Why Parent Coach Certification® is a One Year Program

Gloria DeGaetanoPCI’s training program for Parent Coach Certification® is a one-year program, consisting of four graduate-level classes, each taking students three months to complete. We let family support professionals know before they decide to enter our program that they are expected to read and study at least five-seven hours per week during the training year.

Yikes!  Who has time for that?

Dedicated professionals seeking innovative ways to help parents more quickly and efficiently, that’s who. Our training takes a year precisely so parent coaches at the end of that year are equipped to pinpoint areas of focus with the clients they serve and provide guidance toward sustainable solutions. Less wasted effort. More focused energy toward what will make the most and biggest positive differences.

I was talking with a PCI Graduate recently who explained how one of her happy clients told her, “The process is like magic! I never would have expected it to be so powerful coming into it. I wanted a quick answer to my son’s challenging, defiant behavior. I didn’t think I would get that and so much more out of our ten coaching sessions. The investment in time and energy was so well worth it. I am telling all my friends—call you today. There is no need to struggle with your child one more minute!”

And that, my friends, is a typical response of the moms and dads fortunate enough to have decided to hire a PCI-trained parent coach.

Family support professionals seeking to become certified parent coaches have options to choose from for their parent coaching certificate, so when they choose PCI—the most rigorous, longest training in the industry, you know they are serious about wanting to help parents. Most professionals coming into our program already have extensive experience working with parents; 90% have a masters’ degree or above. That speaks volumes about the intellectual integrity of our PCI community of professionals.

As Andrew Shepard states in his famous speech in the film, American President (I saw this favorite a gazillion times) “We need serious people doing serious work.”

In troubled and troubling times such as ours, this is doubly true, don’t you think?

So, PCI’s training is one year because in order to train serious people to do serious work, it takes at least a year.

There are three other reasons:

A New Paradigm Takes Time to Become Our Own

Time to SucceedCourse One of the Parent Coach Certification® Training Program introduces an entirely new way of providing family support. It can be head-spinning as these new concepts turn tried, and tired ways, of doing things on heir heads. Yet, these “new concepts” are straight out of solid research regarding what will best support changes in humans. Humans are living systems and any methodology or prescriptive systems not based on this fundamental fact are doomed for failure.

To understand and accept this, all we have to do is take a look at the underlying paradigm of most educational systems and family support agencies today. Then look at society’s deep, systemic problems that never seem to be able to be resolved—that keep escalating in fact: homelessness, illiteracy, poverty, domestic abuse, etc.  There are definitely links between misunderstanding about what works to help people make positive changes and the ineffectiveness in implementation that naturally flow from that initial misunderstanding.

With the wrong paradigm we find ourselves in a continuous, maddening, oscillating pattern—a downward spiral—instead of a creative, advancing pattern and an upward spiral.

Of course people are well intentioned in their quest to do good work. But they may as well be hitting their heads against the wall if they expect their short-term efforts to create long-term solutions. For deep, sustainable changes in parents, children, and society we need an entirely different paradigm upon which to base our stance and strategies—and that’s what PCI offers its students.

New Skills Take Time to Learn

Once PCI students are halfway through Course One, they realize: “Ah this is something different and so interesting. It’s amazing, in fact. Now how will I ever implement it?” And that is where the 100 hours of coaching practice comes in.

The three classes following Course One provide deepening layers of understanding as well as many opportunities to practice new coaching skills based on the theoretical concepts learned in Course One. I like to let new students know, “During Course One you are digging your foundation with the theory and underlying principles. The deeper this foundation, the firmer and higher you can go when choosing the most appropriate strategy for a particular client. Coaching, after all, is contextual, exquisitely unique to each client, each family. You’re going to have to call it each and every time. Upon what will you base your choices as a coach?”

As students decide to fully participate in practicing the PCI Coaching Model™ they learn to use the framework PCI provides and make their own coaching decisions based on the theory and principles. They see how our coaching model is both structured and free form. They “get it”—often profoundly.  And become exceptionally skilled parent coaches as a result.

Integration of Ideas Takes Time to Effectively Implement

I love that the nine months after Course One is the same time period as human gestation. During these nine months students have several opportunities to incubate ideas learned in order for them to gel. For instance, I have intentionally put a course focused on media/digital-related issues, after Course One, in order for students to have a rest from the deep theories. They now put their attention on immediate issues involving all parents and children today. This gives their unconscious mind time to process the Course One ideas in a natural way and time to focus on the beginning of their parent coaching without any more intensive study of paradigm-shifting ideas.

Those ideas will be re-visited, though, in Course Three. Students at the halfway mark in their training deepen their understanding of principles and concepts introduced during Course One, now looking at them through a more finely focused lens. During Course Three, we add new principles and concepts that will now take their understandings to new levels as they continue to integrate them in their coaching practice.

By Course Four, most students are flying high as they begin to fully understand all the piece-parts and continue to put them together for success-level implementation of the PCI Coaching Model™.

You can’t get here in less than a year.

And ironically, in our mad-rush-for-answers society, we can’t learn how to discover solutions quickly without time to learn new ways to do so. Becoming fully capable to create innovation is a priceless gift.

I am truly grateful to the family support professionals who enter the Parent Coach Certification® Training Program knowing this.

Copyright, Gloria DeGaetano, 2015. All rights reserved.

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I found the PCI course to be well researched and put together. I learned so much through the course, the reading materials and the interactions that I had with PCI instructors. It has been an incredibly enriching experience completing this course.
Laura MarkowitzCape Town, South Africa

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