Counselling Psychology, Ph.D., R.Psych.
Summary of research:
(from Athabasca University, Press Release 2-15) Navigating through one of the most exhilarating and challenging roles today: Parenting! Being a parent is one of the most important jobs there is. But what’s the best approach in “heat-of-the-moment” parenting? What do moms and dads need to know and do? Why don’t children come with an instruction book? Faculty of Health Disciplines researchers are looking for the answers. It’s tough being a parent these days, with all the hype and media stories about “attachment parenting”, “tiger moms,” and “helicopter parents” and countless online how-to resources and “advice” from “experts” and well-meaning friends and family. Research being led by Dr. Gwen Rempel (Associate Professor, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies) and Dr. Gina Wong (Associate Professor, Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology) with colleagues from across Alberta aims to help parents by investigating the benefits of a promising approach to parenting that is based on the most recent advances in developmental neuroscience and attachment theory: the Circle of Security® Intervention. “Circle of Security® is a roadmap for parents,” Rempel explains. “We have high expectations of ourselves as parents, but instead of looking at difficult childhood behaviours as something to be managed or even extinguished, Circle of Security® enables parents to understand and respond to their child emotional needs.” The model aims to help parents be “good enough,” rather than perfect. While many parenting models focus on behaviour, Circle of Security® focuses on emotions, giving parents tools to better understand what is behind their child’s actions. This provides insight parents can use to improve heat-of-the-moment parenting when tensions run high with their children and strengthen the bond between parents and children. The approach has been gaining international recognition and Rempel and Wong are co-leading research in Canada beginning in Alberta to gather evidence that may lead to large-scale implementation of Circle of Security®. Funding has been received from the Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research and from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The first phase began in October with formation of the research team. Step 1 will be to train people who will lead groups of parents through 8 DVD-based interactive sessions, and to pilot measurement methods. The study itself will involve groups of parents and likely take a year. Watch this video that shows Circle of Security. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6DhnbgRAOo&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop Longer clip on COS: http://circleofsecurity.net/news/circle-of-security-animation-video/ “This program resonates with people,” Wong says. “It acknowledges that, as parents, we make mistakes. But if we reflect on them and set things right, our children and our relationships will be stronger.” “As a team, we believe Circle of Security® works”, Rempel adds. “But if it’s going to be introduced on a large scale, we need research evidence of program effectiveness.” RETURN TO FRONT PAGE GO TO NEXT STORY