Evaluation of a person-centred psychotherapy programme for children with developmental disabilities and parents in disadvantaged families

Suk Chun FUNG, Randolph Chun Ho CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Background: The needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities (DD) in disadvantaged families are frequently unmet by service providers. This service gap likely diminishes the therapeutic gains of children's treatment. Catering to the psychological needs of both children and parents is important. The present study evaluates the effectiveness of a person-centred psychotherapy programme for children with DD and parents in disadvantaged families in reducing parenting stress and promoting positive children's behaviours.

Method: Fifteen parent–child dyads participated in a person-centred psychotherapy programme consisting of eight 1-hr child-centred play therapy (CCPT) sessions and four 1-hr person-centred therapy (PCT) sessions. The parents completed a quantitative questionnaire before and after the programme.

Results: The results indicated a significant reduction in children's conduct problems, with a large effect size, and in the levels of parental distress, parent–child dysfunctional interaction and difficulty in controlling their child's behaviours, with large effect sizes after the interventions.

Conclusions: This study provides positive evidence for the effectiveness of the person-centred intervention programme. The results imply that individual humanistic therapy sessions are essential and effective to cater to parents' needs. Service providers can provide PCT to parents when delivering child services. Copyright © 2023 British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-240
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Volume24
Issue number1
Early online dateMar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Citation

Fung, S. C., & Chan, R. C. H. (2024). Evaluation of a person-centred psychotherapy programme for children with developmental disabilities and parents in disadvantaged families. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 24(1), 230-240. https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12638

Keywords

  • Child-centred play therapy
  • Children with developmental disabilities
  • Disadvantaged families
  • Emotional and behavioural problems
  • Parenting stress
  • Person-centred therapy

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