Divorce Process and Post Divorce: Counseling during
divorce focuses on providing strategies and support to
reduce stress, and education to prepare families for the legal
process and the anticipated grief, emotional reactions, and
practical concerns. Counseling post divorce may occur anytime
over the child rearing years as the needs and demands of
parents and children change. The emphasis here is placed on
developing coping mechanisms, and parenting skills in
keeping with the developmental needs of the child(ren). In
situations where a parent has been absent from a child's life
for an extended period of time, counseling provides
education to both parents supporting an emotional safe
re-entry of that adult into the child's life.
Consultation: Review of Reports, Visitation Schedules,
Collaboration: The consultation process involves reviewing
reports and providing education. Parents may require input
regarding the clinical and practical meaning of
reports/documents and alternative suggestions for visitation
schedules and adjunct professional services.
Parenting Evaluations: Permanent Plans and
Modifications: Parenting evaluations are stipulated or court
mandated in cases involving serious allegations of domestic
violence, physical or sexual abuse of children, or mental
illness of the parents. The findings and recommendations of
the evaluation include: residential placement, visitation
schedules, decision-making allocation, dispute resolution
options, counseling and educational needs.
The evaluation consists of interviews with each parent,
parent/child observations, collateral interviews,
investigation of allegations, psychological testing (by a
clinical psychologist) and review of relevant legal documents.
The findings are reviewed with the attorneys of both parents
and documented in written format for legal purposes.
Co-Parent Counseling: The degree of parental conflict
following divorce appears to be a primary factor in
determining the emotional well-being, academic and social
adeptness of the child(ren). The objective of co-parent
counseling is to diminish conflict, improve cooperation
between parents, and reduce post divorce litigation.
The goals for counseling include: enhancement of
communication, development of negotiation skills, parenting
education, reinforcement of structure and boundaries,
facilitation of consistency across households, and
acknowledgement and respect for the significance of the other
parent in the child's life. Co-parent counseling is a
therapeutic modality and is not to be utilized for legal
Mediation: Mediation is a form of
dispute resolution whereby
the mediator serves as a neutral agent to facilitate
negotiations between two parties. Within the
domain this may include revisions to visitation schedules,
transferring and transportation of the child(ren), decisions
regarding school, religion, medical care, extra-curricular
activities, and allocation of financial responsibility for
schooling, activities, and medical care. Agreements are
documented and provided to the parents either as an
understanding between the two of them, or to be submitted to
their attorneys to be drawn up into legal format.
Modifications of child support schedules are to be conducted
via legal counsel.