Counseling may be a useful resource for children dealing with changes in family status due to divorce or separation. It can serve as a safe place for children to discuss and process their feelings. It is not uncommon for children to be reluctant to discuss their feelings with their parents. Both parents will need to agree to counseling unless one parent has sole legal custody. A parent can petition the court for an Order regarding counseling if they believe it is necessary and they are unable to get the other parent’s consent.
Family counseling may serve to repair a relationship between a parent and child that has been damaged. It may also prove useful where a parent is looking to rebuild a relationship after a period of missed time with the child. Also known as reunification counseling, its goal is to reintroduce and/or reinforce the relationship between a parent and their child. Reunification counseling can be viewed as a more collaborative approach to re-establishing a relationship as opposed to just having the court force certain periods of visitation when the child may not be willing or emotionally ready. This is especially true when dealing with teenagers. It is the role of the reunification therapist to facilitate the process with the end goal of repairing the relationship going forward. If you are facing a high conflict divorce or separation or have been inactive in your child’s life for a certain period of time and feel you may need help rebuilding the relationship, consider counseling as an option.