Therapeutic Supervised Visitation
Therapeutic visitation is a structured, proactive process that directly addresses the conditions that led to the referral. It involves the completion of therapeutic goals between the parents and the children, assisted by a licensed therapist. Some of the goals include the healing of past trauma, the communication of feelings, improving the parent’s response to the needs of the children, and the development of appropriate parenting skills. The visits can range from taking on a therapeutic focus to a monitored interactive time between the parent and the children. It is sometimes advisable for all parties to have individual therapists for further support. Reports are written only at the request and/or a court order. Protocol: individual intake with parent trying to reunify, individual intake with the custodial parent, individual intake with children where the children complete individual sessions with me in order to understand the process, the therapist’s role, to be aware of their rights and to prepare the children for the sessions with the reunifying parent.
Reunification Therapy can occur when a parent may have been absent for an extended period of time or there may be a history of abuse that the child has witnessed or was a victim of. Another purpose of reunification therapy is to assess for the potential of reunification as well as assist in improving the child’s contact with that parent in a safe environment. Often it is beneficial for both parents and child to have their own individual therapists when proceeding through this difficult process. The noncustodial parent can receive more support in working through the issues that arise in the reunification process while the custodial parent can utilize his/her therapist for containment of his/her feelings resulting from the reunification process. The child benefits from individual therapy by having the protected and supportive environment to process issues that may arise from the reunification process. The reunification therapist may consult with the individual therapist throughout the process in order to appropriately address the child’s needs. Protocol: Intake with the noncustodial parent, intake with the custodial parent, intake with the child and additional sessions to understand the process, the therapist’s role and to prepare for the sessions with the reunifying parent.
The Coach is not a therapist and has a specific role to help you with the divorce process by containing your feelings and providing grounding for effective communication. The Coach’s role is to help you determine your strengths you bring to the process and to assist you in reaching your goals by reinforcing behavior that enhances communication. The sessions with the Coach are designed to help you with the emphasis on communication and self- management skills, and to plan for the present and the future for your post-divorce lifestyle.
The Child Specialist looks out for the best interest and needs of the children and can help to educate the parents on the important developmental, psychological and practical information about the children. The Child Specialist can assess how the children are or are not adapting to the divorce process while considering the age, temperament, and where the child is developmentally. By spending time with the children separately, the Child Specialist is able to determine what the children’s relationship is to all family members, what support there is and can also point out problematic parent behaviors that may be creating problems for the children. In addition, the Child Specialist can help the children to identify what their strengths are and allow them to ask questions regarding the changes in their family. For many children, having someone to talk with is a relief; for adolescents, having someone to validate their needs is vital during this time. Both parents can request that the Child Specialist assist in writing up a parenting plan that may be taken to an attorney to review and file the necessary paperwork to make this plan legally binding.
Court Ordered Therapy
Sometimes it is necessary to have therapy court ordered under family code section 3190 and family code section 3191. To view the excerpts on these family codes click here. As in most high conflict cases there is poor if any, communication , undermining of the other parent, imbalanced power where domestic violence may or may not have occurred during the marriage, and even problematic personality conflicts. In any of these cases, the childrens’ needs are often compromised and adversely affected so it may be necessary to go to court to secure counseling for your children. Treatment orders should be specific to include the expectations and cooperation by both parents, payment arrangements, the court’s concerns and treatment goals and discretion to the therapist to set arrangements for treatment. Click here to email me and request a copy of my order form.