Mending Fences: A Collaborative, Cognitive-Behavioral Reunification Protocol Serving the Best Interests of the Post-Divorce, Polarized (Paperback)
High conflict divorce can leave children polarized within the transitioning family system, aligned with one parent and resisting or refusing contact with the other parent. Rather than becoming mired in the bottomless pit of back and forth blame, more and more courts are seeking remedies in the form of reunification therapy.
Charged with helping the polarized child to enjoy a healthy relationship with both parents, we know what doesn't work: individual child therapy cannot remedy a family systems problem. Dyadic interventions with the child and either parent are seldom sufficient. Even family therapies fall short when they are not grounded in well-established, reliable and valid science.
Mending Fences introduces a child-centered, systemically informed, empirically-validated and experientially-proven collaborative reunification protocol. Focusing on the anxiety inhibiting the system's healthy functioning, well-respected and long-validated cognitive behavioral exposure methods are fused with structural family therapy to reduce the child's anxieties about separating from one parent and approaching the other, the aligned parent's fears of separation and loss, and the rejected parent's fears of rejection.
A common vocabulary across coordinated interventions allows children across the spectrum of ages and abilities to identify and overcome an individually tailored succession of anxiety-inducing events so as to gradually (re-)establish healthy and safe relationships with both parents.
The Mending Fences protocol is practical, proven, and effective. The user-friendly discussion is peppered with up-to-date references to the scientific literature and international case law. Application via video conferencing platforms is discussed.
Included: Case illustrations, sample court orders and service agreements
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 There Is No Such Thing as Reunification Therapy
Chapter 2 Know When to Hold 'Em: Receiving, Accepting, or Declining the Referral
Chapter 3 The Court Order
Chapter 4 The Service Agreement
Chapter 5 In the Age of Telehealth
Chapter 6 On Villages and Blind Wisemen: MMST as a Team Sport
Chapter 7 Initial Adult Interviews
Chapter 8 Establishing Rapport with the Child
Chapter 9 Conducting Initial Child Interviews; Segueing into Anxiety Management
Chapter 10 Understanding Anxiety
Chapter 11 Anxiety Management, Exposure, and the MMST Protocol
Chapter 12 Working through the Success Deck: Creative, Responsive, and Graduated Exposure
Chapter 13 When MMST Isn't Enough
Appendix A Sample Court Order
Appendix B Sample Service Agreement
Appendix C Sample Timeline of Multi-Modal
Systemic Reunification Therapy