Incredible Years / Webster Stratton parenting program

This section is to give an overview of different models, different therapeutic orientations and techniques
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Incredible Years / Webster Stratton parenting program

Post by Dr.Dot »

The Incredible Years programme is best known as a group parenting programme, However, there are also Child and Teacher programmes (the former involve large puppets and are known as Dinosaur School).

The Parenting (basic and advanced) programme is delivered in a group format usually in 12 weeks, with an emphasis on collaboration with parents, and from parents, rather than an expert model. The programmes can be delivered on a one to one basis, but it is more difficult to be non directive.

The structure of the weekly sesions are very similiar, they use video clips and role play so that parents can practice new 'techniques' with their children. The group facilitators model using praise, rewards and catching positive behaviour. Group members are involved in activities like a brain storm on the cost and benifits of a particular area ie. play/timeout.

The programme, is based on CBT, but the 'B' is more pronounced in relation to how parents relate to their children. It starts with a foundation of giving positive attention and praise, enhancing the relationship between parent and child rather than focusing on negative behaviours. This means the homework involves playing with your child for 10-15 mins a day, and then works its way up to appropriate sanctions. The idea is to promote a positive relationship between parent and child, so that when sanctions do come in, they are needed less, and there is less of an extinction burst for problem behaviours.

Carolyn Webster-Stratton devised the program and it is the most evaluated group intervention program for parenting skills, with evidence showing a range of positive short and long term effects (including a reduction in aggressive behaviour, reduced parent stress, a reduction in the incidence of child protection procedures, and . She is now a professor and has conducted a lot of research, modified and developed the programme over the last 25 years her website is here.

Here in the UK, there are several champions of IY, including a massive service in Manchester and a person in wales who is also publishing a great deal, her website here . NICE are also making some movements to supporting the programme.

One criticism of the program is that it could be seen as a massive marketing machine, as the training, materials, and videos are very expensive, and you are supposed to use a lot of the official materials in each group (handouts, refrigerator notes, books, videos, stickers, etc).

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