Help by Phone

Help by Phone

A professional parent counselor can quickly put parents on a successful path.

Margaret Puckette parent counselorRaising a troubled child, teen, and even a young adult is completely different from how one raises a typical child.  Natural parenting approaches do not work.  Commonsense things like praise, logic, incentives, disincentives, reasoning, and fairness do not improve our child’s behavior, so parents must use an entirely different approach and master new skills.  As the mother of a mentally ill child, and long time parent counselor, I’m dedicated to helping you avoid mistakes, create a therapeutic home for your family, and genuinely improve your child’s condition.

Let’s talk

If your family is struggling and nothing is working, I can help you make breakthroughs with sound advice and techniques used by professionals that you can apply at home.  I will share insights as another parent who has helped 100’s of families like yours.

For counseling sessions outside the U.S. and Canada, calls can be set up via Skype.

There are no simple answers, but I promise you will feel relieved and hopeful after your first call.  

Start by telling me your Story and answering questions at the bottom of this page.  I will contact you quickly to discuss how we can work together and put your mind at ease.  If you have general questions, email me at:  Read about my personal and professional experience here, and testimonials from clients.

Get Started

1.   Tell me your Story

Please take the time to complete your “Story”  What do you need right now?  What’s going on with your child?  We can save much time on our first call if I know something about your situation ahead of time.  You may find that answering the questions will give you insights into your situation and child.  If helpful, I can contact you in advance for a free 30-minute conversation prior to any appointment to help with an issue.  You can then decide if my services will work for you.

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.  This is about you and what you need to do as a parent.

3.  Payment

I prefer payment in US$ using PayPal.  When you are ready, you can click the PayPal button to make a payment.  We can make other arrangements if you prefer not to use PayPal.


Single phone session – $175 for a 90-minute session, which includes any follow-up calls, emails, or texts if you need help with an emerging issue.  You will receive a written summary with an assessment and recommendations.  You will also receive a copy of my book “Raising Troubled Kids,” a guidebook that has been reviewed by professional mental health providers.


If you want additional sessions: the price is reduced to $125.  Additional sessions are useful for addressing issues that come up once you start implementing changes.  You should expect new challenges when something’s starting to work!

Things will get worse before they get better, but this is a good sign.

What you can expect from me

  • Belief in you without judgement
  • Respect and compassion from someone who’s been there and understands;
  • Clear practical steps for reducing your child’s negative symptoms;
  • Techniques for creating a therapeutic home for the entire family (e.g. teamwork, values);
  • House rules that work, structure that works, and communication styles that work;
  • Support for all family members; self-care, ‘mental health’ breaks, ways to bring joy back into your lives
  • Answers for coping with: schools, health care providers, relationships, or challenges with your child’s friends or others in your community

Please read the Disclosure and Ethics document.

Payment via PayPal is required prior to a scheduled appointment.  General questions about my services are welcome anytime:

Your Story

Please cut and paste these into an email, and complete and send.  Absolutely everything is kept confidential per HIPPA regulations (Health Information Portability & Privacy Act).

1 – Briefly list or describe the most important things you need now, your main priorities, and please include things that you need and those of your other children if there are siblings.  This helps to identify priorities, and focuses our session on the most important things first.

2 – Tell me about your child, and age and diagnosis (if any).  What behaviors are most worrisome?  What are your child’s strengths?  In your own words, write out concerns that need to be addressed, and describe the child’s strengths.  We will work with the child’s innate strengths to address some of the problems.

3 – Tell me about the important people in your child’s life who directly interact with your child.  Besides family members and friends, include others like teachers or professionals who are influential.  Include both positive and negative relationships.  We will work on strengthening relationships with positive supportive people, and limiting those with people who are detrimental to you and your child’s wellbeing. 

4 – Has your child received any kind of mental health treatment?  What has helped, or had no effect, or worsened things for your child?  Please list any observations of sleep, seasonal mood changes, allergies, digestive problems or other medical problems.  It helps to know what you’ve already tried and how it’s working or not working.  We may discuss how to better work with all the professionals in your child’s life (doctors, therapists, teachers, employers, coaches, etc.).

5 – Is there anything in your child’s environment that is making things difficult but is currently unavoidable?  When we can clearly identify existing causes or triggers for your child’s distress, we can develop ways to avoid or reduce the impact.

6 – Is there anything else you’d like to add?  This is where you may be struggling with a decision, or a disagreement, or concerns about your own wellbeing.  Please add comments about other concerns you may have, especially those that affect you and your ability to be an effective parent.  There may be concerns that came up while you were answering questions above.. 

Children with mental health problems get better.  This happens all the time.