Freeing your child's potential without exhausting your own.


All of the mental and physical demands on parents combined with concerns about a child’s development, behavior, physical and mental health, academic progress and relationships can sometimes feel overwhelming. We have such powerful hopes and wishes for our children that anxiety and tension can build when we see them struggling. 


Another common source of stress for parents is the conflict between them over parenting styles. Considering different family histories and all the intense emotions connected to parenting – joy, fear, pride, sadness, excitement, anxiety, surprise, frustration, awe, guilt, anger, peace, loss, hope, disappointment and of course love (to name a few) – it’s no wonder that parents can have disagreements over how to best raise their children.


At the same time, since a tremendously important component of the child’s emotional environment is the interaction between his or her parents, it’s helpful for parents to learn how to manage the intensity of their conflicts.


I have training and experience in working with couples and co-parents to communicate their differences more effectively, if not to ideally get onto the same parenting page. I also have experience working with “blended” families and helping parents in those circumstances clarify their roles and better manage their differences.


This is where Parenting Counseling comes in: to be a resource for parents in times of stress, crisis and/or desired growth. There is no more important endeavor than parenting and it’s natural to seek support when the challenges we face as parents leave us feeling stressed out or at a loss.


Most, if not all parents, want their children to grow up to be resourceful, resilient, able to take direction and learn from mistakes; to be respectful and cooperative with others; to believe in themselves and take initiative. Parenting counseling can help parents discover effective strategies for guiding their children while reducing parenting-related stress and anxiety.


Though the parent has many responsibilities, I believe the main task of parenting is to create a special kind of relationship with the child.


This means focusing on the state of connection between the parent and child in order to build the kind of relationship that effectively helps the child develop and mature along their own unique path to feeling good about who they are and being capable of having healthy, meaningful relationships.


The caregiver-child relationship is the main environment within which the child grows, so attending to the nature and quality of that environment is essential. I believe that in most cases, the parent’s emotional state is the most important component of the environment within which the child grows.


Parenting is largely the conscious and disciplined awareness and regulation of the parent’s emotional state, particularly when in the presence of the child. This doesn't mean the parent has to be saintly or can’t get frustrated, angry or sad in the child’s presence, but it does mean that how the parent experiences and expresses his or her emotions is of key importance. Despite having the best intentions, all parents can sometimes be overtaken by frustration, anger or anxiety, and parenting counseling can support the parent in making the emotional adaptations necessary for strengthening and healing the parent-child connection.


Though emotional adaptation and attunement are at the heart of parenting, I believe structure, routine, rhythm and age-appropriate boundary-setting are also very important. And sometimes it is necessary to firmly and calmly enforce reasonable consequences with kids who are acting out. Parenting counseling can help parents develop simple plans for creating structure and holding boundaries with their child.


I believe Parenting Counseling provides an excellent opportunity for parents to help their children and strengthen family relationships. Depending on the intentions of my clients, I work collaboratively with parents to:

  • Strengthen the parent-child connection

  • Reduce parenting-related stress and anxiety

  • Simplify the task of parenting while engaging in greater self-care

  • Learn how to de-escalate their anger when parenting

  • Learn how to utilize frustration in positive and productive ways when parenting

  • Increase their sense of true authority

  • Increase their child’s self-esteem and emotional maturity

  • Reduce their child’s use of aggression and defiance

  • Reduce the occurrence of power struggles

  • Help decrease their child’s anxiety

  • Learn about and utilize developmentally appropriate disciplining strategies

  • Create plans for greater structure and limits

  • Help their child learn how to use better judgment 

  • Reduce the intensity of co-parenting conflict and/or learn how to co-parent more cooperatively

  • Develop strategies for more effectively parenting in a blended family

  • Access appropriate resources in the community

I work with parents to increase their sense of confidence and access their own wisdom about doing what is best for their child. I do this while strongly advocating for the importance of understanding developmental factors, and even more significantly, emphasizing the power of creating a parent-child relationship within which the child feels secure, cherished, respected and taken care of. 

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Dr. Harry Motro is part of the Couples Recovery Center which provides specialized couples counseling and includes the following professionals:


If you are interested in joining our team, apply here.

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline at 1.800.273.8255.  If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.  Dr. Motro does not offer crisis counseling or emergency services.


Dr. Harry Motro, Marriage Counselor, is an employee of Harry Motro, Psy.D., Marriage and Family Therapist, P.C., (a Professional Corporation), which does business as the Couples Recovery Center. Dr. Motro practices at 3880 South Bascom Drive, Suite 216, San Jose, CA,95124, is Licensed as a Marriage Family Therapist MFC 53452 and authorized to act as a Psychotherapist providing Psychotherapy. He specializes in Couples Counseling. In addition to dealing with couples and relationship issues, Dr. Motro is trained to treat anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bi-polar, ADHD, Asperger's, sex difficulties, anger regulation issues, affair fallout, divorce recovery, self-esteem, addiction, co-dependency, trauma, abuse, eating disorders, and managing grief and loss. These issues often arise in couples counseling and will be dealt with as part of your therapy. If you search for counseling San Jose, marriage counselor San Jose, couples counselor San Jose, psychotherapy San Jose, psychotherapist San Jose, therapist San Jose, counselor San Jose, couples therapist San Jose, couples counselor San Jose, marriage therapy San Jose, life coach San Jose, career coach San Jose, executive coach San Jose, you can find Dr. Harry Motro's web site. In addition to serving San Jose, Harry serves clients in Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Willow Glen, Milpitas, Mountain View, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Scotts Valley, Felton, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Fremont, Los Altos, and Gilroy, California. Dr. Motro also provides  Mountain Bike Therapy. The recommendations on this website do not constitute professional advice, substitute for professional treatment, or establish a therapeutic relationship.

Harry Motro, Psy.D., Marriage and Family Therapist, P.C.,,, 408 823 2822.

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