Therapeutic Reconciliation Counselling - Successful Families Inc.
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Therapeutic Reconciliation Counselling

Therapeutic reconciliation is not about changing the past or even requiring agreement on prior positions.

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.

Goals of the reconciliation counselling are parallel to those in the Multi-Day Family Intervention, which include:

  • to foster healthy child adjustment;
  • to facilitate the implementation of the previously agreed to or court-ordered parenting time schedule,
  • to restore adequate parent functioning, parenting and roles;
  • to restore and/or facilitate contact between children and a parent;
  • to work with each parent and their children towards the goal of identifying and separating each child’s needs and views from each parent’s needs and views;
  • to assist the parents to fully understand the needs of each children and the negative repercussions for the children of a severed and/or compromised relationship with a parent in their young lives and as adults;
  • to work with each family member to help them form more appropriate parent-parent and parent-child roles and boundaries;
  • to correct the child’s distortions and replace with realistic perceptions to reflect the child’s actual experience with both parents;
  • to assist the child to differentiate self from others and exercise age-appropriate autonomy;
  • to help each parent to distinguish valid concerns from overly negative, critical and generalized views relating to the other parent;
  • to assist parents to resolve relevant parent-child conflicts;
  • to improve our parenting skills and family communication skills.

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).