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Families Moving Forward
The Program
  • A multi-day psycho-educational program for the entire family
  • An individualized approach that meets the different needs of each family member
  • A combination of therapy and psycho-education to address unresolved feelings about the separation, promote healthier individual and family functioning, correct cognitive distortions, and teach skills to improve critical thinking, effective parenting, co-parenting, family communication and problem-solving
  • Post-intervention monitoring and aftercare (where possible), to consolidate the positive changes established
Components of the Program:
  • Intensive multi-day intervention requiring the participation of the entire family
  • In-home intervention when suitable, or in another comfortable setting
  • At least two therapists (or more depending on family size) who will provide the individual, dyadic and family sessions

Separation demands significant changes in families, from ending the couple relationship to developing one that is based in co-parenting, realigning parenting roles and responsibilities, and managing new family dynamics that emerge from the two-household reality. Most families manage to navigate their way through these changes, with parents and children moving forward while maintaining the parent-child relationships established during the marriage.

In some families, children may resist having contact with a parent post separation. Contact problems may occur for many reasons and vary in nature and intensity. All of these situations are complex with multiple systemic factors contributing to the dynamics. Clinical and legal professionals are challenged to find sustainable remedies that assist families in moving forward and rebuilding balance to these parent-child relationships.

Early screening and differentiation of the type and intensity of the parent-child contact problems along with early intervention is key for preventing the relationship problem from becoming more severe and difficult to repair. Psycho-education and therapy, involving various combinations of all family members may assist towards building healthier alignments and improving strained parent-child relationships. Typically, this therapy (referred to as ‘reintegration’ or ‘reunification’ therapy) requires at least 6 to 9 months of regular weekly appointments. The success of this therapy depends on many variables. For example, too often the parent-child contact problem has become entrenched and difficult to resolve before therapy begins. Other times, the child may have sporadic or sometimes no contact with the rejected parent between therapy sessions. In some cases, the traditional weekly format limits the pace and intensity of the work.

To address concerns about the limitations of existing models, we have developed a unique program for families where the parent-child contact problems remain mild to moderate. Families Moving Forward is an early intervention program and a kick-start to shifting family alignments and sequences, promoting meaningful change and rebuilding healthier family relationships.

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