A Special Resource for you from Hand in Hand Parenting
Welcome, we're glad you found your way here to learn more about Hand in Hand. Below, you will find two presentations by Hand in Hand's Founder, Patty Wipfler. One is a video presentation on Setting Limits. The other is an audio recording of a talk, "Understanding Kids' Needs and Wants," that Patty delivered to therapists taking part in an online couples therapy training program led by Dr. Ellyn Bader at The Couples Institute.
Patty explains the difference between Parenting by Connection and
Permissive Parenting in this sample video clip on Setting Limits:
Also, listen to a special gift for you from The Couples Institute. This special audio presentation by Patty, "Understanding Kids' Needs and Wants," is specifically designed for professionals.
We hope you enjoyed your beginning exposure to the work of Hand in Hand Parenting. Explore the information on this page to learn more about the once a year Professionals Intensive and to
Deepen Your Ability
To Support Parents
Join us for an eight-week intensive course in Parenting by Connection, designed for psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, social workers, doctors, nurses,
members of the clergy, and parent outreach workers.
Based on this powerful approach to supporting parents and strengthening the parent-child connection, the Professionals Intensive course will deliver:
- Competence in the Parenting by Connection approach. You will practice our Listening Tools in your own family and in your professional practice.
- Guidance on using these practices both in your family and with your clients.
- Discussion of theory and research supporting Parenting by Connection, with a focus on practical and experiential application.
- Opportunities to share your own experience.
- In-class sections recorded with permission of local participants are available for confidential viewing by all participants (a total of 16 hours of videos, which are accessible for repeated viewing throughout the course).
- Distance learners watch the in-person class video each week and are mentored in small groups via a weekly conference call, receiving up to 12 hours of interpersonal class time.
- A portion of each in-person class or conference call is devoted to listening support groups.
- All participants will have access to an online classroom for discussion and posting of materials.
- All participants will have access to the videos and written materials from our Building Emotional Understanding course, including the parent manual and the set of 9 booklets.
- Additional materials will be made available as needed.
- You will spend several hours each week practicing new skills with the parents and children in your family and professional practice, as well as receiving and providing support in a Listening Partnership.
- Total weekly time commitment of 4-6 hours per week.
A high-speed Internet connection is required for both in-person and distance learners. Click here for class schedules and times.
Class size is limited and allows individual attention for your questions and issues, so sign up now to ensure your participation!
- Who is this course designed for?
- What is the Parenting by Connection approach all about? How is it different from other approaches?
- How will I be able to use the Parenting by Connection Listening Tools in my professional practice? What implications can this class have on my practice?
- Are there any prerequisites for taking this course?
- What are the requirements for taking this course?
- What is it like to be in the Professionals Intensive class? What kind of experience might I expect? How do the in-person and distance learning classes differ?
- Do I need to have a professional license before I can take this course?
- Can I get Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits?
- What happens if I miss a class or class call?
- If I decide I want to do the Building Emotional Understanding class first, will that be okay? How should I do that?
- Will I be able to teach the Parenting by Connection listening skills to the parents that I work with? If so, how would I go about doing that?
- What is the advantage of teaching the Parenting by Connection Listening Tools in a group format vs. sharing the information one-on-one with a client?
- I am not a parent. Is it viable for me to both learn and teach these skills to clients?
- I am not a parent. I am familiar with the Listening Tools but do not have firsthand experience using them So I don't always feel confident about advising parents on how to use them. What should I do?
- Will there be opportunities for individual and group consultations after the Parents Intensive class, as I incorporate these tools into my practice?
- I work with adults and couples. Parenting issues do come up sometimes, but only tangentially. Will the Professionals Intensive course allow me to be of help to these couples even though they are not coming to me specifically about parenting issues?
Who is this course designed for?
This course is designed for professionals who work with parents, children, and families, including child therapists, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, doctors, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, doctors, dentists, paramedics, members of the clergy, parent coaches, life coaches, doulas, and birth/newborn care professionals.
At the heart of Parenting by Connection is one very simple idea: children’s feelings play a deeply useful role in their lives. There are four fundamental principles behind Parenting by Connection that are related to this simple concept:
1) Connection is absolutely vital to the well-being of children. Being in good connection with parents and caregivers who are tuned in to their emotional state allows children to learn well, build loving relationships, and adjust flexibly to the changes that life brings.
2) Children often go through challenging experiences that they can't fully comprehend, which can cause big upsets to arise. When this happens, they feel disconnected and aren't always able to tell us how they're feeling. Instead they signal this to us through off-track behavior (e.g. whining, inflexibility, impulsivity, aggression, etc.).
3) We can help children heal from this sense of broken connection by listening to them, understanding that their emotional expression is part of a natural recovery process. Listening is the cornerstone of this approach. Hand in Hand offers four listening tools that parents can use to listen to their children with love and attention so that the children can have a chance to cry, have a tantrum, and laugh when life becomes too overwhelming. These listening tools help children reconnect with their parents and heal from hurt. Our experience as well as the science tells us that having a chance to release tensions in these ways allow children to once again engage flexibly and lovingly with people around them.
4) In order for parents to listen well to children on a regular basis, they need to be listened to regularly themselves. Hand in Hand offers two listening tools that parents can use to build support for themselves so that they can replenish their energies and do the important emotional work of parenting.
For more information about this approach, read the article Partnering with Your Child by Patty Wipfler.
Click here to listen to Patty Wipfler's 6-minute description of the Parenting by Connection approach.
The Parenting by Connection approach is both concrete and profound. The six Listening Tools that we teach can provide immediate support and relief to overwhelmed parents as well as offer the possibility of long-term transformation, depending on what people are ready for and open to. You will feel confident in adding these tools alongside other approaches you may use to work with adult and child clients. Because the Parenting by Connection is a non-judgmental, respectful, and strength-based approach to parenting, your clients will find themselves feeling deeply respected and accepted by you, which will in turn inspire them to make the changes necessary to move forward in their lives.
Click here to listen to a 3-minute audio recording of Certified Instructor Beth Ohanneson sharing about the implications of the Professionals Intensive class on her professional practice.
No. Although we do suggest that you take the Building Emotional Understanding class in order to become familiar with the Listening Tools of Parenting by Connection, we don’t require it. We think that the mentoring we give is useful regardless of the level of experience you have with Parenting by Connection. If you are experienced with using this approach in your family and want to hone these skills in your line of work, then the mentoring serves to help you go deeper into the approach and understand how to share it well with your clients. Otherwise, the mentoring serves as an extended introduction to this approach.
- A work or family situation that gives you contact with parents and/or children, and a willingness to try our Listening Tools either at home or at work.
- Access to a computer
- High-speed Internet access
- A phone line or Skype connection to join our conference call
Please read the Class Format for details about the logistics of the in-person and distance learning classes.
Both the in-person and distance learning classes will include a mixture of instruction, sharing of personal experience as each participant tries our Listening Tools, mentoring in the use of the approach, and group listening time, based on the tenets of our approach. Participants will learn from one another and from their own personal emotional work in the class. We will focus lightly on the relationship of Parenting by Connection theory to the professional training you have had, so there is time to emphasize the experiential learning you will do at work and at home with the Listening Tools.
Click here to listen to Certified Instructor Beth Ohanneson’s 7.5-minute description of her experience in the Professionals Intensive Spring 2010 class as a distance learner. Beth subsequently went through the year-long instructor certification program and is now a certified instructor who taught the Professionals Intensive class in 2012.
Click here to listen to a 4-minute audio recording of a story from Beth about how she used the Parenting by Connection approach to connect with her daughter.
Click here to listen to Beth's 1-minute description of how the in-person and distance learning classes are run.
No, we do not require that Professionals Intensive participants have a professional license. However, we do ask that you have a clientele that you are working with, as you will be applying these tools in your practice and sharing your experiences from week to week.
You may be eligible to receive 16 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) credits. To request these credits or to find out if your licensing board has provided authorization, please contact Elizabeth Elias at email@example.com.
We suggest that you make every effort to attend all the class calls. Being a part of the group is a big part of the learning process. However, if you miss a call, we will send you the audio recording of the call upon your request.
Yes, of course. You are welcome to take any one of our Building Emotional Understanding classes. If you are looking for an in-person class in your area, you can check the SF Bay Area page, the Other US Locations page, and the International page. If you are looking for an online BEU course, please check the Online Parenting Classes / Teleseminars page.
The Professionals Intensive course will certainly help you add these listening tools to your toolbox, and there are a couple of ways in which you can share these skills with the parents that you work with:
- You could lead a Parent Resource Group, which is a structured meeting of parents who listen and talk about the things that matter to them as parents. You can find more details about how to do this in our "Leading a Parent Resource Group" booklet, which is available in the Hand in Hand Store.
- You could organize a Parenting by Connection Study Group, which is a specific type of Parent Resource group, using the guidelines for Leading a Study Group to cover each of the six Parenting by Connection listening tools over a period of several weeks, typically six to twelve.
If your clients are interested in attending one of our classes, you can certainly encourage them to do so and offer them additional support and guidance through that period.
Click here to listen to this 4-minute audio recording of Hand in Hand founder Patty Wipfler and Certified Instructor Beth Ohanneson sharing more about the value of study groups in professional settings.
Click here to listen to this 2-minute audio recording of Hand in Hand Founder Patty Wipfler describing the advantage of the group format over the one-on-one format.
Yes. Practicing the Listening Tools is a lot easier when you have a child at home. However, if you have regular access to children through your practice, you'll be able to practice these tools. Parents tend to trust those who are speaking from personal experience, so your ability to teach and work with parents using Parenting by Connection will depend on the direct experience you can gather, as well as your ability to listen well to parents, and to use a listener yourself. This class will also establish a model for skillfully and sensitively supporting parents in either group settings or one-on-one.
Click here to listen to this 6.5-minute audio recording of a similar question posed by a potential distance learner who is a licensed clinical social worker, along with responses from Hand in Hand Founder Patty Wipfler and Certified Instructor Beth Ohanneson (LMFT).
Click here to listen to a 4-minute audio recording of a similar question posed by a potential distance learner who is a licensed clinical social worker, along with responses from Hand in Hand Founder Patty Wipfler.
Individual consultations are always available, and we would pair you with a consultant who is also a therapist. With sufficient interest, group consultations may be possible as well.
I work with adults and couples. Parenting issues do come up sometimes, but only tangentially. Will the Professionals Intensive course allow me to be of help to these couples even though they are not coming to me specifically about parenting issues?
The Parenting by Connection tools can be helpful in resolving issues in all sorts of relationships, not just in relationships relating to parenting.
Click here to listen to this 6-minute audio recording of this question posed by a potential distance learner who is a licensed clinical social worker, with responses from Hand in Hand founder Patty Wipfler and Certified Instructor Robin Setchko (LMFT).
"Thank you, teachers and observers, for a truly wonderful experience in this course. I have felt held and informed throughout. It has been a heart-felt privilege to have listening time & questions answered. I am a distance learner from the UK and really appreciated the class videos, so thank you for being part of that group and allowing us to share your experiences."
~ A participant in the Professionals Intensive Spring 2012 course.