Purpose – This paper aims to explore the effectiveness of parental counseling in developing self‐esteem in children with neurological conditions. Design/methodology/approach – Data were gathered via 92 questionnaires and 20 semi‐structured interviews with self‐selecting participants. Qualitative data were analysed through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings – The research evidences a correlation between self‐esteem of parents and child. Counselling can help create positive cycles which impact upon a child's self‐esteem. Four over‐arching themes were identified by parents and these take the reader through a process of living with neurological conditions. Research limitations/implications – Limitations of the research include a lack of differential between types of neurological conditions and/or identification of families of children who are born with neurological conditions as opposed to children who acquire them. Suggestions for future research include conducting similar research with a more specific cohort. The role of counselling in addressing trauma experienced by parents when a child acquires a neurological condition was also identified as a future research area. Practical implications – It is suggested that counselling needs to be de‐stigmatised and made more understandable. Accessibility of counselling for parents, who sometimes find it difficult to leave the home, also needs to be addressed. Social implications – Issues of socialising are explored which could help raise awareness of the impact of public attitudes upon parental/child self‐esteem. Originality/value – Research on the self‐esteem of children with neurological conditions is limited, as is research into the impact of parental counselling on offspring. This paper explores these under‐researched areas and as such is of value to parents and relevant health professionals.
Social Care and Neurodisability – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 17, 2012
Keywords: Neurological conditions; Children (age groups); Parents; Self‐esteem; Counselling