What is Reunification and Co-Parenting Therapy?
Over 30% of children in the United States grow up in families where the biological parents do not live together. The result is often a high level of conflict between the parents. Many times the children are not in contact with the non-custodial parent. The co-parenting relationship has been identified as an important key to understanding children’s immediate reactions to divorce and their well-being following a divorce. As a result of the conflict and the importance of the parents to the child, professionals and the court are often sought out to bring about a relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. As a result Specialized Family Therapy has been developed to serve these families in need
This model involves Reconciliation Counseling, commonly called reunification counseling (between an estranged parent and a child) and Co-Parenting Counseling (between parents/caregivers if there is some chance they could learn to cooperate directly with each other regarding parenting), with reconciliation and co-parenting being used both separately and consecutively depending on the family’s needs. Specialized Family Therapy incorporates techniques from both therapeutic and mediation disciplines
One parent may be estranged from the children, there may be a history of family court litigation and conflict and families often hold many feelings of anger, resentment, and fear. Some families have histories of domestic violence where safety of the child/children and the parents must be a top priority.
Despite the difficult nature of these cases, therapists using Specialized Family Therapy report encouraging results, with many co-parents improving their communication and parent-child relationships being restored.
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