Since your divorce, you noticed your child has begun denying visitation requests and refusing to spend the weekends with you. This avoidance didn’t happen when you first divorced your ex, but there has been increasing hostility between you and your child over the last several months. You don’t understand why this happened. You are concerned about your relationship with your child. As you research why this may be happening, you realize that your ex might be alienating you from your child.
Parental alienation is frowned upon by the courts, so your next step should be to submit a request for court-ordered reunification therapy in hopes of strengthening your relationship with your child.
What Is Family Reunification Therapy?
During reunification therapy, your family will meet with a licensed reunification therapist. You are meeting to heal the emotional wounds caused by the divorce process. During these conversations, the goal is to help the child. As a qualified mental health professional, the reunification therapist’s role is to analyze the family and provide the best solutions to help the child. Therefore, these moments as a family are critical to re-establishing and solidifying relationships between parent and child.
How Does Therapy Work?
While the parents are involved in the reunification process, the goal is to make sure the child understands the situation and feels safe with both parents. That is why the reunification therapist goes through a systematic process to find key discussion points and gather information about the workings of the family. Since no two families are alike, the therapist must understand the unique dynamics and history. Especially in the event of a high-conflict divorce, the therapist will look to see if there are signs of child abuse, neglect, manipulation, or substance abuse.
The reunification therapy process begins with the therapist meeting each family member and getting a history of the parent-child relationships. Once the therapist understands the family dynamics better, the family begins discussing some of the critical points of conflict and miscommunication as directed by the therapist.
As the family begins to discuss these issues safely and openly, the therapist mediates the situation and provides informed professional advice. The key to these conversations is to help the family establish a positive relationship, so open communication and listening ears are vital to the success of the sessions.
Throughout several sessions, one parent and the child will have moments alone with the therapist to discuss their relationship while the other parent waits outside. This therapeutic intervention helps the parent and child work through misunderstandings and strengthen their relationships.
It is essential for a child to feel safe around all family members. Successful reunification is possible. Since its sole focus is to repair a damaged parent-child relationship, you can be confident knowing that the therapist is there to help you. This family therapy will help you strengthen your relationship with your child and prevent future misunderstandings. Your child will begin to learn and understand that you are there for them and want to be a part of their life no matter what.
If you want to have therapy and repair your relationship with your child, contact Hickey & Hull Law Partners. We can help you to create a case for the parental alienation you're experiencing and to receive the necessary therapy.