The way to help heal the world is to start with your own family. -Mother Teresa
Currently, less than 7 out of 10 children live with their parents. Today, there are more stepparent and single parent families than traditional families with two biological parents and their children under the same roof. The stresses of single and co-parenting are real and can be magnified when support and cooperation are low. Children moving from one home to another and back can also feel this stress. Children long for strong, stable relationships no matter what their parenting plan. Remaining child-centered is essential for children’s optimal adjustment and long-term health.
Parent Coordination Services
Parenting coordination services are similar to having a court-appointed, high conflict manager for the most litigious child custody cases. It is a form of dispute resolution that goes beyond mediation, psychotherapy and a multitude of other family services. Parenting coordination is a non-confidential, child-centered process for parents whom mediation is inappropriate due to high levels of intra-parental conflict, domestic abuse and/or characterological psychopathology. The goal of the service is to develop and monitor a parenting plan that safeguards children from their parents’ animosity. Ordinary, parenting coordinators are appointed for a one-year term. Referrals and/or case management may be an aspect of parenting coordination. Child involvement will vary, depending on the circumstances.
In a confidential therapeutic forum, parents address ways to navigate the separation of the family that colors the impact of divorce on children. Support, especially during the first year of separation, is provided as they depart from roles as live-in partners to a co-parenting paradigm. In the second and third years post-separation, therapy addresses the acquisition of a new lifestyle and means of relating and parenting as their single household changes to a two-household structure. Child involvement is to be determined by the parents and clinician. The number of sessions vary per month depending on client need.
Therapeutic visitation combines parent-child psychotherapy and psycho-educational techniques with supervised visitation. Initially, the service may include intensive involvement by the clinician. As the parent-child relationship develops, the clinician moves to a supervisory role. This service is appropriate for visitation between a parent and child in circumstances of (1) alleged or confirmed cases of physical or sexual abuse, (2) alleged or confirmed substance abuse, (3) ineffective, deficit, neglectful or emotionally abusive parenting skills, (4) reunification of a child with a formerly absent parent and/or (5) threat of abduction.
Psycho-therapeutic interventions are designed to gradually reintroduce an estranged parent to the child when that parent as been absent, estranged for a significant period of time or has never been known by the child.
Individual Treatment and/or Coaching
Divorce is a painful process for men and women, regardless of the circumstances. Post-divorce adjustment can last eighteen to twenty-four months. In addition, divorce can set off a chain of stressful events over extended periods of time. Individual therapy and coaching are both an invitation and a press for the individual to self-reflect on his/her contributions to his/her present state of affairs and to find the self confidence and coping skills to make positive change.