WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach)

About This Program

Target Population: Parents (biological, foster, or adoptive) who are raising children who have experienced significant trauma

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 18

Program Overview

The WPW RP Approach is designed to be a culturally inclusive parent-child coaching model for resource, adoptive, and biological parents who are raising children with trauma-exposed, childhood experiences that result in emotional and behavioral disturbances. The WPW RP Approach teaches parents that the LifeSpace children are born into provides the training ground for the child's developmental journey in which the brain itself is learning and encoding "what we do, how we do it, and why we do it." The WPW RP Approach first illuminates the relational intersection between the traumatized child's developing brain/body and the parent's challenging job to identify and heal the "stuck" places in attachment, self-regulation, interpersonal relationships, and compliance to the social contract of rules, limits, and boundaries. Secondly, the WPW RP Approach provides parents with strategic methods and tools to help children "surrender to belonging" and to rediscover their innate desire to connect, fit, and belong within the relational LifeSpace the parents inhabit.

Program Goals

The goals of WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach) are:

  • Parents will know how to use the parent-child dyad as the foundational relationship for the healing of a traumatized child's organizing brain/mind.
  • Parents will know the key components of the structure and mechanics of the brain/mind and will execute their role in the co-construction and co-regulation of the child's re-organizing neural networks and emerging mind.
  • Parents will be able to use their understanding of the 4 embedded stages of social maturity (Instinctive, Impulsive, Imperial, Interpersonal) to help children can get unstuck in response to trauma.
  • Parents will be able to use the Three-Story brain model to both understand how trauma affects every day functioning as well as how to use the model help children to develop self-regulation and self-discipline.
  • Parents will be able to identify their own and their child(ren's) temperament, and recognize and actively ignore corresponding protest styles.
  • Parents will know how to establish Family Rules that reflect their personal values as they fit within the larger social contract of right conduct.
  • Parents will be able to recognize children's challenging behaviors as LifeSpace coaching opportunities in three critical arenas: acceptance of limits/boundaries, compliance to rules/directions, and emotion management/self-regulation.
  • Parents will know how to use the WPW RP 5-step progressive discipline strategies that promote maturation and healing for a child.
  • Parents will know how to use the WPW RP 4-step emotion management model to assist children in developing self-regulation and distress tolerance.
  • Parents will be able to design and execute the WPW RP adaptation of the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model as a method of helping trauma-informed children to mature and heal.

Logic Model

View the Logic Model for WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach).

Essential Components

The essential components of WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach) include:

  • The WPW RP Approach is a parent coaching and support model for parents and caregivers who are raising children with challenging behaviors reflective of trauma-informed development.
  • The WPW RP Approach is designed to teach professionals and parents that the parent-child dyad is the essential relationship for helping children to heal and mature, and that it is within the LifeSpace moments of everyday living that parents ideally teach and coach the child to develop self-regulation, self-control, self-discipline, and self-love.
  • The WPW RP Approach is initially taught through lecture, and guided group exercises that assist parents and professionals to understand and then practice implementation of the four foundational components:
    • LifeSpace and the role of the parent to teach, "This is what we do and how we do it"
    • Brain-Based Wisdom, e.g. the "three-story" brain, temperament and protest styles; developing top-down control; the role of the amygdala
    • Pathways of Social Maturity and how children can get "stuck"
    • Strategies for Emotion Management and the WPW RP Progressive 5-Step Discipline Model.
  • The WPW RP Approach is a coaching model that:
    • Provides parents with trained professional partners who teach and train parents in the four foundational components of the WPW RP Approach
    • Assists the parent in developing a Family Diagram/Coaching Plan
    • Provides weekly coaching sessions
    • Provides on-call, between-session support via text, and telephone for in the trenches LifeSpace moments for the duration of active WPW RP coaching
  • WPW RP Coaching Process:
    • Listen
    • Explore
    • Identify
    • Teach
    • Coach
    • Affirm & Support
    • Repeat
  • Service providers can institute the WPW RP Approach within their organizational structure through three progressive levels of training that result in Trainer of Trainers (ToT) certification in the WPW RP Approach.
  • Counties and agencies with ToT certification are able to provide training to professional staff who work with families and children to facilitate and provide WPW RP coaching for parents who are employing the WPW RP Approach in their homes.
  • The four foundational components of the WPW RP Approach can be taught to professionals and parents in small groups, large groups, or in individual formats.
  • Children as well as their parents can receive direct WPW RP coaching as part of a Family Coaching Plan.

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Has a child with challenging behaviors including protesting and refusing to accept limits/boundaries or follow directions and rules; inability to manage their emotions, emotional dysregulation, and limited capacity to inhibit primal fight/flight/freeze reactivity
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Parents can also request that other family members or caretakers, babysitters, teachers, Wraparound workers, behaviorists, and therapists learn and enact the WPW RP Approach with their child(ren).

Recommended Intensity:

Twelve hours of training sessions over two days, followed by two 2-hour preparation sessions, two or three weekly 1-hour practice sessions without the children present, and then weekly 1-hour coaching sessions with up to 1-hour of on-call telephone/texting coaching support per week

Recommended Duration:

Average length of participation ranges from 3 weeks to 6-9 months but may vary depending on numerous factors

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)


WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach) includes a homework component:

Upon completion of the Assessment/Family Diagram, parents enact the WPW RP Coaching Plan developed collaboratively with the WPW RP coach. The WPW RP Coach provides updated weekly Coaching Tips for parent. Parents keep a record of issues/challenges to review each week in 1-hour coaching session.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

PowerPoint, computer, projector, monitor or screen are helpful. Handout and comfortable meeting space if conducting group training, or single meeting space if coaching directly to one or two parents.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Minimum educational requirements to develop, implement, and provide coaching to parents in the WPW RP Approach for foster/adoptive agencies, county child welfare programs/visitation programs, Wraparound, and other in-home intensive behavioral programs is a Bachelor's degree under the supervision of licensed social worker (SW), licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), or licensed psychologist.

Recommended educational level to develop, implement, and coach other providers in the WPW RP Approach in foster/adoptive agencies, county child welfare programs/visitation programs, Wraparound, and other in-home intensive behavioral programs is a Master's level SW, MFT, or licensed SW, MFT, and under the supervision of a licensed SW, licensed MFT, or licensed psychologist who has completed the Level 3 ToT WPW RP training.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

The program manual information is:

  • Messina, K. (2022). The WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach: A therapeutic family systems coaching model. WisdomPath Way Institute.

It can be purchased athttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09TN9VVRX/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Future coaches of the WPW RP Approach are trained at an agency site in small group settings.

Number of days/hours:

In addition to attending the same 12-hour training on the basics of the WPW RP Approach that the parents have to attend for this program (Level 1), providers of the coaching need to attend Level 2 training on "Teaching/Coaching the WPW RP Approach to Parents and Children" which is a three-day, 18-hour training in the methodology/pedagogy of teaching/coaching WPW RP to bio/resource/adoptive parents and children/adolescents. There is also an additional Train-the-Trainer (ToT) training (Level 3) that professionals who want to train other professionals can attend.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach).

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for WisdomPath Way Reparative Parenting Approach (WPW RP Approach).

Contact Information

Kate Messina, PhD, LCSW
Agency/Affiliation: WisdomPath Way Institute
Website: www.wpwinstitute.org
Phone: 916-35-9038

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2018

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2021

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2018