Parenting differently from the mainstream can be very difficult in our society, especially when you are bombarded with onlookers telling you you’re ruining your child by not sleep training them or creating a rod for your back by providing comfort to a crying baby or perpetuating problems by not ignoring tantrums. Getting access to the kind of information and support needed can be even harder as people push training and “experts”, who shall remain nameless, tell you it’s their way or a life full of troubles. I believe that this is why I have received hundreds of emails and messages from families looking for specific help, information, or just someone to listen and reassure them all is normal.
I have a lot of information available on the site for free, but many times this isn’t enough and families come to me looking for more specific assistance regarding their situation. As I have written on EP, I understand the difference between writing about what the promotion of techniques and how that may or may not fit with the needs and circumstances of a given family, and I want to be able to offer families help at their specific level. When something isn’t working for the family, change should be considered, but that change must respect every member of the family, not just the parents, which is the case with mainstream parenting advice. This, however, takes time.
Because of the demand, I decided to open up my services by phone (or Skype or Google Hangout, depending on where you live). I offer three different types of services: 1) Sleep Coaching, 2) General parenting coaching, and 3) Specific consultations (outside sleep). The reason for the different services is to address the individual needs of families. My approach mixes my clinical training (I have an M.A. in Clinical Psychology) with my knowledge of child development (I have a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology) and my ongoing reading of the scientific literature to help understand your child’s behaviours while realizing that there is more than just the child or just the parent involved, but rather an entire family with unique needs.
I have been offering consultations and parenting coaching for over a year now and have found certain things work while certain things don’t, when it comes to helping families. One of the things that continues to stick out for me is that the consultation model doesn’t always work well for sleep-related problems because the reports are often too huge and people aren’t quite sure where to start, what type of progress to look for, and when to change things up. Families either get lucky and one or two gentle changes work for them or spend far too much time emailing me as follow-up which is harder for both of us as we often omit needed information in email.
As such, I have decided to create a separate Sleep Coaching option to help you navigate you and your child’s sleep difficulties (they may not be “problems” in the way you think, but they can still be difficult for the family which is why I prefer the term “difficulties”). This will provide me with the opportunity to help you with your circumstance in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated because you aren’t quite sure what to do next or if something is working as it should. It also means I can be that person who is there for you during this transition in a way I can’t be after a consultation.
What does a Sleep Coaching package include? The basic package is as follows:
- Three (3) one-hour sessions (via phone, Skype, or Google Hangout)
- Summaries of our calls for your records (and mine!) and educational information as needed
- A google doc for you to complete with the changes you’re making and the effects they are having on sleep for your child and which provides us good starting grounds for the second and third calls
- Email follow-ups in between to keep in touch about what is happening and relay any urgent information
The basic package is designed to give us enough time together to address and identify areas of change with sleep, taking it one step at a time, and monitoring progress or shifting gears if needed. I will also offer rates to extend the coaching package if you feel that you need more calls, but this will be done on an individual basis. Importantly, this coaching covers sleep only. If you require help in other areas, we can always arrange another call to address those concerns.
The cost? $285 Cdn for the basic package. If you also want a full, detailed report, that would be an additional $200 Cdn.
Click here to go to bookings and get more information on sleep coaching with Tracy Cassels, PhD.
General Parenting Coaching
Coaching with me involves regular contact over a period of time to help you address the various issues and problems that may arise during your parenting journey or simply to provide you with support as you parent in a different manner than the mainstream. We will keep in touch via phone and email and I can help you navigate your unique parenting journey. For many families, there is no physical or social support for a different way of parenting and this leaves many moms and dads feeling isolated and questioning whether or not they are doing the “right” thing. By going over options, covering the research with you, and helping you understand what is biologically normal for our children, my goal is to help empower you as a parent and help you feel as confident as you need to be.
The cost? It varies by the number of calls you’d like:
- Prepayment of all services:
- 2 calls: $100 per call
- 3-5 calls: $95 per call
- 6+ calls: $90 per call
- E.g., if you book 5 calls and pay for all 5 in advance, the rate would be 5 x $95 = $475 versus $500 as a pay-as-you-go
- I also offer individualized plans that may be more focused on email versus calls, or calls over a longer period, etc. to suit your needs and thus the cost is to be determined between you and me
Click here to go to bookings and get more information on coaching with Tracy Cassels, PhD.
Unlike general coaching, specific consultations focus one particular area (not sleep, see Sleep Coaching for sleep difficulties) in which families are struggling. Areas which I have worked with families on include anxiety in children, tantrums, transitions to daycare or school, weaning, and more.
A consultation includes:
- A one-hour consultation to obtain all relevant information
- A full report (which includes a summary of the problem, a framing of the problem, discussed plan, and reading recommendations)
- Email contact to follow-up on progress
The cost? $225 Cdn.
Click here to go to bookings and get more information on consultations with Tracy Cassels, PhD.