It accepts there will be different versions of past events and a lot of prior upset as a result. A core feature of reconciliation counseling is rebuilding trust between the child and estranged parent. Reconciliation might lead to reunification evidenced by increased unsupervised time for the child with the parent.
The idea is to move the conflicting parties from confrontation to collaboration.
Reconciliation is forward-looking in that it enables individuals, including the parents, to come to terms with their divergences, developing empathy and acceptance between the conflicting parties and allowing the parties to jointly define their involvement and relationship. The idea is to move the conflicting parties from confrontation to collaboration so that they can move on with their lives whether separately or together but in ways that promote continuity of inter-parental responsibilities.
The format would typically consist of an initial individual session with each caregiver, followed by an individual interview with the child(ren). The therapist will then determine the structure and the pacing of the work between the child(ren) and the estranged parent.
While the parents may have different views about the cause and reasons for the children’s refusal or reluctance to have contact with one parent, they agree not only to the objectives defined above, but also that they each need to be a part of the solution to meet those objectives.
The therapist’s responsibility is to provide feedback to the parents throughout the process, and to the Court as it is requested. This information would pertain to the parents’ abilities to follow the clinical direction of the therapist and support the goal of reconciliation for the betterment of the child(ren).