Guest Blogger Amy Blankenship, MS, LPCC Senior Specialist, Center of Excellence Child and Family Therapist, Beyond the Classroom

“Imagine meeting someone who wanted to learn your past not to punish you, but to understand how you needed to be loved.”

This quote has served as my mantra as a therapist for the past several years. The last thing families need is another person or system telling them what to do to “fix” them or their family. Instead, when facilitating healing with others, there is much more power in “power with” than “power over.”

Natural Strength Parenting™ sets up a different “way to be” with parents and children. It encourages me to inspire families to tap into their own strengths and resiliency in creating interventions, rather than viewing me as “the expert.”

The core principles of Natural Strength Parenting™ include empowering relationships, curiosity, expansive listening, and affirmation. Intentional change, based on the families’ vision, is much more effective than “advising,” which often serves as a temporary band-aid. Clarifying and solidifying family values, helps co-create solutions that will work, based on each families’ unique set of strengths.  When the voice of the family is heard and honored, it creates a safe connection and space for true healing to occur.

Natural Strength Parenting™ is a culturally competent approach to change that relieves further oppression. Regardless of families’ concerns, it leads to truly understanding the world from the client perspective, allowing for genuine healing and moving forward in the direction the client wants to go. Change is facilitated toward their hopes, not my hopes.

Regardless of my training, skill set, years of experience, lasting change with families comes from what is already present within them – it is just a matter of inspiring this inward reflection.  Equipping families for self-discovery, based on their values, based on their experiences, is far more meaningful than me burdening them with I think is right for them. And because Intentional, Strength-based, and Mindful practices inspire self-discovery, including ways to be present with each other and tapping into strengths that are already present, it also leads to sustainable change for when I am no longer working with the family.

Natural Strength Parenting™ genuinely aligns with my top character strength, Love. It gives me permission to understand everyone I advocate for right where they are, creating an environment of safety to explore options and meet their goals side by side, as partners.

Learn more about Natural Strength Parenting™, our unique approach to parenting, here.

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