Most articles relative to the effect of Divorce understandably focus on the higher risks the children face relative to underachievement, depression, anxiety and later early experimentation with drugs and alcohol coupled with promiscuity. However, the current experience of the separated parents is something any therapist must relate to in order for engagement and treatment to occur. Often a parent usually male will tells me he feels like he is ” bouncing off the walls” living alone in an rental unit. He never expected to be living like this and seldom seeing his children for more than a day or so. The emotional pain has sometimes led to heavy drinking and sometimes “situational alcoholism”. This impairs long term perspective and makes him not nearly the father the children have know and relied upon. He may be less effusive and fun to be around or trying to hard to entertain. Likewise, the children’s mother may be struggling as well. She feels responsible to take care of all the children’s needs and may have few supports in today’s society. The thought of being a single parent was not her dream when she married. Both parents may now deeply resent each other and it is an ugly situation for them and the children. This friction is usually only enhanced if one parent or the other has now has a new partner. The children may bond to some degree with the parent’s new love interest or dislike the person completely. Money may be very scarce as both parents maintain separate homes and travel more back and forth with the children.
Your true appreciation of the stress and confusion the family is coping with makes you the invaluable person to stabilize the family, instill hope and engage with them where they are emotionally. Every family is different but the satisfaction is immense as you help them with their co parenting disputes as their Specialized Family Therapist. These Reconciliation Counseling skills to help a parent reconnect with any child with whom they are becoming estranged as well as co parenting counseling skills are available to you with this on line training. I look forward to hearing from you.