Do you wish that parenting came with a guidebook?

At The Relationship Counseling Center we work to improve parent-child relationships in order to create a more balanced, peaceful and happier family life for everyone.

We offer services such as Click Parent Guidance and Family Therapy to help.

Most insurance is accepted and appointments are available days and evenings. Appointments can typically be scheduled within three days.

Call 413-992-7667 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Is your pediatrician or school counselor recommending your child see an individual counselor? Read on.


At The Relationship Counseling Center we get many calls from parents requesting a counselor for their child. While there are some situations where individual counseling for children is appropriate, we believe that in the majority of situations there are other services that are more effective and efficient than individual counseling with a child. We firmly believe that strengthening and empowering healthy parent-child relationships is the key to happy children and, therefore, happy parents.

For many situations we believe that Parent Guidance and Family Therapy are typically more useful and therefore more appropriate ways to help.

What is Parent Guidance?

Parent guidance is a way to help parents to help their child. With this model a counselor sees only the parents and not the child. Since parents spend more time interacting with their children than a counselor, parents empowered with effective strategies and tools will have much more impact on the behavior of their children than a counselor.

Parent guidance can be very helpful when the child is:

  • Angry, having tantrums or acting out
  • Defiant or oppositional
  • Having problems with organization and staying on task
  • Because the child is not a part of the process the counselor will complete an assessment of the problem based on the parents’ input. The counselor then will design a plan to address the specific problem. Typically the process includes:
  • Teaching parents more effective parenting strategies
  • Finding ways to set better limits and boundaries
  • Implementing healthy and effective discipline
  • Learning constructive ways to interact with their child
  • Teaching parents effective ways to coach and guide their children through their problems
  • When parents learn effective strategies and tools, children and parents will benefit resulting in a happier and more peaceful home life. There are situations where Family Therapy is more appropriate.

    How do I know whether I need family therapy or parent guidance?

    Since every situation is different there are no absolute rules concerning best treatment types. However, generally parent guidance is more appropriate for parents with young children especially if the children are acting out in some way (angry, defiant, having tantrums) Family therapy can be more appropriate for families with older children and teens. Often the best treatment includes a combination of forms of treatment. We believe that our ability to provide a variety of kinds of treatment and to be flexible about the form of treatment will result in shorter treatment time and more effective outcomes. Each family situation is unique and as such the kind of treatment will need to be thoughtfully assessed. Call us at 413-992-7667 to discuss what form of treatment would be most helpful for you.

    My child’s doctor/principal/school counselor says that I need to get my child into individual counseling?

    There are situations that are appropriate for individual counseling with children. Generally individual counseling can work well if your child has some investment in changing – that is, if they “own the problem.” However, if you as a parent want your child to change and your child doesn’t see it that way, some other form of treatment is likely to produce better results. We firmly believe that no matter what form the treatment takes, parental involvement is essential to a good outcome. If your doctor or teacher wants the child in individual counseling and we recommend that parent guidance or family therapy is more appropriate, we will contact and coordinate care with your pediatrician and school staff. Most pediatricians and school staff are more than happy to have someone who is willing and trained to work with families as well as children.

    Parenting can be the ‘hardest job there is.’ As such it is easy to get overwhelmed about how best to help your children. Having someone who understands and has the expertise in family and children treatment can make all the difference.

    Call us at 413-992-7667 to talk with a licensed therapist about your treatment options. We will be happy to talk with you on the phone and recommend the kind of treatment that would be most helpful.