Community Center for Family Counseling

Building Strong Families:
Parent, Teacher, and Counselor Education at LCC

The Community Center for Family Counseling is sponsored by the Counseling Department and the Community Education and Economic Development Division at Lane Community College . Since 1957, our "Saturday Circus" parent education program, first at the University of Oregon and since 1978 at Lane, has helped thousands of participants dramatically improve family life with a practical and humane approach to parenting.

The class, affectionately known as the Saturday Circus, has become a Lane County institution serving multiple generations of parents and a diverse range of other interested participants. Typical participants include:

  • Students enrolled in the course for human relations credit
  • Parents who want to refine their parenting skills
  • Professionals who want to gain skills in human relations
  • Parents who are court ordered to take the course
  • Parents undergoing divorce
  • Teachers who want to use the skills in their classrooms
  • Early Childhood Education Care Providers
  • Counselors

Participants attend parent education/discussion groups from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays (9 a.m. to noon on Thursdays summer term). Formats for the groups are based on the theory and principles of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs. Courses may be taken for credit through the Human Development Department (CG 211, CG 212).

The three-hour class is a combination of parenting counseling sessions and education in a classroom environment. In the class, parents, teachers, and interested others learn ideas and skills for strengthening relationships with pre-through middle-school-aged children. Typical problems (e.g. fighting, crying, sibling conflict, bedtime) are approached via activities, discussion and the use of real-life in-home video sequences. Participants view family counseling sessions, and participate in discussion and exercises to refine application of skills. In the counseling sessions parents describe problematic situations to the counselor/instructor and then together discuss principles and develop strategies for change.

Topics include the use of encouragement, dealing with power struggles, improving communication, setting reasonable and consistent limits, stimulating independence/responsibility, and improving structure and routine.