Strengthening Families Through Counseling, Education and Mediation

Relationship Maintenance Programs

The effects of divorce are not limited to the immediate aftermath of the parental breakup.  Children do not just simply “get over it.”  By following children over their life span, researchers (Wallerstein, 1984) have found that immediately following divorce, two-thirds of children showed symptoms of emotional distress; and one-half of the children believed their lives had been “destroyed.”  At five years follow-up one-third of the children remained emotionally disturbed; while symptoms where diminished, albeit present, in another third of the subject population.  At fifteen years post-divorce many of the children were receiving counseling regarding issues arising from their parents’ divorce.

The child’s emotional functioning post-divorce seems to be directly related to the nature of the biological parents relationship post-divorce.  The more conflicted the biological parents relationship, the more internally conflicted the child will be.  Interventions to address the child’s opportunity for a relationship with both parents are badly needed to reduce deterioration in the child’s well-being.  Furthermore, assisting the child through the changes in their family post-divorce, is of exceptional importance.

Services Provided:

Non-residential parent education.  Attention is given to the unique problems associated with being unable to reside with ones family.  Education/counseling of non-residential parents aids in facilitating the children’s best interest by preventing a wearing down and subsequent loss of important relationships to the child.  A second, and extremely valuable purpose to this program, is the promotion of responsible parenthood through advocacy of consistent contact/visitation, monetary support, and other forms of child support.

Access interruption.  Interventions to facilitate the child’s relationship with their parents despite the numerous causes to interruption of access are solely needed.  Interventions for alienating parents including:  group education, individual, and family counseling.  Group, individual, and family assistance to children to aid them in combing disentangled from ongoing parental conflict.

Superstructure interventions.  In more intensively conflicted situations between parents, and/or between individuals and state agencies, a superstructure is required (as a child advocate) to facilitate the child’s well-being.  This superstructure has many uses; from facilitating reconciliation between alienated parents and children, to transforming the relationships between alleged victims of abuse with their alleged perpetrators.  These cases will be coordinated with the judiciary as well as agents of the court to promote child well-being.

Visitation training.  Specific assistance in teaching appropriate behavior during visits, and during visitation transitions.  This training represents an avenue for a child to be safe and protected during all phases of the visitation process.  A level system will be employed which will advance participants according to measured progress. While this program is part of a Superstructure intervention, it is also a program which has application outside of a superstructure.

Families in transition program.  This program is aimed at addressing the needs of children despite the courtship, remarriage, and blending of families.  Inasmuch as this represents special challenges to the child, parent education as well as various counseling strategies offer a mechanism for the changing family to progress smoothly through the transition.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes