The Family Reunification Program at Lark’s Nest Family Counseling involves a specially trained therapist in a dual role as therapist for the parent(s) and advocate for the children. When Reunification Therapy is warranted, it usually begins amidst a significant amount of stress and turmoil in the family. From the beginning, reunification therapists enter the process with the belief that children need and deserve a healthy relationship with both parents.
Reunification Therapy can be a complex and difficult process as parents typically present with a family system of communication and interactions that have eroded the ability of one or both parents to nurture and raise their children. Such is the case in high-conflict divorces or separations where there are allegations of sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse of the children, domestic violence, or abuse of alcohol and drugs. The presence of any of these issues typically results in one of the parents assuming the role of protective parent and the other becoming estranged from the child’s life.
The therapist assigned to your case will consider several important aspects in order to facilitate the reunification process:
how to facilitate communication and structure therapy sessions;
which family members will participate, and along what timeline;
the identification of barriers along with a treatment plan to adequately address these issues;
the level of conflict and readiness for acceptance of past issues;
the type of visitation which is appropriate given the family history; and
a treatment plan to establish interventions and relapse prevention.
Reunification Therapy evolves along four stages: (1) Assessment, (2) Commitment & Preparation, (3) Integration and (4) Monitoring and Evaluation. Successful reunification requires time and jumping hastily into an integration process before addressing all of the barrier issues can lead to the development of additional problems in the family system.