What is a Reunification Therapy?
Sometimes a parent can lose contact with a child during the challenging and confusing process of separation or divorce. Reunification therapy is also often considered the best option to reconnect a parent and child after that parent has undergone rehabilitation for a substance problem or even certain forms of criminal behavior. It is always devastating to the family when this occurs and careful and immediate intervention is necessary to decrease the likelihood of lifelong difficulties.
Primary goal of a Reunification therapy is to reestablish the relationship between the parent and his or her children so that the family can move forward with healthy child-parent relationships.
Reunification Therapy is designed to provide a safe place, under the supervision of a professional, where the damaged or absent relationship between child and parent can begin the process of repair. I can provide that.
The parent and child receive therapy individually, and together, in an attempt to help both parties express their feelings and for the healing process to begin.
What is my role as a therapist in the process?
First and foremost, I build a trusting, therapeutic relationship with the children. That can take time, because children who are in the midst of the reunification process tend to be more frightened, anxious, and mistrusting of adults in their world, particularly new adults.
It is equally important that both parents trust my clinical experience and believe that I have their children’s best interest at heart.
It is my role to hold each parent accountable for the steps each has to take to ensure a successful reunification. It is never appropriate for me to cast blame or promote the notion that one parent is solely responsible for the struggle.
I support both parents to work on their past hurts, anger, and failures in the relationship.
I make sure that both parents have to have equal trust in all the professionals involved to avoid a split that will only promote ongoing conflict.
Usually a Reunification therapy requires a minimum of eight to twelve weekly sessions.