Biblically based parenting and child-parent relationship training: common ground for helping religious clients

  • Bornsheuer J
  • Garza Y
  • Nichter M
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The purpose of this article was to demonstrate the interface between biblically based parenting and an empirically validated parenting model. Specifically, the authors compared the relationship between Child-Parent Relationship Training's (CPRT) theoretical tenets and values espoused by families utilising biblically based parenting practices. The authors propose that certain constructs of CPRT, from theoretical tenets to techniques, interface with important biblically based parenting values of many religious families. The authors purport that this common ground will allow clinicians to utilise the foundational ideas and practical techniques of the CPRT model for specific work with religious clients seeking biblically based parenting education. Historically, religion has played a significant role in the lives of countless families (Genia, 2000; Walsh, 1999). According to a Gallup poll (2009), 81% of families view religion as important in their lives and is a source of support that lends spiritual direction to those who seek answers to life's trials, including childrearing. Serres (2004, 2009), surveyed listeners of a Christian broadcasting show featuring mental health professionals and found that the foremost motivation for contacting the show was to seek out a Christian perspective on mental health advice. One of the primary types of advice sought was childrearing. The implication for mental health professionals is that a high percentage of our clients who are seeking support for parenting issues consider religion important in their lives. Subsequently, it is our contention that these families may expect at minimum to receive religious-sensitive assistance, but hope to receive assistance that is biblically based. The concept of religious sensitivity in the context of working with clients has become prominent in the field of mental health. Specifically, the importance of religious sensitivity is reflected in the ethical codes of the American Counseling Association (ACA, 2005) and the American Psychological Association (APA, 2002) and is categorised as cultural sensitivity. The sentiment of the authors of these codes coincides with the sentiments of multicultural experts who argue that mental health providers need to: (a) acknowledge that individuals with a strong religious affiliation encompass a unique cultural group, (b) be responsive in understanding these differences, and (c) integrate specific techniques

Author-supplied keywords

  • biblical parenting
  • filial therapy
  • parent education
  • play therapy

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  • Jennifer Bornsheuer

  • Yvonne Garza

  • Mary Nichter

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