Monday, March 30, 2015

Child Custody

Therapy Contract
o Foundation based on court order.
o Frequency must be determined prior to counseling process; many will only participate for court minimum requirements.
o Specific confidentiality contract and explanation of confidentiality limitations in essential.

Alliance Building
o Any alliance can be experienced as an alliance against the other in these families
o Extra effort is necessary to establish a multipartial alliance in which the therapist is experienced as caring but also fair.
o Counselor must be honest, provide direct feedback about the behavior occurring but reframe changes sought in the most positive light.
o Problematic behaviors related to the conflict are directly confronted, but the positive intent of each client is always underscored.

o Begin with a form of evaluation that involves:

  • ⋅ Separate meetings with each parent (with or without new spouses, depending on the issues involved) and children
  • ⋅ A review of records of filings in court and other relevant reports available
  • ⋅ Consultations with other therapists involved.

o Identify family strengths and weaknesses.

Treatment Plan
o Should include not only the traditional goals but also:

  • ⋅ Format of future sessions of who will participate
  • ⋅ In what combinations, at what time, and focused on what issues.

o Goal Setting
⋅ Main goal is to reduce the damaging aspects of custody disputes:

  • high conflict
  • triangulation
  • broken family structure
  • lack of safety
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