We work with parents and carers of young people in two ways; our Parenting Teenagers Project and our Parent-Teen Brief Therapy Service.
Parenting Teenagers Project (PTP)
The service is for anyone who is parenting teenagers or young adults aged 12-21. It is usually targeted at parents who are worried about a young person who does not want to access or accept help themselves, but we can be flexible depending on family needs and circumstances. Some parents are worried that their relationship with their teenage children has broken down, others are concerned about behaviour or difficulties at school or college. We help with any worries parents may have including emotional problems, truancy, non-communication, substance misuse, illness (including mental illness), defiance and many more.
We can see one parent or both parents together in the sessions. We also see step-parents, foster carers, adoptive parents, or family members such as aunts and uncles or grand-parents. We work with parents from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and can provide interpreters when needed. We can see any parent/carer regardless of where they live provided they can travel to the appointment.
The PTP offers a block of six appointments with a qualified and experienced parent advisor. The appointments aim to help parents understand the difficulties their teenagers are experiencing as well as their responses to these difficulties. This service provides encouragement and support for more effective parenting, offering a space to think as well as an opportunity to explore strategies for dealing with the particular challenges of parenting teenagers.
The Open Door Parenting Teenagers Project is currently a London wide service. We accept referrals from parents themselves and from professionals. We offer appointments in Crouch End and Tottenham. The service offers daytime and evening appointments but please note that there is likely to be a longer wait for evening appointments.
All parents are invited to assist us gather information and data about the problems they are experiencing by completing questionnaires. This information has been invaluable in helping us to develop the service during the past 14 years. We have been able to demonstrate that parents attending the PTP report statistically significant improvements and changes in their feelings and they feel more able to function as parents.
Parent-Teen Brief Therapy Service
When a young person is 12 –14 years old, and their parent contacts us, we may suggest that the young person and parent/s come together for the first of six appointments. This usually helps the younger teenager to gain confidence and feel able to attend four one-to-one appointments with the therapist. The sixth appointment is usually used to meet again with the parent and young person together.
Everything the young person says to the therapist is confidential and is not discussed with anyone outside of Open Door. The young person and therapist decide what would be helpful to discuss and share with their parent(s) in the final appointment. The only exception is if the therapist feels that the young person is seriously at risk in which case they will explain to the young person that they have a legal duty to talk to the parent, or another responsible adult, about the risk or danger, and will work out how best to approach this with the young person.
At the end of the 6 sessions, some young people choose to continue in individual therapy and some parents go on to use the Parenting Teenagers Project (PTP). Many, however, find this intervention enough to help them feel better and more able to get on and enjoy life.