WHAT IS THE PLUM APPROACH?

After looking at the history of the family, we build a comprehensive picture of the children and parents, including the contributing circumstances, physical, psychological and cultural aspects, temperaments, relationships, talents and challenges, mapping the child’s path of development. This culminates in clarifying the presenting issues and identifying the child’s unique needs. 

In response, parents are given education on age-appropriate and situation-specific parenting, support in providing healthy rhythms and loving boundaries, ideas for altering family timetables and practices to improve sequencing and create optimum conditions, and direction in creating new parenting skills, and managing stress and anger.

I work mostly with the parents, rather than directly with the children, in order to build the parents’ skills in observation, assessment and creating strategies, and to empower them to develop self-confidence. This method is very successful. I do observe the children where necessary. Where appropriate I refer both children and adults to other agencies.

At times the work extends to helping parents to improve their communication, co-operation, and their relationship in general, whether co-habiting or separated/divorced/blended. Grandparents and other Whanau may use the service. 

Positive parenting is the theme throughout.

 

Session structure

Normally all new clients are booked for 4 sessions. This creates a safe corridor for you and provides back-up if your booked sessions have to be postponed due to illness etc. We will cancel any sessions you don’t need at no charge to you. Sessions are usually 2 to 2½ hours long (occasionally a bit less or a bit more). These can be weekly, fortnightly or over a longer period….your choice.

Session 1: Gives you a whole new way to look at your children which will radically change your understanding of child behaviour and help you in the years to come. (If you have attended my lectures entitled Roots and Wings (Parts 1 and 2) you will not need this session.)

Session 2: We build a comprehensive picture of the child and family out of the question: who is this child and what does she/he need? Once again this information will help you for many years ahead. 

Session 3: Gives you tools for setting the children up for success. 80% of issues can be solved by putting child and parent in the right place, at the right time, in the right condition. 

Session 4: Helps you construct positive, successful management of difficult behaviour and turn stuck patterns around.

If there are several children needing help, and deeper or ongoing issues, we may need another session now and then to ‘tweak’ your tool kit. Some parents come back for a top-up a year or 2 later if new issues arrive, or just for a refresher. Once you are ‘on my books’ you will be able to get a session with me within 1-3 weeks of requesting (unless I am on tour or taking time out to write).

I prefer to see both parents in a 2-parent household or in separated homes where the parents are wishing to work together. Results are clearly better with both parents on board. However if the other parent cannot attend or does not wish to we can still proceed with just one parent. In solo parent households if there is another adult involved with the child you may include them if you wish.