Tue | Jun 18, 2019

Meet Miss Family Fix-it - Jamaican launches in-home and online therapy to repair broken relationships in Germany

Published:Sunday | May 19, 2019 | 12:41 AMCarlene Davis - Gleaner Writer
Dr Taneisha Burke
Dr Taneisha Burke

Driven by the warning echoed in the African proverb ‘The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people’, Dr Taniesha Burke is on a mission to strengthen parent-child relationships one household at a time.

“Many of the challenges that society faces today stem from the dynamics of the family. Healing the family is one of the cornerstones for improving society. Most of what we are currently experiencing as a society has a lot to do with how we parent children,” said Burke.

Burke, 36, grew up between St Ann and Kingston with her grandparents and mother and said that she became a bookworm when she discovered from an early age that she could attend any institution she wanted or travel the world through academic scholarships.

“I did not have a lot of material resources while attending primary and high school. I received scholarships from Quality Academics to complete my A’Levels and other awards for my graduate studies in Canada. I also received a visiting research fellowship to Germany. Without scholarships, I may not have had my international experiences,” the family-intervention mediator told The Sunday Gleaner.

THINK PROACTIVELY

“Growing up poor does not mean we will miss out on opportunities. What is important is that we think proactively and creatively and ask ourselves, ‘What are the alternatives to achieving this goal?”

The mother of one studied psychology at the undergraduate and graduate level at The University of the West Indies, Mona, before moving on to reading for a doctorate in family relations and human development at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Burke started her business in 2018 and is seeking to create a home environment that benefits all family members.

“My business supports parents in healing and strengthening their families through coaching programmes, workshops, and classes on personal development and parent-child interactions. I also offer online courses and in-person coaching and workshops,” said Burke, a certified positive discipline parent educator and strengthening families programme facilitator.

“At the moment, I provide parenting workshops in international schools and to the general public in Berlin. I also offer private and group-parent coaching. In the VIP in-home service, I spend at least one month with the family. I would say I almost become a family member,” she added.

THERAPY STRATEGIES

Her therapy strategies focus on behavioural and emotional management, couple’s counselling, and parenting sessions. For parents who are unable to participate in her VIP programme because of affordability or location, she also has an online private one-on-one coaching programme that is personalised and available to families from anywhere in the world.

Burke said that although her business is currently based in Germany, she aspires to share her pro-family programmes with the Jamaican people. Her long-term plan is to work with at-risk parents and communities, she said, sharing that she hopes to secure the necessary funding to make the initiative a reality.

“One of the things I want young people to know is that your family’s economic status does not have to determine your life. We all have the ability to create the life we desire. The question is, are you willing to do what it takes to achieve it? To even begin to achieve our goals, we have to take 100 per cent responsibility for what shows up in our life. Some persons fight against that notion and blame the government, their family, but every single day we decide who and what we will be based on our decisions, actions, and lack thereof.

“Also, in the era of social media, many of us make the mistake of wanting instant success. Success is a long, steady road that requires resilience, discipline, commitment, and the ability to resist instant gratification for long-term goals. What are you willing to give up to achieve your goals? Success rarely happens in a place of comfort,” she added.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.