While everyone wants their children to have a close relationship with their parents, there are some situations like divorce that can make it hard for these bonds to be maintained. In some cases, parents may not have the financial resources or ability to see their child on a regular basis.
Other times, a child may be convinced by one parent the other parent is not to be spoken to or may have come to the conclusion on their own due to a parent’s negligence or actions. Regardless of the circumstances that have led to this separation, one solution may be family reunification therapy. If your family is considering such therapy or if you have been ordered by a judge to participate, let’s learn more about what you can expect during the process.
What Is Family Reunification Therapy?
In short, family reunification therapy is a type of therapy in which a therapist will work with an entire family to help a child reconnect with a parent. Often times, in families that are separated or divorced, the rift between the parents will often cause a child to choose sides, and the behavior that occurs between two parents, as well as anything the child might be told by one party or the other, can strain relationships.
Additionally, children who lose important parental relationships are at increased risk for experiencing stress and related health problems, developing emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression, and engaging in dangerous behaviors like substance use and risky sexual encounters. In order to help them cope with these emotional issues and address some of the familial problems that led to their situation, family reunification therapy will often be employed.
What Does Family Reunification Therapy Accomplish?
Whether the therapy is court-ordered and a family search must be conducted to find an absent parent or two parents enter reunification therapy of their own volition, family reunification therapy can be a powerful tool for all parties involved.
This type of therapy gives children the opportunity to know and form attachments with both parents, helps to remove them from the issues that have developed in the relationship between the parents (while simultaneously helping the parents work through any issues that they may be experiencing as a result of their separation), and gives the child the ability to come to their own conclusions about the situation at hand without the influence of a third party.
Beyond that, family reunification therapy helps them to find their own voice, learn how to analyze multiple viewpoints from different parties, and better understand and work through complex issues.
The main issue in these relationships is that the child has the perception that they have been wronged, which is either due to the current lack of relationship with their alienated parent or because the parent that they do have a connection with has reinforced these negative ideas in their mind.
When this type of situation occurs, all parties are impacted by the negative effects and, as such, require the help of a professional to work through these issues with the child and to make sure that all parties can heal from the damage that the broken relationship has caused. While the process of reuniting a parent and a child can be a slow one, it is necessary to maintain the health and well-being of a young kid or adolescent.
As you can see from the above, family reunification therapy can be helpful for divorced or separated couples who have a child that is dealing with emotional problems as a result of the relationship. If you are in need of the help of a professional who can administer this type of therapy in your area and, for example, you find yourself asking how to find a therapist in NYC, make sure to look for a therapist with these specific qualifications before you begin the family reunification process!