Psychotherapy with Children and Parents During Divorce
In situation 1 we are consulted by the parents because a divorce is imminent an.d they want their child to be in treatment in order to be better equipped to cope with the inevitable strain of the divorce. Again, the most rigorous evaluation is called for, because the therapist has no idea of what is really being requested. The purpose of the evaluation, which might include psychological testing, is to assess whether treatment would be useful at this time. Sometimes it is better to stay in touch with the parents, discuss the child's mood and behavior, but delay the child's treatment for a while. Some children find it difficult to see a therapist when divorce negotiations are very heated and the atmosphere at home is tense and charged. In some
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Do any of these situations present the therapist with a more favorable prognosis for effective therapeutic work? Plain logic might
It cannot be overemphasized that, in some of these bitter proceedings, a therapist can become discredited and fired by either or both parents for capricious reasons. When that happens, the consequences for the child can be devastating. In the opinion of this author, the therapist's best chance of safeguarding the continuity of treatment is to maintain the most rigorous professional stance, which includes the firm resolve to abstain from involvement in any divorcerelated decisions.