I am trained as a family systems therapist. That means that whether I am working with individuals or couples, I am always aware of the context and impact of the family of origin and their present family constellation.
Family therapy can take place with individuals, couples, or any combination of family members that feel stuck in conflict and motivated to change and improve relationships. I have worked with mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, adult siblings, and multigenerational family members. The goals are to:
- lessen conflict
- hear and understand different perspectives
- problem solve by presenting and evaluating options
- work to heal present and historic tensions and broken connections
Parental alienation can be a specific by-product of a contentious divorce. It results in the estrangement of a child from a parent. In this context, the alienated affection of a child is often used to “punish” the other parent, or to express negative feelings from one parent to another. The situation is most often seen in cases of child custody. The child comes to denigrate, assign negative attributes to, and clearly not want to be in the presence of one of parent, while appearing to enjoy time with the other parent.
In some cases, parental alienation is the result of court-involved allegations against one or both parents, or the involvement of the Division of Child and Family Services.
- I will help you and your child to assess, explore, and resolve the issues that have contributed to the break in the parent/child bond.
- I will teach you to become an empathic listener so that your child can feel safe, and an active problem solver so that your child will know that you are available to spend time with him/her.
- I will work with your ex-spouse so that he/she will understand that children do best when positively connected to both of their parents.
Family Reunification Therapy
In high conflict divorce cases, children can grow distant from one or both of their parents. It is important that therapy be initiated quickly to decrease the potential for lifelong emotional distress and adjustment difficulties.
Family reunification therapy can be a voluntary form of family therapy, or it can be ordered by the courts, as a way to reintroduce parents into the lives of their children. This specific form of therapy seeks to re-create the parent/child bond in a consistent, therapeutic, and safe manner.
As a clinician experienced in family law and mental health, I will work to gain your trust and the trust of your children. I will help you to:
- understand and take responsibility for your contribution to the situation
- gain support for the family reunification process
- implement the Parenting Plan, or plan for supervised parenting time
- create goals for a healthy long-term relationship with the non-custodial parent
- communicate with a parent coordinator as needed