Reunification Counseling can also be called Reconciliation Counseling, Court-ordered Reunification Counseling, or Parental Alienation Counseling.
When a married couple decides to divorce, the entire family is affected. This isn’t meant to shame, or place an assignment of guilt on any parent, family member, or the couple, it is meant to bring a realistic understanding to the difficult process of divorce and family experiences. Family relationships can be complicated and hard to navigate in general, sometimes in the process of divorce or for years to follow, family relationships can be downright devastating.
It isn’t uncommon for children, during the course of conflict and divorce to become estranged from one of their parents (for example, due to a past history of abuse, restraining order, incarceration, substance abuse or domestic violence) When a child is having difficulty establishing or maintaining a meaningful relationship with a parent, or when there is a conflict between parent and a child, reunification counseling may be initiated through a court order or an attorney referral.
“The reunification counselor was knowledgable and put my mind at ease.”
What is Reunification Counseling?
Family reunification counseling is a service provided by a trained family counselor. At Compass we have therapists’ who are trained in working with high conflict families and follow the American Family Coalition of Court (AFCC). We will work with your family to re-engage in your relationships, improve your communication and overall family satisfaction. The primary goal of reunification counseling is to repair the parent-child relationship within the context of the high conflict divorce/separation. It is common for each family member to be asked to participate in reunification counseling.
Reunification counseling is vastly different than traditional family counseling. Reunification counseling is not client centered, that is the child and/or parent does not determine the goals for treatment and counseling. While we work to be collaborative with you as a family, it is important to note that often the court will order specific areas they wish to have addressed in reunification counseling. The counselor will then complete a treatment plan to ensure the court ordered goals be met, in the most effective, safe way with the family. It is often recommended that there be an individual therapist for the child, and each of the parents during the course of reunification counseling to ensure each participant have adequate time and space to process their feelings.
Goals for Reunification Counseling
Assess the child’s safety and readiness to engage in reunification counseling.
Develop family structures, guidelines and processes that will help your family function to the benefit of all its members.
Merge your parenting styles and philosophies into a unified, workable plan that offers your children the clarity and consistency they need.
Address communication barriers between co-parents and determine a plan for ongoing relationship building.
Understand and problem solve the families ongoing issues.
Entering into reunification counseling can be scary, and like most counseling it will require some traction and momentum to make good progress. It is important to initially schedule weekly, hourly sessions. As the process continues moving forward it is possible to space some sessions out to allow for adequate time of the reunification process. The therapist will assess what the best process is to move forward in a productive way.
Getting divorced can create a very trying emotional time. The goal is to come out the “other side” with as few scars as possible, and the opportunity to make your life better. Always keep your children in the front of your mind when making decisions.
Though it is not intentional, many decisions can lead to circumstances that are stressful for children; the more they can be sheltered from these stressors, the better the chances that they will grow up well-adapted and with healthy relationships with both of their parents.
Contact us today to set up a Reunification Counseling consultation. We look forward to working with you.
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5115 NE 94th Ave, Suite D, Vancouver, WA 98662
Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm
Therapist Hours: By Appointment