parent Counselor and Coach

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

Margaret Puckette CPSP, parent counselor and coach

Hello, I am a parent counselor and coach with over 22 years professional experience.  I specialize in helping parents with a child, teenager, or young adult with serious behavioral challenges or a mental illness of any diagnosis.  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 that my own mental health started failing but I didn’t know what to do, which only worsened my family’s mental health, too.  We were stuck in a terrible situation.

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

I’ve learned there is always an approach that fits your child’s condition and your unique family situation, and counselor who understands what it’s like can help with a strategy and plans that work.  After working with 100’s of parents like you, I have witnessed parents turning things around.  From observations as a counselor and coach, I know you can master new techniques, reduce difficult or unsafe conditions, and support your child’s and family’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 based on science and clinical practice that’s 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.  It starts with how to manage your own mental health, then understand how your child thinks and why they do what they do, then what to do as your child’s life unfolds 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 professional experience as a counselor and parent coach here, and  testimonials from clients

Getting Started

1.   Tell me Your Story

Complete your story about your troubled childFill me in by answering the questions in the downloadable form.  I will contact you quickly 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 answering 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.  I focus on you and what you need as a parent for your own wellbeing.  When you feel strong, safe, and secure with your parenting, you can make miracles.

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 or Google Meet.

Phone Sessions

You have plenty of time, and are strongly encouraged to include other family members 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 and weeks following, I’m available for calls, emails, or texts when you need help with a new issue or if something’s not working, and this is included in the fee.  I gladly offer a sliding scale.

I suggest an additional session a month or two later because new challenges will pop up once you start implementing changes.  You should expect new challenges; it means that things starting to work!  Your task is to stay strong during difficult experiences because these fade with time.

What you can expect from a peer counselor and parent coach:

  • That you know what’s best and will do what’s right
  • Belief in you without judgement
  • Respect and compassion from someone who’s walked the same path 
  • Clear practical steps for reducing your child’s negative symptoms;
  • Techniques for communicating based on your child’s behavioral patterns;
  • House rules that work, structure that works, and beneficial physical or treatment adjustments;
  • Support for all family members and their important roles:  how to help each other as a team, or how to repair important relationships.
  • Answers for coping with: fearful behavior, parent and sibling relationships, school, what to do after age 18, health care providers, and challenges with your friends and extended family, plus your child’s friends or others in your community.

Please read the Disclosure and Ethics document.

Your Story

Please download this Word Document and tell me about your situation, taking as much space as you like.  Attach it to an email to me at, or you can cut-and-paste a copy into the body of the email.  Absolutely everything you share is kept confidential as required by U.S. regulations on health information privacy, which are derived from the Health Information Portability & Privacy Act or HIPPA.

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

troubled kids get better

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