Mental Health

Parents with mental illness are far more likely than other parents to lose their children to foster care. Children with mental illness or behavioral problems also are more likely to enter foster care, either to receive intensive services or because of family stress. Fear and shame can keep parents from reaching out for help. Effective services can also be very hard to find. Stories here explore parents’ experiences finding support for themselves and their children.

‘One Child Felt Like One Thousand’ – Better communication helped my son and me handle his ADHD.

What is ADHD? A few years ago I had no idea what that stood for (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) and had never heard of it. But I found out I had a beautiful little boy dealing with it.

Some days Alex was fine, what you might call a normal boy. Most days were hectic. One child felt like one thousand. He was all over the place, starting one thing and never finishing, just jumping to … Read More

‘It Helps You Create That Special Bond’ – Two mothers explain how parent-child therapy helped them.

Kira Santana and Sara Werner are two mothers who have gone to parent-child therapy at the Albert Einstein Early Childhood Center’s Infant-Parent Project. Here they describe their experiences:

Sara: If you have the chance to come to this kind of parenting program, I would recommend it. Definitely.

Nobody forced me to come here. I chose to come. My caseworker said, “The program would be a good way for somebody to help you and your child learn to … Read More

Starting Strong – Parent-child therapy helps parents and children build a lasting bond.

Wendie Klapper, director of the Parent-Infant Center at Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s, explains how therapy can help parents and very young children build a stronger relationship. Strengthening that bond early on, she says, can benefit children throughout their lives.

Q: What is Child-Parent Psychotherapy?

A: Child-Parent Psychotherapy is therapy for parents and their young children, ages 0-5. The parent and child meet with the therapist together, and the therapy focuses on how the parent and child interact, think … Read More

Small Steps – I want to give my kids the childhood I didn’t have.

I have always wanted to give my kids a good childhood, something that I didn’t have. On holidays or on their birthdays, I take them out to Toys R Us, Chuck E. Cheese, BBQ’s, or Times Square. Seeing the smiles on their faces brings me happiness. It gives me a way to re-do my own sad childhood.

But other times I feel like I’m repeating my mother’s depression and anger with my … Read More

A Family That Heals Together – Child-parent therapy can help parents and children recover from trauma.

All parents feel overwhelmed sometimes when their children do normal things, like have temper tantrums or act demanding. But for parents who have experienced trauma, those difficult moments can remind us of painful childhood experiences when we felt terrified or overwhelmed by someone who was out of control. When that happens, we can respond by getting too angry or by shutting down.

Susan Chinitz, the director of the Early Childhood Center at the Albert Einstein College … Read More