For Professionals

How to Listen so Parents Will Talk and Talk so Parents Will Listen


Step-by-step guidance for building healthy dialogues with parents that open communication and promote positive outcomes.

Embracing the uniqueness of every parent, family situation, and practitioner, How to Listen so Parents Will Talk and Talk so Parents Will Listen helps professionals address the parent-child problems that families often find puzzling or challenging and for which they seek support and guidance.

How to Listen so Parents Will Talk and Talk so Parents Will Listen features many specific interventions and methods for helping parents implement developmentally appropriate and scientifically supported strategies for building healthy parent-child relationships and working through the most common conflicts encountered in families. It includes:

  • Tips for creating a positive therapist-client experience with parents
  • Guidelines for working with a variety of parents
  • Parenting tip sheets and homework assignments
  • Case studies focusing on many different parenting problems, including the strong-willed child, divorce, homework battles, spanking, and more

How to Listen so Parents Will Talk and Talk so Parents Will Listen will help you develop positive relationships with parents so that constructive two-way dialogue can be established. Even the most difficult and resistant parents can be successfully engaged through the helpful strategies, advice, and tools found in this practical guide.


“In keeping with person-centered theory and therapy, John and Rita Sommers-Flanagan have produced a book that will be immensely helpful for professionals who work with parents. Throughout the pages, there are many examples of practitioners honoring and respecting parents and listening deeply to how best be of help. I am delighted that this book continues to echo and expand on my father’s work.”
Natalie Rogers, PhD, REAT, author, The Creative Connection and The Creative Connections for Groups

“Because parenting can be such a dizzying task, professionals working with parents need to have intelligible, compassionate, and ethical principles to guide their work. John and Rita Sommers-Flanagan have mastered this complex terrain, and we are fortunate, in this articulate and accessible book, to gain from their exceptional experience and wisdom.”
Andrew Peterson, EdD, author, The Next Ten Minutes: 51 Absurdly Simple Ways to Seize the Moment

Tough Kids, Cool Counseling: User-Friendly Approaches With Challenging Youth

Find Tough Kids at:

Don’t Divorce Us! : Kids’ Advice to Divorcing Parents


“A firsthand examination of the divorce experience through the eyes and voices of the children of divorce…” Intimate, humorous, touching and wise advice on divorce and its consequences from those most affected by it – the children of divorce. Based on interviews with hundreds of children and adult children of divorce, Don’t Divorce Us! provides valuable insights on the steps to take to minimize or avoid the pain that divorce can bring to children. Rita Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D. and John Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D., are experienced counselors who have seen first-hand the effects divorce can have on children. For this book they have collaborated with Chelsea Elander, a grown child of divorce herself, to weave often-poignant interviews, stories, essays and artwork from children of divorce, with proven advice on the ways parents can bring children safely through the divorce process and the life that follows. The book provides sensible strategies for coping with the challenges of double-households, long-distance parenting, ex-spouses, parental dating, step-parenting and the many other potentially stressful issues of divorce. For any parents who are considering divorce, are in the divorce process, or have recently divorced, this book offers valuable insights into helping children through the experience.

From the Publisher

The American Counseling Association (ACA) is the nation’s largest organization of counseling professionals. Don’t Divorce Us! is a valuable addition to the ACA catalog of professional publications. It is a book that is not only an important resource for counseling professionals, but one written directly for the average parent facing the stress and pain of the divorce experience. No parent wants to inflict the emotional pain of divorce on his or her children, yet too often we lack the perspective to see how that very thing is happening, and how to avoid it. This book, drawing on the experiences of children and adult children of divorce, provides a unique opportunity to see the effects of a dissolving marriage from the child’s perspective, while also offering solid, practical counseling advice on the things parents can do to minimize the hurt for their children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The place to click if you want to learn about psychotherapy, counseling, or whatever John SF is thinking about.

%d bloggers like this: