“I strongly recommend this training for child therapist who are new to parent work.”


“The instructor was comprehensive and attentive to the group’s questions!”


What is included in this 4-hour course:

This course covers ethical and foundational concepts for working with parents of children in psychotherapy. After this course, you will be able to:

  • Define 4 psychodynamic concepts that are useful in conceptualizing work with parents.

  • Compare 5 modalities of working with parents of children in treatment and how to determine which is the most appropriate for each case.

  • Analize ethical and clinical considerations in confidentiality between child patients and parents.

  • Apply psychodynamic thinking when share feedback, impressions, and guidance with parents effectively.

  • Assess which approach to use when working with common challenging situations (high conflict, intrusiveness, and resistance).

Course Description

This course contains intermediate level of instruction for those who have some basic levels of psychodynamic knowledge.

IMAGE of legs of two people. Two legs books like it belong to an adult, and the other two appears to be from a child. They were standing closely together.

Working with parents in child psychotherapy is often considered a challenging and complex dimension of working with children. Psychodynamic approaches offer many unique attributes that greatly enrich the clinician’s ability to understand and effectively meet the needs of parents of children in treatment. Psychodynamic concepts such as parenthood as a developmental phase, intergenerational transmissions, therapeutic alliance, resistance, transference, and countertransference are some of the many ideas covered in this course.

After building a depth of understanding about who parents are to the child’s therapist and the general therapeutic stance of the clinician, we will examine specific methods of engaging with parents. We will cover the significant modalities of parental involvement in a child’s treatment and how to determine which is most appropriate for individual cases. After establishing the basic framework for such engagement, we will explore how, what, when, and whether to communicate with parents. Finally, we will examine common areas of complexity and difficulty, including confidentiality, working with highly conflictual parents and families, and working with parents who intrude upon, interfere with, or undermine the child’s therapy.   

This presentation aims to provide information relevant to all practitioners working with children and parents. However, it is most accessible to those with a basic level of familiarity with psychodynamic theory. It is intended to provide a well-rounded overview of the approach, practices, and theoretical foundation of working with parents.



David Sisk, PhD

Psychotherapist in private practice

Dr. David Sisk is a clinician working with children, families, and individual adults in Winnetka, Illinois. Dr. Sisk has worked with children and families for over 20 years in residential treatment, community-based mental health services, and long-term intensive treatment with children in early childhood who demonstrate early developmental difficulties, attachment problems, regulatory issues or neurodivergence. Dr. Sisk earned his MSW from Loyola University Chicago and his doctorate from the Institute for Clinical Social Work. In 2020, Dr. Sisk completed his dissertation on working with parents of children in psychodynamic child psychotherapy, a grounded theory study.

Course curriculum

    1. Course Description: Working With Parents in Psychodynamic Child Psychotherapy

    2. Learning Objectives: Working With Parents in Psychodynamic Child Psychotherapy

    3. Presenter Bio: Dr. David Sisk

    4. HANDOUT: Illinois Minor age limit for consenting to treatment

    5. HANDOUT: ILLINOIS LAW for age of consent



    8. SLIDES

    9. VIDEO #1-Taking a Developmental perspective- Parenthood as a Developmental Phase

    10. VIDEO #2- working with parents: Therapeutic Alliance, Transference, Countertransference, and Resistance. Modalities of working with parents.

    11. VIDEO #3-Working with Parents: Common areas of complexity when working with parents

    12. References

    13. Complete Bibliography and Reference list

    1. How to get the CE after your online Course

About this course

  • $80.00
  • 16 lessons
  • 4 hours of video content

Image of an adult and a child walking on the beach.

Dr. Sisk’s research study and its complete reference list on working with parents of children in psychotherapy dissertation ebook can be accessed here: Ebook Link 

Approved CE provider

Spring Advisory, PLLC has been approved by The National Board For Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7169. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Spring Advisory, PLLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

The Art Therapy Credentials Board recognizes CE credits granted by NBCC Approved Continuing Education Providers. All CE from Spring Advisory can be counted towards ATR, ATR-BC, and ATCS credential renewals for art therapists per ATCB.

Spring Advisory is an Illinois Social Work CE Sponsor, #159.001540

Spring Advisory is an Illinois Psychologist CE Sponsor, #268.000141

Image of NBCC continuing Education Provider logo on the left and with Spring Advisory logo on the right.

CE for therapists

This program contains an intermediate level of instruction; target audience is clinicians with at least an advanced degree and education in psychotherapy with clinical experiences in working with children and parents. In order to obtain your CE certificate, you have to pass the pos-test by 80%.

Check out other courses:

From 2023, all licensed health professionals in Illinois are required to take courses on sexual harassment prevention, alzheimer's assessment and treatment, implicit bias training, and mandated reporter training. Each training should be 1 CE credit hour to meet license renewal requirements. First time renewal of LCPC also require a 18-CE supervision training.

Video: How to use the Spring Advisory Course Website

Compatible Web Technology for Online Course

In order to make sure your course runs well, please make sure your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or smart device has the following:

  1. The most recent version of one of the web browsers in your PC or MAC computer. 
  2. Javascript enabled
  3. PDF plugin
  4. Graphic and audio output capability
  5. Broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 5Mbps (recommended)
  6. TLS 1.2 is supported by your web browser