Services

The Family Nurturing Center of Texas and Praxis with Integrity offer a broad range of services to support you or your agency’s individualized needs: Parenting and Therapeutic Services; Parent Coordination and Parent Facilitation; Assessment Services; Clinical Supervision; Consultation; Nurturing Program Fidelity Audits; and Non-Profit Leadership Coaching.

Parenting and Therapeutic Services

Sonya Thorn, LCSW is a highly-trained professional who listens intently, asks key questions, and offers resources and relevant information as needed. Through teamwork we will identify and emphasize your strengths and what is working for you, then create and implement steps tailored to address your specific needs. The result of the coaching relationship will bring positive, lasting changes and more joy and satisfaction into your family life.

Agencies: Request Parenting and Therapeutic Services for your clients online. 

Family, Individual, Youth, and Marriage, read more...

Family, Individual, Youth, and Marriage

How many times have we needed help or support as a parent but not been able to find it? PRAXIS with integrity provides just that on an individual basis. We all experience feeling overwhelmed at times. A parent coach provides you with support, guidance, and resources to assist you in creating positive changes in your significant relationships.

Intervention and Treatment of Juveniles in Residential Facilities

PRAXIS with integrity offers consultation for staff working in intervention and treatment of youth in residential facilities based on the Nurturing Program “It’s All About Teens” Curriculum. This dynamic interactive curriculum designed to increase positive self-worth, personal empowerment, self-discipline, empathy, healthy attachments, and resilient-protective behaviors.

This coaching will provide staff with an understanding of the importance of:

  • Creating an environment where staff, children and families are nurtured and treated with respect while increasing staff morale and mastery in working with youth in therapeutic group homes. Consequently, staff turnover and call-ins will decrease, and staff will discharge youth less frequently for violent outbursts and acting-out behaviors.
  • Developing their empathy and patience skills within initial contact with youth and family relative to their resistance and ambivalence about being in therapeutic group homes.
  • Increasing their morale and clinical skills as they gain a better understanding of the contributing factors and trauma that lead to youth’s aggressive, acting-out behaviors.
  • Developing an increased day-to-day knowledge and competencies in the areas of emotional regulation, appropriate touch, communication skills, management of angry outbursts, responding vs. reacting, and a treatment approach for managing aggressive behavior and counseling adolescents.
Co-Parenting and Parent Coaching, read more...

Co-Parenting and Parent Coaching

Co-Parenting and Parent Coaching offer a mutually supportive, compassionate, nonjudgmental relationship between you and your coach that allows you to successfully identify and navigate the challenges parenting brings. Co-parenting for separated, divorced, or high-conflict co-parents can be particularly challenging.

The Co-Parenting Program meets and exceeds the six protective factors identified by the government for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect while reminding us that old school parenting education can hurt more than help with high-conflict parents.

PRAXIS with integrity offers parents and co-parents coaching in these areas:

  • How to grow in empathy as a means to decrease reactivity and conflict
  • How to identify and meet their needs constructively while understanding and meeting their children’s needs
  • How to identify and overcome destructive attitudes affecting their role as a parent and co-parent
  • How to learn emotional regulation for themselves and their children
  • How to effectively communicate, resolve conflicts, reduce stress, and problem solve parenting and co-parenting issues

The average coaching relationship extends between eight and twelve sessions. Sessions run weekly or a schedule that works best for all. Each session includes:

  • 30-60 minute conversation over the telephone
  • Face to face sessions in your home or at a community location in the Austin, Texas area only
  • Email follow-ups highlighting key points of a session
  • Unlimited email availability between sessions
  • One extra short phone call as needed between sessions
  • Pertinent research and resources

Any parent who acknowledges the complex and significance of their job will benefit from coaching. Areas of interest include:

  • Parent/Child Relationships
  • Discipline Concerns
  • Ages and Stages Parenting
  • Early Years Parenting
  • Behavior Issues
  • Teen Years
  • School Related Concerns
  • Media and Peer Related Influences
  • Desire for Children to Reach Full Potential

Parenting Facilitation and Parenting Coordination

Praxis with Integrity Consulting, PLLC, and Presswood Resolutions, PLLC, have teamed up to provide you with parenting facilitation and parenting coordination services that comply with the Texas Family Code.

Parenting Facilitation, read more...

Parenting Facilitation

Parenting Facilitation, also known as case management, is a problem-solving service offered to parents raising children between homes who seek professional assistance in working together to keep their children free from the parents’ conflicts. Parenting Facilitation is a child-centered dispute resolution service that assists parents in developing and implementing workable parenting plans when they are unable to do so on their own.

Benefits of using a Parenting Facilitator

Working with a Parenting Facilitator helps parents raise skill level in collaborative planning and decision making. It avoids reducing chronic litigation by identifying sources of conflict between parents and others and who relate to the children. It can also reduce time spent arguing and avoid costly court hearings. Parenting Facilitation assisting the parents in compliance with court orders by using mediation techniques to deal with specific issues.

The difference between a Parenting Coordinator and a Parenting Facilitator is that of confidentiality. Facilitators are appointed in a non-confidential capacity. Texas Family Code Section 153.6051 defines when and why parent facilitators may be appointed, their duties and responsibilities, qualifications needed to serve as such, and compensation.

Parenting Coordination, read more...

Parenting Coordination

Parenting Coordination is an Alternative Dispute Resolution process designed to assist parents in the support and parenting of their children before, during or after separation, divorce or non-marital relationship.

The Parenting Coordinator helps parents recognize and understand their changing roles, new responsibilities and various boundaries.

Parents learn to view the changes of process not as a war (that needs to be won) but rather as a way to learn a problem solving process that will ensure the best environment for their children. It is a process through which parents work together to identify key issues that directly or indirectly impact their children and with the help of a Parenting Coordinator, work together to identify the best way to develop a positive parenting plan and create a positive environment for the children.

An effective Parenting Coordinator observes, evaluates, coaches, and teaches while helping the parents to identify and resolve conflict through negotiation and positive communication.

Parenting Coordination does not replace or compete with the attorney’s role, and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. The Parent Coordination is never a substitute for mental health counseling or therapy.

Goals of Parenting Coordination include but are not limited to:

  • Acquiring active participation of both parents to develop a parenting plan and resolve parenting disputes
  • Stimulating effective, positive communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Creating resolutions that can meet the responsibilities and needs of each parent and their children
  • Coaching parents to successfully co-parent (separately, together and parallel) now and for the future

A three-phase process is the most effective:

  1. Initial phase: Upon receipt of the Court “Order of Referral” I speak (via phone) with both parents and attorneys to understand the background, issues, goals and to gather information.
  2. Middle phase: A full day meeting to review the questionnaire, the Co-Parenting Guidelines Handout, to review generic parenting plans, and to develop the parents’ custom parenting agreement.
  3. Final Phase: Work out the final details and either write and sign a full or partial parenting agreement or decide to impasse.

The difference between a Parenting Coordinator and a Parenting Facilitator is that of confidentiality. Facilitators are appointed in a non-confidential capacity. Texas Family Code Section 153.6051 defines when and why Parenting Facilitators may be appointed, their duties and responsibilities, qualifications needed to serve as such, and compensation.

Parenting Coordination FAQ, read more...

Parenting Coordination Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common issues addressed by the Parenting Coordinator?

The most frequent concerns that parents bring to the Parenting Coordinator are:

  • Visitation plans
  • Trade-offs or last minute changes, phone calls
  • Toys and belongings
  • Holidays, including extracurricular activities
  • Household rules or boundaries
  • Significant religious planning
  • Medical and professional appointments
  • Communication plans
  • School
  • Visiting schedules for grandparents and other relatives
  • Vacations
  • Financial planning for the future
  • Others and dating
  • Special needs considerations

What are the tasks of a Parenting Coordinator?

The Parenting Coordinator assists in raising parents’ skill level in collaborative planning and decision making for their children.

Parents are educated on co-parenting techniques and issues related to children growing up between two homes.

Tasks include but not limited to:

  • Identifying sources of conflict between parents and work with them to consider ways to effectively address them
  • Facilitating effective communication between parents and between others who relate to the children – e.g., relative such as grandparents, school personnel, and therapists
  • Reducing chronic litigation, which reduces stress and preserves family resources
  • Working with clients to mediate specific issues
  • Assisting parents are in complying with court orders

PRAXIS with integrity Parenting Coordinator reviews written evaluations and reports, and  will talk with other significant individuals involved with the family (doctors, therapists, school personnel, lawyers, etc.). This may include meeting with the parents individually or jointly, and communicate by telephone, fax and email. Home visits may be scheduled if requested by the court. A Parenting Coordinator as defined by the law cannot testify in court or submit a report into evidence. The only form of communication that is allowed with the court is for a Parenting Coordinator to report if the process is succeeding and if it should continue.

What are the benefits of using a Parenting Coordinator?

Working with a Parenting Coordinator helps parents address disputes more quickly and efficiently. It avoids placing children in the middle of adult conflicts and therefore reduces a child’s exposure to conflict. It can also reduce time spent arguing and avoid costly court hearings. Parent Coordination allows decisions to be made by parents, instead of by the court.

Who pays for the Parenting Coordinator?

Appointment of the Parenting Coordinator is usually court ordered, however other sources of referrals are attorneys, therapists, clergy or self-referral. Appointments are up to two hours in length and usually start out weekly and then, as agreements are met, continue on an as needed basis. Parents customarily share the cost of the Parenting Coordinator fees equally unless a court orders otherwise.

A retainer is required in order for work to begin.

What does a “custody battle” do to families? (Promotes War)

Many divorcing parents deny that the soon to be ex-spouse is still part of their family.  However, the fact that they have divorced does not end the parenting relationship. Even though they do not live together, they often have contact in relation to the children at least until the youngest child is eighteen and often longer.  In a custody battle, the parents are trying to “prove” which parent is the best parent, instead of each parent being the best parent they can be.  Instead of managing their negative emotions and working together to find the best ways to utilize both parents’ strengths, parents often put their children in the middle and play “tug-a-war”. As this legal war goes on each parent uses their time, energy, and resources to “fight” in court over who is the best.  As they do this, they often belittle and try to discredit the other parent.  What are the messages children getting from this “parental behavior”? Children learn:

  • To discredit others
  • To be secretive
  • To not trust one or both parents
  • To get your way at all costs
  • To hide the fact that they love the other parent

The list goes on and on.

How can Parenting Coordination help? (Promotes Peace)

In almost every case, it is better for children to have continued contact with both parents.  In every case it is best for children to be free of parental conflict.  The fact that the parenting coordinator is impartial and therefore not aligning with either parent is paramount in the effectiveness of the parenting coordination process.  This neutrality promotes a safe environment for parents.  In this safe environment parents can put aside and manage the pain, disappointment, fear, anxiety, and grief associated with separation and divorce long enough to negotiate parenting solutions that not only utilizes the strengths of both parents but also keep the needs of the children as a top priority.  During the parenting coordination process a skilled mental health professional uses skills learned over many years of education and experience to help parents:

  • Manage their emotions
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Learn about impacts of conflict on children
  • Learn about children’s developmental needs
  • Negotiate appropriate post-divorce or separation boundaries
  • Identify their children’s needs
  • Identify mutually agreeable parenting goals
  • Brainstorm options to meet goals
  • Evaluate options to reach agreements within legal guidelines

With a signed consent for exchange of information, the parents and the parenting coordinator are free to communicate with the parent’s legal council to exchange any necessary information. This freedom is helpful as it comes time for the parenting coordinator to record written agreements, in such a way as to make drafting of the final documents more efficient. Once the parenting coordinator has helped the parents come up with agreements that fit their family’s needs, he/she forwards the information to both attorneys.

An added benefit of the Parenting Coordinator is her/his availability through the years as the family’s needs change.  When children’s needs change or if conflict arises between the parents, the same parenting coordinator, knowing the background and how their agreements were reached, can be available to consult with the parents to re-negotiate agreements instead of starting a law suit.

Assessment Services

The Family Nurturing Center of Texas offers assessment services for:

  • Evaluation of Agency Nurturing Parenting Programs
  • AAPI (Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory)
  • NSCS (Nurturing Skills Competency Scale)
  • PARTI (Parenting Attitudes about Raising Teens Inventory)

We offer a single point of contact for assessing family functioning and parenting risk assessments, program evaluation and fidelity audits to agencies providing Nurturing Parenting Program services, and a two-day Family Functioning and Parenting Risk Assessment training using AAPI (Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory), NSCS (Nurturing Skills Competency Scale), and PARTI (Parenting Attitudes about Raising Teens Inventory).

Our process includes the following steps: we receive referrals from individuals, community, family law attorneys, or agencies; we contact individuals to set up intake appointments and assessments; and we provide results to referral source and recommend treatment modalities, curriculum dosage, and frequency of services.

Read more about our Assessment and Evaluation services. 

Consulting Services

Clinical social work is the largest provider of mental-healthcare and related forms of healthcare in the United States. For those seeking help with any aspect of the full range of bio-psycho-social problems and disorders, clinical social workers are educated and trained at either the master’s or doctoral level, with additional years of post-graduate experience. PRAXIS with Integrity offers Clinical Social Work Supervision to encourage and assist those working towards degrees and licensing.

PRAXIS with Integrity also offers Reflective Leadership sessions in the Central Texas area to assist your organization in developing engaged and educated professionals through interactive courses in friction management, leadership, and organizational communication.

Clinical Supervision

To qualify for the LCSW credential, you must complete a minimum of 100 hours of face-to-face supervision, over the course of 3000 hours of professional experience, with a board-approved supervisor. Sonya M. Thorn, LCSW and PRAXIS with integrity offer Clinical Supervision to social workers who wish to obtain their Licensed Clinical Social Worker credential.

Clinical Supervision, read more...

Clinical Supervision

To qualify for the LCSW credential, you must complete a minimum of 100 hours of face-to-face supervision, over the course of 3000 hours of professional experience, with a board-approved supervisor. Sonya M. Thorn, LCSW and PRAXIS with integrity offer Clinical Supervision to social workers who wish to obtain their Licensed Clinical Social Worker credential.

For new and re-application for LCSW, visit Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners website for forms and requirements.

Upgrade from current LMSW or LMSW-AP to Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

  • Application for upgrade of licensure – Form A
  • Submit fee ($20.00)
  • Social Work Employment history – Form I
  • Verification of Qualifying Supervision/Experience – Form V
  • Examination Security Information Form – Form VII
  • Passing score on Licensure Examination (Clinical)
  • Proof of completion of Jurisprudence Exam

Supervision sessions may include the following:

  • Review casework
  • Discuss the diagnostic impressions and diagnosis
  • Discuss intervention strategies related to the intervention
  • Review the intervention or treatment plan
  • Review and evaluate clinical progress
  • Give guidance/advice
  • Didactic teaching

Clinical Social Work Supervision sessions are available in a group or individual format. Visit our Forms page to access the Clinical Supervision forms.

“When it’s going well, supervision is a holding environment, a place to feel secure enough to expose insecurities, mistakes, questions and differences.”  Rebecca Shahmoon Shanock (1992)

Consultation and supervision for LBSW and LMSW social workers is offered on site in settings serving children and families as well as individual supervision.

Reflective Supervision, read more...

Reflective Supervision

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto others.”  Jeree pawl (1998)

Sonya M. Thorn, LCSW and PRAXIS with integrity offers reflective supervision and consultation individually or within a group.

It is important to remember that the relationship is the foundation for reflective supervision and consultation.  All growth and discovery about the work and oneself takes place within the context of this trusting relationship. The capacity to be reflective will flourish to the extent the trust has been established in the supervision relationship. Reflection in a supervisory relationship requires a foundation of honesty and trust.  The goal is to create an environment in which people do their best thinking—one characterized by safety, calmness and support.

Reflection means stepping back from the immediate, intense experience of hands-on work and taking the time to wonder what the experience really means.  What does it tell us about the family?  About ourselves?  Through reflection, we can examine our thoughts and feelings about the experience and identify the interventions that best meet the family’s goals for self-sufficiency, growth and development.

Reflective supervision/consultation is distinct due to the shared exploration of the parallel process.  That is, attention to all of the relationships is important, including the ones between practitioner and supervisor, be-tween practitioner and parent, and between parent and infant/toddler.  It is critical to understand how each of these relationships affects the others.  Also importance, reflective supervision/consultation relates to professional and personal development within one’s discipline by attending to the emotional content of the work and how reactions to the content affect the work.  Finally, there is often greater emphasis on the supervisor/consultant’s ability to listen and wait, allowing the supervisee to discover solutions, concepts and perceptions on his/her own without interruption from the supervisor/consultant.

The primary objectives of reflective supervision/consultation include:

  • form a trusting relationship between supervisor and practitioner
  • establish consistent and predictable meetings and times
  • ask questions that encourage details about the infant, parent and emerging relationship
  • listen
  • remain emotionally present
  • teach/guide
  • nurture/support
  • apply the integration of emotion and reason
  • foster the reflective process to be internalized by the supervisee
  • explore the parallel process and to allow time for personal reflection
  • attend to how reactions to the content affect the process

“The ultimate goal of reflective practice is to improve the quality of services for children and their families. Often providers are faced with trauma of the families they work with and this trauma can trigger their own pain and suffering. The experience the provider brings to the relationship can get in the way of working effectively with families unless there is a venue to explore, understand, and distill the negative or difficult emotions elicited from the work…” Rebecca  Shamoon Shanok, 2009


Thanks to the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health for information on Reflective Supervision. 

Non-Profit Leadership

Leadership qualities refer to how effective the leader is at managing her interactions with others.  Simply put, we lead through relationships. How we lead is important: how we treat others, how we interact, how we resolve conflict, and how we provide feedback all directly influence our staff members experience of the work.

Although effectiveness as a leader is often measured in quantitative outcomes—increasing school readiness, decreasing incidences of abuse and neglect, increasing vaccination rates—it is our ability to reflect on and optimize our relationships that makes these goals achievable. It is our skill in connecting with others, guiding and mentoring them, that makes good numbers a natural outgrowth of good relationships. In other words, our accomplishments are a reflection of what our relationships have allowed us to achieve.

Non-Profit Leadership Coaching, read more...

Non-Profit Leadership Coaching

“Great leaders move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us.” Daniel Goleman

Non-profit leadership coaching is motivation training that is aimed at helping non-profit leaders enhance their effectiveness in the workplace. The process of coaching usually involves elements of exposure to many different ideas and philosophies regarding the proper management of a non-profit and concepts on how to retain enthusiasm for the work at hand and thus enjoy a high level of personal satisfaction with the chosen career.

PRAXIS with integrity may choose to work one-on-one with an individual or conduct workshops and seminars with larger groups of leadership teams. When working with an individual client, Sonya M. Thorn will tailor the subject matter to fit the particulars of the leaders work responsibilities. Her previous work has included assignments with a clinical supervisor focusing on such skills as how to effectively communicate with clinicians and interns involved in direct clinical services to diverse clients. The coaching also included instruction on how to provide reflective supervision in highly stressful agencies to motivate frontline staff and clients.

Non-profit leadership coaching may also take place in a group setting. The group may consist of a leadership team, or the coaching may be offered to members of a professional group. With each instance, the coach is responsible for finding ways to convey the information in a manner that will resonate with the registered attendees of the seminar or workshop.

Non-profit leadership coaching services call for the coach to offer several sessions to an individual or a group. The time can be structured into sessions over the course of a weekend or even an entire week. Non-profit leadership coaching can take place at a work site or be part of the agencies staff development goals. The format for the sessions will often depend on the scope of the subject matter, the size of the group, and how much time has been set aside for the coaching.


Leadership Coaching Topics

  • Developing Your People
  • Leadership Mentoring
  • Reflective Leadership
  • Balancing Leadership and Management Tasks
  • Reexamining Agency Mission and Objectives
  • Fostering Relationships and Supervision of Unpaid Employees (Interns/Volunteers)
  • Women Leaders in Non-Profit Settings
  • Equity and Racism
Leadership Coaching for Healthy Outcomes, read more...

Leadership Coaching for Healthy Outcomes

Leadership for Healthy Outcomes can be facilitated as leadership group training or on an individual one to one basis in person and through the Internet.

Training is delivered through a combination of lecture, group exercises and practical coaching with the course leader, Sonya Thorn. All the exercises are designed to make you better equipped to:

  • Uncover and solve problems that others were not initially willing to discuss.
  • Prevent costly mistakes that occur when someone interprets something that was not intended.
  • Use your own reactions under pressure to generate even deeper, more meaningful, more authentic connections with others.
  • Make clearer requests that generate the action and support of others.
  • Transform differences of opinion with customers, vendors, staff, and family into creative, relationship-enhancing conversations.

Typical Topics Covered

How do you react under friction?

When confronted with something challenging, it’s human nature to go into our own familiar reactive behaviors. Our reactions tend to be some form of evading and avoiding, or speaking up without regard for how our speaking is received. In the course, you will become familiar with your personal reactive style. You will also be shown how to slow down your reaction long enough to make new choices.

Moving beyond “my view” versus “their view” to find the intersection of both

Let’s be honest. Often, without conscious thought, we hold other’s points of view as less important than ours. Recognizing the validity of another’s viewpoint is a crucial leadership skill. You will see how to separate facts from your interpretation of those facts. This skill alone can aid you in resolving issues in a way that honors each person’s point of view.

How can you avoid having your future be your past repeated?

According to research in how the mind works, most learning takes place by the age of 13 and tapers off by the early 20’s. Beyond that, the majority of adult thoughts and behaviors are simply the past repeated. You will learn how to recognize these barriers and generate new neuropath ways consistent with a higher level of leadership.

Are you on autopilot?

In the split-second before you speak, several things are occurring that will determine the outcome of the conversation. You will see how it is possible to stay connected in conversation, even when you are upset, without endorsing another’s behavior or changing your view.

Are you listening, or just waiting to speak?

The most respected and effective leaders are those who truly listen, beneath words to what was meant. You will see how your own thoughts and reactions filter what you hear. In that space where you can see what shapes your thoughts, emotions and reactions, you can stretch to make new choices.

Leadership Consulting, read more...

Leadership Consulting

Leadership qualities refer to how effective the leader is at managing her interactions with others.  Simply put, we lead through relationships. How we lead is important: how we treat others, how we interact, how we resolve conflict, and how we provide feedback all directly influence our staff members experience of the work.

Although effectiveness as a leader is often measured in quantitative outcomes—increasing school readiness, decreasing incidences of abuse and neglect, increasing vaccination rates—it is our ability to reflect on and optimize our relationships that makes these goals achievable. It is our skill in connecting with others, guiding and mentoring them, that makes good numbers a natural outgrowth of good relationships. In other words, our accomplishments are a reflection of what our relationships have allowed us to achieve.

Leadership takes place in the context of relationships, and quality relationships are crucial to good outcomes.


Leadership and Administrative Systems Support

PRAXIS with integrity offers services in these areas:

  • Developing Systems and Structures for Organization Learning & Improvement
  • Supervising Diverse Staff & Teams with Diverse Needs
  • Nurturing Program Fidelity Audits
  • Recognizing the Difference between Leading & Managing
  • Strategic Planning
  • Collaborations & Outside Partnership Skills
  • Development & Maintenance of a Volunteer & Internship Site to Meet Multiple Agency Needs
  • Managing Change While Increasing Quality
  • Understanding & Incorporating Reflective Leadership
  • Executive/Leadership Coaching Skills
  • How to Motivate and Actively Engage Staff
  • Managing Day-to-Day Tasks While Incorporating Big Picture Thinking