Parent Peer Support Provider

Parent Peer Support Provider

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

Margaret Puckette CPSP

Hello, I am a certified parent peer counselor with over 22 years professional experience.  I offer skilled parenting support for raising a child, teenager, or young adult with serious behavioral challenges or disorder with or without a diagnosis.

After working with 100’s of other parents, I learned there is no general approach that fits all families, but there is always an approach that can be customized to a child’s condition and their unique family situation.  I guide and mentor parents with practical actions and plans they can implement at home.  I have witnessed parents turn things around for their child and their family (co-parent relationships and siblings).  There is reason for hope!  Any parent can master new skills; practice new techniques; reduce difficult or unsafe conditions; and support their child’s and family’s wellbeing, and especially their own wellbeing.

Parenting a troubled child is completely different from what raising a ‘normal’ child.  Commonsense things mostly do not work when a child has a behavioral problem–not praise, incentives and disincentives, strict rules, reasoning, consequences, or fairness.  Doing these may even worsen behavior if they are the only options parents use.

I began my journey to parenting support after raising a troubled child; my lack of skills and understanding, and the emotional distress, prevented me from doing what was best in our situation.  I wasn’t able to find anyone with good advice or understanding, but I got plenty of bad advice, sometimes from professionals. I know that my own mental health was failing which only worsened my family’s mental health.  I “hit the books” to try and function and manage a terrible situation.  What I learned eventually lead me to try and help others avoid what my family went through.

Let’s talk

If your family is struggling and nothing is working, let me help you make breakthroughs which are  based on science and practices used by mental health professionals, and which you can apply at home.  Many of these are easier than you may think, but they require very different expectations and goals. The first step is helping parents effectively manage their own mental health, then learn how their child thinks and why they do what they do, then moves into lessons on mental health practices and practical home management changes.

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 with parenting support 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 two sessions

I will contact you as soon as I receive your Story.  We will schedule sessions at times that are convenient for you, including evenings, weekends, and different time zones.  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.  The first session will uncover the right parents skills and practices specific to your situation, and it results in a plan.  I will follow up with additional information that couldn’t be covered in this session.  I remain available for crisis calls, texts, or emails for when something comes up if parents need additional guidance.

The second session occurs anywhere from two weeks to two months after the first.  This is because parents need time to apply their knowledge and observe the outcomes.  This session might be for troubleshooting, next steps, or for support and  information on emergent problems.  Parents should expect new challenges; it means that something is starting to work.  Your mission is to stay strong during new and difficult experiences because they may be psychologically necessary for improved behavior in the future.

3.  Payment

Sessions are US$175.  I prefer payment in US$ using Venmo or PayPal, and can make other arrangements if you prefer.

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

Phone or Video Sessions

Sessions are not limited by time and there is no extra charge–I’ve found tremendous insight and hope springs forth after at least an hour.  Sessions are usually 90+ minutes.  Other family members are encouraged to join except for your troubled child.  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 recommend planning a second session 2 weeks to 2 months later because new challenges will have popped up once parents start implementing changes.  You should expect new challenges; it means that something is starting to work!  Your task is to stay confident and in a position of authority  during difficult experiences because these often fade with time.

What you can expect from a parent peer counselor:

  • 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 other beneficial home life changes (sleep, diet, how time is spent, etc.);
  • 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: challenging and intolerable behavior, worry or anger, parent and sibling relationships, school, what to do after age 18, working with health care providers, and any challenges with friends or extended family.

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:

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