Counseling and therapy can help parents in various ways. Some parents may become stressed by a particular parenting challenge, be it a one-time event or recurring situation. When a child faces a mental health concern or behavioral issue, a parent may find help for the child but leave their own emotions and feelings unaddressed. This can be harmful in some cases, as stress may accumulate and leave the parent feeling overwhelmed. In therapy, a parent can address their feelings about a certain issue, find support and guidance, and seek help for parenting issues and concerns.

Family therapy may be helpful because each member of the family can bring up individual concerns that connect to the family dynamic, and parents can become aware of issues that need to be resolved.

Individual therapy can also be helpful, and some parents may find couples counseling can strengthen their parenting skills, as strengthening their partnership may help couples become better able to resolve disagreements about child-rearing or family life.

When parenting issues lead to stress, this stress may manifest itself through worry, depression, irritability, or anger. Some situations, such as the loss of a child or partner, may lead to grief, depression, or posttraumatic stress. When these conditions go untreated, the well-being of any other children may be affected. Therapy can help address and treat these issues. A mental health professional is also likely to encourage parents to make time for themselves whenever possible and maintain a self-care routine.

Some parents have mental or emotional issues of their own that make parenting particularly challenging. For example, parents with conditions such as depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia may find the normal stresses of parenting difficult to handle without help, and they may worry that the well-being of their children will be negatively impacted as they attempt to cope with their condition. Individual therapy that reduces the symptoms of an individual’s condition can reduce worry in this area as parents work to achieve wellness.

A parent with anger management or control issues may find therapy helpful for developing healthy and safe ways to address and manage thoughts and emotions and thus become better able to communicate with a partner or child.

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