Working Successfully with Hard-to-Engage Parents | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Working Successfully with Hard-to-Engage Parents

All Brown School professional development workshops will be hosted online through Spring 2022.
Our staff are available to answer your questions at

Julia Pickup, MSW, LCSW
Director of Behavioral Health & Prevention Services
Lutheran Family and Children's Services

Preferred registration deadline: November 12th

This workshop will be conducted in a virtual Zoom meeting format.

3 CEUs

It is well understood that services with youth have greater success and longer-lasting impact if their parents or caregivers are involved in and supportive of the treatment. However, many parents can exhibit behaviors that pose barriers to treatment or they may not engage easily with service providers.

During this workshop, we will explore the sources of these challenging behaviors and strategies to effectively work with them. We will discuss scenarios involving:
  • Parents of a child who is the primary client  
  • Parents who are resistant to family therapy or individual therapy for their child(ren)
  • Separated or divorced parents    
  • Parents with mental health issues
  • Parents who have very little understanding of appropriate parenting skills
  • Parents who appear angry and/or mistrusting
Practical tips on how to build rapport and establish a respectful working relationship with parents and caregivers will be provided. Strategies and techniques will be reviewed from social work best practices and psychodynamic therapy approaches to enhance the role of the parent in youth therapy. Come ready to share your examples of difficult-to-engage parents for discussion.

General Admission: $60**
Class size is limited to 45.

**Discounts on workshop admission are offered to the Brown School’s students, alumni, and field instructors. We also offer a discount to full-time graduate students in other programs and to our Washington University faculty/staff colleagues. No other discounts are available. Admission discounts apply automatically in your cart, based on your profile in our registration software.

*Registration will open in a new window

Professional Development staff are currently working a limited schedule in our office.  For the fastest response to any inquiry, please email  We are unable to welcome visitors to campus at this time.