For many divorced families, a parent may become estranged from their child. When this essential parental relationship is disrupted our FAMILY FORWARD® Reunification Program offers solutions. The family is often referred through their legal counsel to this specialized program. The FAMILY FORWARD® Reunification Therapy Program is a unique, team treatment approach that is family focused and has the primary goal of re-establishing appropriate, healthy child-parent relationships.
We also offer the FAMILY FORWARD® Counselling Program, which is an adaption of the reunification program. In circumstances where the parent child relationship remains intact, but the high conflict between the parents is negatively impacting the children then therapeutic intervention is needed.
Both FAMILY FORWARD® Programs are based on the best interests of the children involved and are designed to assist with complex family issues. Containment and direction is provided for these high conflict divorce situations based on the needs of the child.
Our team of highly experienced therapists are experts in this area of family therapy. We offer the unique service of a coordinated treatment plan that brings together a team of experienced therapists who are aligned in their approach and practice out of the same location, thereby streamlining the service to the family. This makes for a more efficient and cost effective program.
There are a variety of reasons a child-parent relationship may have become disrupted. There may have been long absences due to geographic distances between the child and parent, as well as more complex issues such as parental alienation, substance abuse, mental illness, mental health issues, violence, abuse or incarcerations. A coordinated approach is essential among the therapeutic team if parental alienation issues have been identified, and the involvement of the entire family system is the most effective treatment path.
We have many years of combined experience assisting families in repairing parent-child relationships within the context of high conflict divorces. When a child is resistant to maintaining a relationship with one parent, this is a signal of much deeper family issues. Our first step is to differentiate between realistic estrangement and parental alienation, and then adapt a specific treatment plan to focus on the needs in that particular situation.
There is no one size fits all treatment plan – each family will need an individualized treatment plan that is focused on the specific issues that have been impacting the parent-child relationships. The therapeutic team will work with each family member towards a goal of re-establishing a more appropriate child-parent dynamic, as well as protecting the children from parental conflict.
Prior to commencing with the FAMILY FORWARD® Program, the parents will need to sign a treatment agreement in which the goals will be outlined. This can either be signed through an agreement between the parents, or the family may be court ordered to participate in the program. There will be an initial assessment phase, then a treatment implementation phase followed by a period of ongoing therapeutic maintenance. Most often the team will consist of a case manager, a co-parenting therapist and a child therapist, but variations may occur as each family’s needs are taken into consideration. Other Associates from our Divorce and Separation Team may be added to the team if needed.
To learn more about this unique and impactful program, please contact our office by sending an email with a subject which mentions FAMILY FORWARD®, or call us during office hours.