Spyropoulou Eleftheria, social and clinical psychologist, Scientific Adiministratior of Center for Addiction Prevention and Health Promotion in Western Thessaloniki “Diktio Alpha”
Individual counseling for parents is an important action for Addiction Prevention Centers, supporting parents in problems with themselves and their children and giving them directions to effectively exercise their parental role and prevent risky behaviors of children. This research deals with the recording and analysis of requests with which came to the Prevention Center “Diktio Alpha”, parents of children of all ages, from six municipalities of Western Thessaloniki during the period of twelve months, September 2014 – August 2015. The purpose of the survey is, through identifying commonalities and diversity of the requests, to design future interventions of selective prevention, targeting in particular parents and children subgroups that gather specific needs, characteristics or conditions of risk for dangerous behaviors. Data were drawn from two recording forms that are used by Diktio Alpha and analyzed with the methodology of quantitative research. Requests categorized under thematic content analysis. The vast majority of requests were made by mothers. It was found that parents come to discuss problems that a) concern themselves, b) concern their children. Issues regarding themselves are related to “crises” they face in marriage, with the sense of personal insecurity, with clinical symptoms and the issue of the substance use and addiction. Issues regarding their children were categorized into reactivity – aggressive behaviors, introversion-withdrawal, use / addiction, mainly use of cannabis products and problematic internet use, clinical symptoms, school refusal and learning – development issues. Important conclusions are: the need for support of couples in difficulties in marriage, their support in the separation process, the need for empowerment of mothers who raise their children alone and for awareness of mainly divorced fathers for their role in the life of children. Furthermore, research shows the need for targeted actions to parents whose children exhibit aggressive, oppositional behavior, social introversion and shyness, school refusal and the parents of children with learning disabilities and ADHD.
Key Words: Prevention Center, counseling, selective prevention