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Instructor Interview with Monica Purcell

Instructor Interview with Monica Purcell

Written by ETIA Admin

Please tell us a little about yourself?
I am a Child & Family Social Worker working with a not-for-profit organisation in Greater Western Sydney. I am passionate about children’s rights and supporting families, particularly parents, to honour and uphold the rights of children. Outside of work, I enjoy reading, bush walking and spending time with my pet rabbit Joey!

How did you first hear about P.E.T.?
My organisation asked me to investigate options for our parenting education programs so I went to the CFC list of evidence based parenting programs (https://aifs.gov.au/research_programs/evidence-and-evaluation-support/cfc-program-profiles).

What inspired you to become a P.E.T. instructor?
There are a couple of reasons I decided to become an instructor. Firstly, P.E.T. is a unique service offering in our region, with no other providers offering it. Second, P.E.T. provides parents with skills for conflict resolution and non-violent communication – skills I didn’t feel our other programs adequately cover and skills I believe would be particularly helpful for the populations I work with.

Monica, you work at a Community Centre. Please tell us about that, how you are funded, and how you gathered your participants for your first course?
My position is funded by the Department of Communities and Justice, so I work within a child protection framework. My role is dual purpose – to educate the general community about respectful and healthy child rearing practices, and to provide specialist support to parents who are already involved or at risk of becoming involved with the Department. We accept both professional and self-referrals. We spread the word about our work across our range of services, through inter-agency work and directly to parents via Facebook. We also rely on word on mouth!

Congratulations Monica you have successfully completed your first P.E.T. course. Tell us about your experience of conducting your first course.
Spending dedicated time on active listening was particularly helpful for my parents. I run other programs that cover active listening, but as it is the most difficult skill for parents to master and it really requires more time and practice. The participants with limited literacy skills most appreciated tip sheets with bullet points, lots of white space and images. They found the text in the workbook too dense. All participants also valued having an A5 print out of Sentence Starters for all the communication strategies to refer to during practice and at home.

What have been the significant areas of growth and change for your participants whilst completing the P.E.T. course?
During the course, participants developed more empathy towards their children. One participant had the insight during the Active Listening workshops that their child is “their own person, with their own thoughts and their own feelings”. I noticed this really took root in later weeks as whenever this participant shared examples, there was a lot more detail provided as to their child’s thoughts, feelings, perspective. There was much more understanding of their child’s internal world.

What are your future plans as an Instructor?
We will offer P.E.T. again in Term 3.

Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for new instructors who are hesitating or are about to conduct their first course?
Anticipate nerves, don’t be too hard on yourself and trust the process.

ETIA Admin

ETIA Admin

QLD

The Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia (ETIA) Ltd is a not-for-profit, community based organisation that is dedicated to making courses in communication and conflict resolution skills available and accessible to all people in Australia.

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Loving Family | About ETIA

About ETIA

The Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia (ETIA) Ltd is a not-for-profit, community based organisation that is dedicated to making courses in communication and conflict resolution skills available and accessible to all people in Australia.

ETIA’s mission is to provide individuals with effective communication and conflict resolution skills to build connected, harmonious relationships.

Our inspiration and programs come from the late Dr Thomas Gordon who is the author and founder of Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) program and Gordon Training International (GTI).

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