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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Who can attend training?

A. We have trainings for mental health and early childhood professionals, home visitors, residential care staff, educators, administrators, and others who provide services to children and families.

Q. What are the steps to become a group facilitator for the Reflective Parenting Program and Mindful Parenting Groups?

A. The first step to become an RPP or MPG facilitator is to participate in our Level 1 two-day training. This training is meant to introduce the trainee to the respective program and supporting research through a combination of didactic and experiential exercises. Following the completion of this training, trainees are eligible to enroll in a Level 2 facilitator training, which entails leading a group with an experienced facilitator, weekly supervision, and case presentations and other related tasks.

Q. My agency is interested in a reflective training for our staff.  What are the steps to arrange this?

A. If you are interested in our Reflective Care Program, please contact info@reflectivecommunities to set up a phone or in-person meeting. We will ask you about your organization and work together to create a specific training or set of trainings to meet your needs.

Q. Are there certificates of completion for the trainees? 

A. Yes. There are Certificates of Completion for our Level 1, 2, 3 trainings for both RPP and MPG. You will receive a Certificate of Completion after you have finished all the training tasks and assignments for each level.

Q. Do leaders have to be mental health professionals? Do they have to be licensed?

A. Our groups are facilitated by pre-licensed and licensed mental health professionals and early childhood specialists. Our experience with these programs has shown us that mental health training and/or training in early child development supports the facilitators experience to target the growth of parental reflective functioning. In some circumstances, non-mental health professionals can train in our RPP and MPG programs, however, they would always be required to lead groups with a mental health professional.

Q. I want to start a Level 2 training. Will I have the opportunity to lead with an experienced facilitator?

A. Yes. In all of our Level 2 trainings for both RPP and MPG, trainee-facilitators are paired with a certified trainer. We find that this serves as a support to the trainee, as well as deepens the learning process.

Q. I cannot afford the training. Are discounts available?

A. For all of our trainings, we offer an “early bird special” for individuals or groups that register approximately one month before the start of the training. This discount is about 10% off of the total training cost. We do have a few other opportunities for discounted rates. Please email info@reflectivecommunities.org for more information if you are interested.

The Groups

Q. How many sessions are in the Reflective Parenting Program and Mindful Parenting Groups? And, how often do these programs meet?

A. Both RPP and MPG meet on a weekly basis. RPP is a 12-week workshop series. MPG is a minimum commitment of twelve weeks, but many groups extend beyond this initial time frame if both the parents and the providing agency are interested and able to continue.

Q. Do parents have to attend all the sessions? Can we reduce the number of sessions in a workshop? If a parent misses a session, can they do make up sessions?

A. We find that it is most beneficial for parents to attend all sessions. We recommend that parents do not miss more than two sessions. Based on our experience and pilot data, missing more than two sessions in a workshop series can decrease the effectiveness of the RPP and MPG programs. For this reason, it is mandatory to follow the stipulated workshops schedule. Lastly, make-up sessions are not offered.

Q. Why do the Reflective Parenting Program and Mindful Parent Group have two facilitators? Our organization only has one person that can lead groups? Can we still have groups?

A. In our years of experience, we find that two facilitators create emotional safety and cohesion for the group. This enables parents to engage with the curriculum in deeper and more meaningful ways. Additionally, two leaders offer different perspectives and ways of modeling reflective practice to parents. It is necessary that there are two facilitators. In certain circumstances, CRC may be able to help place a second leader in your group.

Q. Are these groups DMH approved?

A. In 2010, the Reflective Parenting Program and Mindful Parenting Group were qualified by the California Institute of Mental Health as a Community Defined Evidence (CDE) model for Prevention/Early Intervention. In 2011, L.A. County Department of Mental Health approved RPP as a billable CDE model.


Q. I’m a parent, where can I attend your parenting workshops?

A. We have several community partners/agencies that offer the RPP and MPG workshops. For more information visit our Community Partners page http://reflectivecommunities.org/community-partners/. CRC trains individuals and organizations in both RPP and MPG. We do not offer parenting groups to parents.

Q. I’m a parent. Can I do the Reflective Parenting program individually, instead of in a group?

A. RPP is a group model and therefore cannot be practiced individually. That said, there are many therapists that can similarly help enhance your reflective capacities. Our groups are based on decades of research on parent-child bonding, attachment theory, and child development.

Q. Can these programs function as a court-ordered parenting group?

A. Yes.   Even though these groups have been approved as eligible for a court ordered parenting group, it is up to each agency providing the group to issue a certificate.  Please contact the agencies directly to inquire about this.

Q. Is childcare provided at the Reflective Parenting groups?

A. It depends on the organization. Please email them directly for that information.


Q. Is there research on the Reflective Parenting Programs or Mindful Parenting Groups?  

A. Currently we are engaged in a multi-year, collaborative, community-based, and randomized controlled study between UCLA, Children’s Institute International and the Reflective Parenting Program funded by a National Institute for Child Health and Human Development RO1 grant. This research will significantly expand the evidence base for the Reflective Parenting Program. We also have pilot data that suggest that both the Reflective Parenting Program and Mindful Parenting Groups increase parental reflective capacity, decrease negative child behaviors, and improve the quality of the parent-child relationship.

Q. What makes your groups different from other parenting groups?

A. Both RPP and MPG center on building a parent’s capacity to make meaning of behavior. As the research indicates, this ability equips parents to respond to their child’s needs and most importantly form safe, secure, and growth-promoting relationships with their children. Unlike many parenting programs, our groups focus on engendering wonder and curiosity about a child’s behavior, refining data collection skills and meaning making skills. Additionally, our groups are collaborative and experiential rather than didactic, where the facilitator is the expert who imparts knowledge to the parents.

Q. Will the Reflective Parenting Program and Mindful Parenting Group help me develop skills that I can use to help regulate my child? If so, how?

A. Yes. Parents will learn how to understand the feelings and motivations behind their children’s behavior and how to create change that is meaningful and enduring. Learning how to identify the feelings that underlie behavior is crucial to create accurate perceptions about a child’s experience, to create a plan to respond to his or her behavior, and to create long-lasting changes in not just behavior, but in the parent-child relationship.