Entrepreneur Laurie Reid, a Florida licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, has over 18 years of experience working with tweens, teens, couples, and families. She is the founder and President of Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Inc., (BTC) — the experienced voice on the topic of parent abuse internationally, known as child to parent violence. BTC Consulting is a certified minority, women, and service disabled veteran small business based in Central Florida.
Entrepreneur Interview Q & A:
1. What is your business/Business Name? What does your business do?
Breaking the Cycle Consulting. We provide consulting, counseling, therapy. We focus on child to parent violence. We look at different avenues, how the violence happens, and how to break the cycle of teen abusive violence in the home, regardless of the cause.
We offer a 10-week program, which is evidence-promising, where both parent and child attend the program.
Sometimes law enforcement is called, and an arrest is made, but then 24 – 48 hours later the individual is released back home. There may be probation, they may go back to court, there may be fines, community service, etc. But then the parent, who is the victim, is the one paying for it. Then the parent is held accountable for the child who is the abuser – and that puts them back into a powerless position.
Currently, there is nothing in place to protect the parent, or for helping the parent who is being abused. For example, the parent may to go the doctor covered in bruises, and get asked questions relating to domestic violence. Then once it’s revealed that the child is violent/aggressive/abusing the parent, the parent is told they can’t be helped.
2. Why did you get into this field? What opportunities did you see?
I am a therapist and have been working with teens for almost 20 years now. I was a coordinator, and when I went to conferences, I was got a lot of questions in this area.
Family driven needs – Meet the family where they are, with no judgement.
Child driven therapy. Because the environment is different from where we were years ago, there is now the constant threat of violence in our lives (e.g. lock-downs in schools).
Working with kids to understand that their behaviors were unacceptable, but keeping in mind that that is where they are, and accept them as they are. Give them tools and coping skills to change the behavior, rather than trying to look for the roots.
Evidence based. “Are we reducing abusive violence in the homes?” Each family that comes to us has its own family culture. We accept that person’s culture.
If the family speaks another language, then we work with the family in that language. We ensure that even if the child speaks English, the parent’s voice is heard.
Trauma informed care practices and principles. Everyone who comes through the door is going through some sort of trauma. Our staff is very welcome, open, and inviting. This sounds simple, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. Everyone comes in with their own biases; this strips away those biases. Support through peers and consumers.
Working under a collaborative model with peers, family, trainings to work on their care.
3. What have been your biggest challenges?
- Funding — because this is a for-profit, not a non-profit. As the owner, I want to ensure that the principles of the company remain and are not guided by the board of directors.
- Because this is innovative, and on the cutting-edge, there is the associated myth and stigma of parents who are being abused. Parents are often blamed for the child being non-compliant.
- Parents have a hard time raising children who are global-minded and pluralistic-focused with worldly views. Children today have more influences from the world than previous generations.
- There are many challenges getting people to really listen, and to think about this different approach.
- Getting funding for new and different programs that can show evidence of success.
4. What has been your greatest reward?
There have been so many…
- Personally – the deep emotional change and shift in how I view families today. It has a profound impact on how I interact with individuals without thinking that I am the expert on the individual. The profound shift of mind that individuals are humans.
- My relationship with the director, who has constantly and graciously helped me with my mind-shift to see families differently. This has been instrumental in breaking the cycle.
5. If you could change something, what would it be?
I learned through humility that change is always occurring. Change is inevitable in an organization. Accepting that change will occur has been key in my business.
6. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?
Make sure that this is what you really want to do. Because it will take all of your energy, time, brain, and emotions. Make sure those who are around you, like your family, are behind you. You cannot do this by yourself.
7. Social Media. Yay or Nay?
No. Because the constant bombardment and expectations of what you “have” to do for social media can be overwhelming.
But the connections through LinkedIn, Facebook, etc, are powerful.
8. How do you market your services?
Website, groups within the county. But marketing is where I need help.
9. Is your business a service or a product? If you are a product, how do you handle production?
10. How can people get in touch with you? What’s your website/Contact information?