Reunification Therapy incorporates the principles of Filial Therapy to teach the parent how to communicate more effectively with their child and to empathize with all of the feelings the child has about the separation and preceding events. The parent also learns non-punitive limit setting skills and how to facilitate decision making skills in their child.
This training enables the parent to conduct supervised non-directive play sessions with their child in order to reconnect the bond and to work through any issues the child may have due to the separation. Once this has been successfully accomplished the parent and child continue the play sessions without direct supervision and eventually are terminated from the program.
Reunification Therapy is for parents and children who have experienced a disruption in their relationship due to:
- High conflict divorce/custody battle
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Alleged or founded child abuse
- Court order
- Job transfer or situation which has prohibited regular visitation
The first step after a referral is made is for assessment of readiness for reunification for both parent and child. This process may involve feedback from other family members and collaterals working with either party.
If both parent and child are ready to proceed then the parent begins Filial Therapy training. When the parent begins conducting the play sessions, they are supervised in the office via a monitor. When several successful play sessions have been completed in the office, they are then relocated to the parents home or other suitable site.
The parent continues to obtain supervision from the therapist using video tapes and case notes. The therapist may also meet with the child individually to asses readiness for termination from the program.
*Play sessions are modified for children over the age of 11 and may include traditional family therapy sessions