Our goal is to assist you navigate the process of family separation and provide educational, emotional & practical support about the impacts separation and contact arrangements can have on children. Clients know they will receive confidential care that not only gives them the tools and strategies to thrive but reduces the conflict between the parties. 

 

Relationship breakdown’s are challenging especially when the relationship involves children.

 

A child should feel able to speak openly about their lives in either household, they should feel safe when expressing their feelings no matter which of parents they are currently with.  Resolving and minimising conflict between parents has been shown to help children and protect them from the negative effects that come with parental separation and is important for their well-being and must be given high priority.

In families with a high level of conflict and stress between parents, kids are at a greater risk of developing emotional, social and behavioural issues which often results in difficulties with concentration and educational achievement.

Frequent conflict and fighting between parents has also been found to have a negative impact on children’s sense of safety and security which can affect their relationships with their parents as well as with others. Quite often, children end up blaming themselves for the problems that their parents are having.  Parenting should provide structure, warmth, emotional support and positive reinforcement.

 

Challenging behaviours between parents

The following are parental behaviours that have been found to have a negative impact on children in conflict situations.

  • asking children to convey messages to the other parent

  • asking children frequent and intrusive questions about their other parent

  • asking children to hide negative information

  • asking children to hide positive feelings for the other parent

  • demeaning the other parent when the children are around

 

You can protect your children from these negative impact by:

 

  • establishing a positive, warm and caring relationship with at least one and preferably two actively involved parents

  • establishing a positive relationship between siblings.

 

The way parents use their kids to hurt the other party varies from mild to extreme. When kids go from one house to another, one parent may display anger when they have a good time. Parenting styles will differ and there can be a whole set of new complications when a new partner is thrown into the mix. Brainwashing children and making up lies is not the solution, and whether you are on the receiving or giving end it can be devastating for everyone.

Sometimes one parent will use their kids as a messenger, forcing them to report back information to the mother or father. Hovering over a telephone conversation and coaching the child with what to say, or using emotional manipulation by crying when your children speak positively about the other parent can cause them additional distress. It is only natural that children will love both their parents, and they shouldn’t have to choose between them.

Children’s Developmental Needs

Children usually grow in the context of family where they thrive best when cared for by nurturing adults who meet their developmental needs with love, warmth, sensitivity and responsiveness 

Healthy attachment relationships are essential for children’s sense of security and positive mental health throughout life.

Parent Consultancy & Counselling is underpinned by the following:

  • Trauma-informed practice

  • Attachment theory

  • Person- centred practice

  • Child- focussed and child-inclusive practice

  • Child directive and non-directive sandplay therapy 

The therapeutic process with children aims to:

  • Improve children’s skills and self-esteem 

  • Increases capacity to cope with adversities

  • Inform decision making

  • Enhance the child’s chance of maintaining or rebuilding relationships with parent/s

  • Support children to develop healthy coping skills; not avoidance

  • Promote safety & welfare. 

  • Assist with recovery

 

The goals of the therapeutic process with parents aims to:

  • Assist parents to focus on the needs of the child 

  • Assist parents to identify, acknowledge and take responsibility for factors that have adversely impacted the child and his responses. 

  • Support parents to manage own emotions and behaviours 

  • Maintain objectivity, a balanced perspective and empathy 

  • Refer parents to appropriate support 

 

Eligibility for the counselling & consultancy process

  • Children who have ambivalence in their desire to spend time with a parent 

  • Children who resist contact with a parent and have a willingness to explore their feelings 

  • Parents who agree to “look” at their child’s and own needs, to attain a level of insight 

  • Parents are screened out where there are high child safety concerns, high risk factors or where parent does not demonstrate some ability to have introspection 

The therapeutic process

  • Child-centred approach

  • Building trust with the child

  • Constant encouragement to the child to build his voice in confidential space 

  • Explore loyalties; Conflicted, alignment and distortion 

  • Differentiation of one’s own feelings from someone else, to appropriately expressing independent needs and feelings. 

  • Support emotional independence 

  • Realistic appraisal of control and decision making

  • Assisting the child in differentiating and expressing his own complex and independent feelings whether reunification or supervised contact is successful. 

 

Working with parents

  • The process of reunification or supervised contact gaining understanding into a parent’s role in child’s life 

  • Explore relationship between child and parent 

  • Referral for further counselling & support if needed 

  • Helping the parent stay on track on the child 

  • Feedback provided to parent about the child and child’s hopes and wishes and the child’s perceptions of the parent and their behaviour.

  • Refining and renewing and redefining the parent’s role in the child’s life

  • Exploring ways of connection with child in spite of absence

 

Referrals

Complete the Consultancy Counselling Referral Agreement and email to childrenscontact@bigpond.com

Consultancy | Counselling Referral Agreement