Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reunification Therapy

In my recent Teleseminar, Overcoming Parental Alienation, I addressed the workings of what is referred to as "Reunification Therapy." As has been my experience in the past, I found that as I was describing it, I found myself being a bit surprised at my own conclusions. Specifically, as I systematically went through how it is supposed to work, and how it actually does work, I found that the prognosis for success that I heard myself describing, was even less than I would have said before the development of the Telesiminar.

There are very good reasons to understand why the courts would order such therapy. In so doing, the court does not have to make the difficult decision to change custody or to restrict or supervise the visits between the child and the alienating parent, so the next best thing is Reunification Therapy. Such Therapy recognizes that the child's negative description far exceeds what it should be, given the flimsy and even non-existent reasons offered for a child not wanting to see this parent. This Therapy also addresses the very important fact of the child maintaining contact with both parents. These are very good things for the Court to recognize. The problem is however, that when a child has therapy with a parent they claim to hate or fear, for maybe one hour per week, this therapy backfires, and, if anything, tends to actually intensify the alienation. The reasons for this are logical and predictable, and are addressed in some detail in the presentation.

It appears that much work is yet to be done in more successfully convincing the Court about the causes of alienation. Once we can do that more effectively, the Court is more likely to follow suit with interventions that actually work.

24 comments:

Ron L. said...

I am in the process of finding a re-unification therapist in our are who would be willing to take our 3-year-old case.

My X has been evaluated numerous times by the court and shown to have severe axis 2 disorders mainly BPD.

The current Reunification therapist was unable to budge this behavior and gave up despite a court order to continue.

Now the judge has asked us to recommend a new re-unification person but so far no one has agreed to take this matter because of the complexity and court intervention.

Can you advise me how to best proceed?

J Michael Bone, PhD said...

The most important thing to make certain of is the therapist's understanding of the alienation phenomenon. I cannot stress this enough. Once you find such a candidate, the focus should be gradually carving out more time between yourself and your children. The best tonic for a damaged relationship is to have one. You must have contact in order to begin to dismantle the misinformation that your children presumably have about you.

I am not certain that this addresses you question directly. I plan to do a teleseminar on "The things to look for in a remedy to Parental Alienation" which should address your question. I would encourage you to take the course. Information about this will be on my website and blog in late July or early August.

Dr. Bob said...

I find that courts, judges, are reluctant to "force" a child to be with a targeted parent. Sometimes there will a therapist supporting the "favored" parent telling the court that the child will experience detrimental truma if such "forced" visitation is ordered. Of course, if we take this out of the family court arena and see the situation as if the child was abducted by a cult, it might make some sense. Children abducted typically come to "hate" their parents and previous life. This is very much what goes on in an alienation situation. Whether the favored parent does the alienating process deliberately or unconsciously the effect is similar to that of a cult leader; alienation of the child from a parent. Once children are retrieved from such a circumstance courts and other child protection authorities have no problem immediately placing the child back to their biological parents. Therapists, child protection agencies, courts, etc. do not recommend everyother weekend and one weekday evening visitation for the child and the cult. A move that would ease the child back to their natural lives and avoid the trauma of reunification. Alienation situations are somewhat similar, but even after the alienating parent has been identified and even admonished by the Court, there is a hesistency to do what is needed to rehabilitate the alienated relationship; place the child in the targeted parent's home. Afterall, the targeted parent is a biological parent of the child, but somehow their role is now redefined as alien. Something is wrong with this picture. Dr. Bob

Anonymous said...

My husband, who has three children, and I have been married for 5 years now. The entire time I have known him he has been dealing with parental alienation.

He was divorced in 2002 and the ex-wife and children moved in with her parents. This is where she and the daughter still live. At the time of the divorce the children were a daughter, age 10, a son age 5, and a son age 2.

Before I came into the picture the alienation was already going on for almost two years. It started out with his ex changing the last name of his children to her maiden name. The kids used this name at school (private), church, dance, and anywhere they used their last name. She even put this name on prescriptions for their drugs. She changed the middle son’s first name to the name of her father even though his birth certificate said otherwise. The children thought that was their name and would argue about it and tell their dad that "he was trying to ruin their life if he made them use the correct last name" and that "all divorced children use their mom's name", etc. She would also schedule them in so many activities that they could not make most of their visitations, thus shutting my husband out of their lives. He didn't want to tell them they were not allowed to go to the activities because he thought they would see him as the bad guy so he gave in each and every time. The ex-wife preyed on this and it made an even bigger monster out of her and she continued to schedule the children in more and more events so they could not see their dad. Sometimes she just flat out lied about activities like “special” or “mandatory” practices so that she could deny him his time with the children. We would later find out that these “special” practices had not really been scheduled but this was always after the fact.

The behavior got worse and by the time we had been married about a year she was so obsessed with denying his visitation that she falsely accused him and made a report to the state police that he had molested his youngest child, a boy, at the time age 3. The report was ruled unfounded and the state police saw through what she was doing but not before we had to go through the investigation process. This was in November 2004.

Things progressively got worse and pretty soon the children were so alienated that they would say they didn't want to see their father. They would parrot the mom and repeat all of her negative allegations against the father. They would run away from our house after she text messaged the daughter and then she would pick them up in our neighborhood and state that she “just happened to be driving by and saw them running down the street”.

At first I tried to get along with the ex but as her behavior progressed I soon got tired of her and began to ignore her. She taught the children to "come to our house and try to make us fight and to cause trouble"; especially the daughter, who was aligned with the mother totally. The middle son was also very aggressive toward us and would say horrible things to us and would side with the daughter. The youngest son was always an innocent bystander because of his age and most likely his lack of understanding of what was going on.

She had blocked all access to medical, school, and extra curricular activities and my husband was lied on and said to not pay child support even though she was getting $1400 per month in CS, another $750 in alimony, and he even paid part of the private tuition for his children. He also provided health and dental insurance and paid 1/2 of all uncovered medical expenses. She also told people that I beat up the daughter and went as far as making a false police report and emergency room visit to document this. She told people that my husband was a "dead beat dad" and a child molester. When we tired to attend events that we would find out about we were treated horribly by other parents. Most events we found out about after the fact but the children were told that "their mom had given their dad a schedule but he had not shown up". We even went to the school about the last name issue but was told that “there was nothing they could do without a court order”. Who ever heard of having to have a court order for children to use their legal name?

When we did attend events or see the children in public they were not allowed to speak to us and if we tried they appeared to be very uncomfortable with us being there so there were times that we left during an event or just decided to not attend due to it being better for them.

The ex-wife and her family had basically shut my husband out of his children's lives for the most part.

In Nov 2005 we filed our first petition for a change of custody. It took until June 2007 to get to court on that one because the ex's attorney kept dragging it out. She and her family lied so many times on the stand, yet nothing was done to them, and somehow the judge always believed her. One time the judge stated that "she was a more credible witness", when we knew that she had LIED. We even had to pay some of her attorney fees due to her lies. It was hard to swallow and sometimes we thought of giving up and not seeing the children.

We thought of not seeing them due to many factors:
1. Was it causing them more harm than good to see them and put them through more alienation by her?
2. The financial burden.
3. What was this doing to them mentally?
4. Just getting fed up with the system and frustrated beyond belief because nothing ever happened to her and she was never called down for her bad behavior.

Each time we were ready to give up we would think about how much we loved the kids and wanted to see them and how the mean things they said were not their thoughts and I always felt that they loved their dad but was only acting out what the mom told them to say and do. Each time we choose to keep fighting. Even our attorney would tell us the chances of getting custody were maybe 2% at best. Mothers have the upper hand and it is hard to prove some of this stuff especially if the children lie for the mother even against their own father.

I am also a divorced mother with a son the same age as my step-daughter and was appalled and in disbelief at what was going on. I would never have acted this way and my divorce was not exactly friendly at the time it happened. My son even suffered because the ex-wife contacted my ex-husband and told him that my new husband was molesting my son and my ex made my son get counseling that was not needed. I finally let my son go back to live with his dad since the stress at my house was so severe that he wanted to move. We now share joint custody and he has a step-mom of his own who is very good to him and who I have encouraged him to love and respect. The problem is that I always tried to rationalize this when it is not rational behavior so I was always just amazed at what the ex-wife would do. This was manipulation at its best.

In June 2007 when we got to court the judge slapped the ex-wife’s wrist and gave my husband more visitations with the children but she still had custody of them. Things did not change and she ignored the court order just like she had the one previous to it.

In February 2008 we filed another petition for a change of custody and this time we got custody of the two younger children, the two boys. The daughter stayed with the mother because the court said that “it was not in the best interests of her due to her being more alienated than the sons”. The alienation continued and the ex-wife interfered with the boys at our home attempting to enforce her rules on our house. She became more abusive and more advanced in her behavior so in August 2008 we filed contempt of court on her. She in turn filed for custody of the boys back and asked for “restricted” visitation for my husband with the children. She also accused me of turning the children against their mother and sister, which was a lie. I always tell them that their mother loves them, even though I don’t even believe this myself. She only uses them.

We have not gone back to court on this one yet but the court appointed psychologist, who has evaluated this case each time it has gone to court, starting with the divorce, has recommended that the boys be left in our home and that it is now time for the daughter to be removed from the mother’s home and custody be awarded of all three children to my husband.

To date we have spent over $100,000 in attorney fees; most of which I have paid for by doing extra work or took out of $ I had prior to the marriage. If my husband does any extra work he would have to pay CS on that $ so I do it so we can use the money to fight for the kids.

I would love to tell you the entire story and talk to anyone who has experienced this type of situation. My friends and family think I am crazy for remaining in this marriage with all of this going on but I love my husband and his children and none of this is their fault.

I am actually considering writing a book about this case so that other step-parents will know that they are not alone in this.

Our attorney said this is the worst case that she has ever dealt with and they say the hate the ex-wife. I would love to hear your story too.

Anonymous said...

Well, let me tell you that you are not alone... I am in the middle of a divorce and my 2 oldest boys HATE me. They say that there is nothing good about me at all and that "Mommy" is perfect and would not change a thing. I guess playing with 16 year old boys online and having boyfriends sleep over is the new "cool" thing.. I went from a father who took the kids to the beach, out to dinner, went on vacation, and watched movies in my bed, to a monster. The mother for the last year was completely isolated. She would rather be online then out with us. Little did I know that she was having an affair. The funny thing is that she was accusing me of doing this while she was the one with the affair. Because she is a nut job who was going through menopause, depression, and also had gastric bypass surgery, I lost my family. Now that she lost weight she started dressing like a hooker, even at my aunt's funeral. Everyone can plainly see that there is something wrong with her except the court. DYFS is useless and cares nothing about the truth. All they care about is that I am out of the house. They believe her when she says that there are no men living in "my" house with my children. They don't care that my 10 and 12 year old are using the ride-on lawn mower to cut the grass. All it would take is one slip or fall or lack of concentration and they could kill themselves. OMG, this is so scary, but nobody cares.
So, to sum it up:
I have a DYFS case against me.
A restraining order.
Tevis case, she is claiming battered woman even though she was never hit or abused.
And, last but not least, a divorce.

I am struggling to pay my bills and DEEPLY in debt. I have paid almost $40,000 in lawyer fees, while she is living in the house that I am paying for and having her boyfriend drive my 2 cars that she still has possession of. She won't let me get my tools or computer equipment out of the house and refuses to do ANYTHING we ask. I pray for this to be over soon but I know that the alienation will never end and I will be paying this evil person for the rest of her life.
Divorce happens, there is no need to destroy another person's life because of it.

I am not the only victim here. My children are so screwed up right now they can't comprehend what is happening, even though you would think that they are old enough to understand. I get very upset when I see their behavior, but then I have to realize that they are being brain washed and it's not completely their fault.

The MOST important thing for me right now is to fix my relationship with my kids.

I can go on and on and recap all my horror stories, but it's to painful for me.

Ron L. said...

Parental Alienation can be devastating for everyone, yet it seems to be considered "acceptable" by many therapists and the courts in California. The children are the big losers. Their grief and anguish that is generated by the ramifications of this behavior reaches down to "primitive" levels of one's emotions.

It can be all consuming. Often the outrageous behavior of the favored parent coupled with the profound "UNFAIRNESS" of the system that you believe is there to protect your children and your rights can take you on a "highway to hell" in a hurry.

I have lost my two openly adopted daughters to this mind boggling tragedy over the past 5 years. They are now 12 and 15 years old and have been left with only hatred and confusion. However, I have not fallen victim to this disaster. I have remained steadfast and kind to my two youngest daughters and have worked for many years on my own (through the courts and various therapists) in a fervent effort to EXPOSE the injustice, prejudice and unlawful practices of attorneys. PARENTAL ALIENATION is CHILD ABUSE! The courts know this but do little or nothing about other than strip away the rights of anyone who stands up for them self and vows to make a DENT in this horrific injustice. Sadly, the children suffer the most. They are likely on a track to HATE their alienating parent in the coming years and will likely struggle with issues of trust and abandonment for years to come.

My theories on how to address this madness depend on the circumstances of each case. I will be glad to offer whatever I can to those afflicted with this life altering outrageous reality.

Ron L.

Sad mom said...

I am the mother of 2 boys, now age almost 16 and almost 18. My ex & his new wife have have talked poorly of me for 8 years. Now the parental alienation has escalated & my 17 will not speak to me, and my 15 l/2 yr old is following him.I think many of you know the behaviors of kids alienated for years. I would like to know if anyone has found any therapist or help in the San Diego, CA area, or even more north.

I could write pages on reunification therapy and have spent over $100,000 in court costs with ineffective reinforcement of guidelines my ex has been told to follow. Now, as my sons get older, does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do, how to get help,. How do I even get them to therapy when they are alienated? Does anyone know of the Family Workshop based in San Francisco. They don't have a website, and you need connections to get in contact with them.

Any advise, help or input is appreciated. I am the target parent w/an unrelenting ex who has promised he will destroy me.

Sad mom said...

I am the mother of 2 boys, now age almost 16 and almost 18. My ex & his new wife have have talked poorly of me for 8 years. Now the parental alienation has escalated & my 17 will not speak to me, and my 15 l/2 yr old is following him.I think many of you know the behaviors of kids alienated for years. I would like to know if anyone has found any therapist or help in the San Diego, CA area, or even more north.

I could write pages on reunification therapy and have spent over $100,000 in court costs with ineffective reinforcement of guidelines my ex has been told to follow. Now, as my sons get older, does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do, how to get help,. How do I even get them to therapy when they are alienated? Does anyone know of the Family Workshop based in San Francisco. They don't have a website, and you need connections to get in contact with them.

Any advise, help or input is appreciated. I am the target parent w/an unrelenting ex who has promised he will destroy me.

Sad mom said...

I am the mother of 2 boys, now age almost 16 and almost 18. My ex & his new wife have have talked poorly of me for 8 years. Now the parental alienation has escalated & my 17 will not speak to me, and my 15 l/2 yr old is following him.I think many of you know the behaviors of kids alienated for years. I would like to know if anyone has found any therapist or help in the San Diego, CA area, or even more north.

I could write pages on reunification therapy and have spent over $100,000 in court costs with ineffective reinforcement of guidelines my ex has been told to follow. Now, as my sons get older, does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do, how to get help,. How do I even get them to therapy when they are alienated? Does anyone know of the Family Workshop based in San Francisco. They don't have a website, and you need connections to get in contact with them.

Any advise, help or input is appreciated. I am the target parent w/an unrelenting ex who has promised he will destroy me.

Ron L. said...

Dear Sad Mom,

I understand your frustration... I may be able to help you find what you are looking for in the SF bay area.

Ron L.

Anonymous said...

Ron L.

I would appreciate any information you have for me. I agree w/Dr. Bone that anyone working w/PAS has to truly understand the brainwashing. I am looking for the hard to find program (4 day) in San Fran for "debugging", or any other advice you have. I live in North San Diego, but heard about some options available in San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

Leighea comments:

I have read all your posts and believe this issue of PAS is not being addressed by the Courts properly. If a child does not want to see their parent, it should be automaticly accerted that it is PAS. No questions asked, unless there is substantiated finding of child abuse and being handled criminally.
Parents who falsely report child abuse also need to be severely punished with charges of Harrassment of the other parent.
These reports flood the system and take away from children who are in real abusive situations.
We all need to band together, get this abuse recognized and demand changes to be made in the system.
Parents who continue to break court orders, also need to be punished, fined and required to pay for counseling and attend extended parenting classes.

I have asked Dr. Phil to get involved with this on a public level and help stop this abuse.

Please keep sending out your messages to State, Local Government to get changes made soon in the system.

We also keep all documents, so that when the child has grown, they will know, how hard we tried to get them help.

We also feel helpless at times, but that will not get things changed.

Ron L. said...

Building Bridges is the name of a 4 day educational intervention program created by Deidra Rand and her husband.

The most recent release of Dr. Richard Warshek's book entitled Divorse Poison can provide you with more details.

Good luck.

Ron L
Walnut Creek CA

Ron L. said...

The Ron L. story…PART 1.
5 long years ago, when I was 55, my two youngest openly adopted daughters were brainwashed to believe that I was no longer needed. Alexandra was 10 and Taylor was 7 years old at the time the tragedy struck our family. It was an emotional tragedy that grew into what is sometimes called parental alienation and sadly the destruction of the girls relationship with me, their “DAD”.

Prior to this time, we had a loving family with 2 devoted parents who worked generously on, nurturing and team parenting our two daughters. We attended and participated in an ongoing parenting group for 8 years and became extremely well equipped to address, resolve and help others with parenting challenges.

With the onset of Alex's adolescence, and concurrent job/financial challenges within the family, an emotional trigger was pulled that resulted in Mom beginning a campaign to oust Dad from the family. Over time all the classic patterns of “bashing” behavior emerged, false claims of DV, duped therapists, lawyers and judges all added to the poison that slowly eroded all the love and respect the children once had for their devoted dad.

Being cautious and highly motivated to address this skewed/ incorrect perspective being portrayed to the children (by Mom... and thus others), Dad sought the advice of many professionals in this field and read many books and journals pertaining to the behaviors and responses he was experiencing. He steadily met with a variety of therapists who helped him keep perspective on the events that were unfolding in his life. Dad and Mom were both psychologically evaluated shortly after the onset of this family collapse. Thus began an extensive custody evaluation that deemed Dad to be far more emotionally stable than Mom and denied Mom's demand for full custody and put in place a reasonable framework to increase visitation toward a normalized joint custody plan that the court eventually adopted. Although Mom agreed with the decision she would never be able to allow it to occur. Her condition worsened over the following years despite court sanctions and admonishments condemning and warning her of the likely ramifications to the children for her wrongful behavior.

The book Divorce Poison, by Dr. Richard Warshak was recommended to me by my adult daughter, a therapist, with experience in this field. This book offered a clear accounting of the behaviors and offered sensible guidance, consistent with others I have been hearing from throughout this turbulent storm.

Nevertheless, despite all the foreshadowing and devoted efforts afforded to the effort of healing these emotional family wounds, the venom and the "system" POISONED the children sufficient to erase any opportunity to provide them a normalized father/daughter relationship for the past 5 years.

Blame and Mistakes:
Much of the POISON was dispensed as BLAME and FALSE ACCUSATIONS... Often called "bad mouthing". The COURTS and "Petitioning" DEFENSE Lawyers caught up in LIES and UNFOUNDED accusations resorted to BLAMING when the false accusations and outrageous lies were shown to be ALL UNFOUNDED! This form of "defensive blaming” injected more POISON and may have sealed out any opportunity for healing to begin for the alienated relationship.

Ron L. said...

The Ron L. store (Part 2)

Blame and Mistakes:
Much of the POISON was dispensed as BLAME and FALSE ACCUSATIONS... Often called "bad mouthing". The COURTS and "Petitioning" DEFENSE Lawyers caught up in LIES and UNFOUNDED accusations resorted to BLAMING when the false accusations and outrageous lies were shown to be ALL UNFOUNDED! This form of "defensive blaming” injected more POISON and may have sealed out any opportunity for healing to begin for the alienated relationship.

SUFFERING:
In our case, EVERYONE who became involved suffered. The lawyers made tens of thousands of dollars, but it was not easy or "business as usual" for any of them. Lawyers who normally relish conflict will avoid this sort of case as soon as the money is gone or you require them to "earn" their big bucks. Lawyer problems remain a bitter element of our tragedy. I have found that most family lawyers much prefer to work the easy cases rather than engage in serious psycho dramatic conflicts. Many will not (or cannot) afford the time needed to stand up to sever parental alienation.
The Therapists have been frightened and befuddled from the onset and have caught up in the rancor that has spilled more of the poison. Some of them have suffered significantly due to the outrageous dynamics that have spewed from this case.

HOPE, BUT NOT CONFIDENCE:
The courts, lawyers and the therapist (experts) have been frustrated by our case dynamics and have QUIT, COMPLICATED, and PROLONGED our tragedy. Evaluators and their evaluations have exposed and confirmed the sources of the POISON it but the defiance and misconduct have frightened most everyone to take shelter rather than action.

The Family:

Alexandra:
Alexandra will become 16 years old this year and appears to be content with the status quo and has not made any known attempts to re-connect with her Dad. She does not answer mail or email and reports upset to her therapist whenever Dad attends any of her activities or makes attempts to reach out to her. She has been attending therapy with a local therapists assigned by the court. This therapist refuses to allow anyone speak with her about her work with Alexandra, and her brief comments to the court appear to indicate that any re-unification with her Dad should be up to Alexandra.

Taylor:
Taylor will be 13 years old this year. The alienation began when she was only 7. Taylor has had an extremely hard time with this ordeal. According to a recent email from her Mom, she has been having some trouble keeping her grades up in middle school, and her therapist has therefore stopped seeing her...(To improve her grades??) This therapist would also not report her findings or offer anything to the court on Taylor's progress, but seemed to indicate that Taylor was content to remain without any relationship with her dad.

Mom:
Mom has been working on keeping the kids happy with her keeping their lives as much the same as possible before the separation of the family...(Minus Dad) She takes them to events as before and appears to be very devoted. She has had a great deal of trouble allowing visitation to occur and recently the courts and the "EXPERTS" indicate that although this is grossly unfair to many, it may be best for the children as they attempt to navigate adolescence.

Ron L. said...

The Ron L. story... part 3.

The Court:
Mom seems to be doing OK as long as Dad is kept away from the children. This is a selfish reality that the court is not willing to address head on. Dr. Warshak describes this as the court’s STARK DILEMMA. The court outwardly states it does not know what to do about the poisoning. Several attempts at re-unification therapy have resulted in failure with therapists who give up. Minor’s Counsels, have done nothing but add to the bill and create additional turmoil. So far 2 of them have been removed from the case by the court for their inappropriate intervention. The court’s rulings and orders have repeatedly been rejected by the children and the mother without consequence. Some suggest that this employed tactic of disobedience works well in family courts for parents wishing to keep a “targeted” parent away from their children. The court appears to be afraid to stop the alienation for fear stemming from what the children and or Mom might do if any harsher actions are employed to initiate some form of re-unification. The court acknowledges that this is not fair but refuses to act upon the recommendations of the EXPERTS that repeatedly state that the COURT needs to take a STRONG POSITION to stop the poisoning. Therefore Dad has backed off but remains available.

Dad:
It has taken many years for Dad to LET GO. He has not given up but he has reached his 60th Birthday last year and realizes that he can never replace what has been taken from him. He re-examines his actions and is satisfied that he did all that he could do during the time the efforts needed to be done to preserve what was wrongfully taken from him. He has often been asked to re-examine his "contributions" to the parental alienation. Although, whatever he may have done "wrong" has not been clearly defined by anyone. He continues to make polite efforts to keep in touch and spends more and more time in his new life addressing his future without his 2 youngest daughters. It has not been easy but he has let go and has learned how to enjoy life again... Albeit in a much different way...

Ron L. has written and recorded many songs during this 5 year ordeal as a way to express his perspective of this experience. Below are some of the titles:
"Forever with you"
"But what if you've been Wrong?"
"Would it Be?"
"Do you ever wonder?"
"Not knowing what is left".

Bryant said...

My x died recently, she always went out of her way to make sure my son and I did not meet. Is there any type of plan that would help me with my 9 yr old son?

Ron L. said...

Bryant,
A 9 year old boy who may have been "brainwashed" by your late ex may require therapy in order to put the two of you together peacefully.
The work of Dr. Richard Warshak and others is currently an open topic on the Huffington Post website. (www.huffingtonpost.com) You may find some good ideas out there.
Also there is a DVD available from Dr. Warshak call "Welcome Back Pluto" that has been produced to help educate young children about parental alienation problems.

Anonymous said...

Dads that were never married, separated, or divorced are neither respected or protected by the legal system these days. The family court system sucks ass and could give a damn what the outcome of false abuse charges and alienation tatics do to the dad or the kids as long as the system isnt the one getting stuck with the bill. They over analize normal discipline and get involved when they shouldnt, and when they need to or should they either "dont have the resources" or are too concerned with reunifying children with mothers who previously had child protection/DYFS cases against them. Unless you work for law enforcement, have a buddy in the court system or god on your side prepare to spend a lot of time and money to get minimal results. Chalk it up to what the t-shirt says "Dad = Human ATM" ...Not allowed to see your kids...so what pay your support or youre a dead beat right?...Dad needs money to live...get a second job....Dad needs money for a lawyer AGAIN... GET A 3RD JOB!!! Then when tax time comes around and the vindictive ex decides to turn it up a notch, hand over your W2's and tax return to the courts so child support can be recalculated based on your previous years income... the less time you have with your kids the more you have to pay but hey, how are you gonna have any time for them working 3 jobs?

Anonymous said...

Everyone here is forgetting the other side of the story here. I personally think that Reunification Therapy, presents a HUGE problem. Namely, if a child is refusing contact with a parent, couldn't they possibly have a reason to?! My little brother and I were viciously abused by our mother growing up. Seeing that my parents are divorced, he was unable to protect us from her violence because the courts said he could not visit us when we were with her. Even now that I am older, the thought of seeing my mother still terrifies me. My mother lost custody of us when I was 13 and my brother was 10 after we were able to prove in court that my mother had continuously abused us. Obviously, we have refused contact with her since then as we are completely terrified of her. I am 18 now and she can no longer do anything to me, but a judge has just approved her request to take my little brother to a reunification camp with her in California which will, isolate him from his life (including contact with our family) for three months. My mother is mentally ill, and will stop at nothing to hurt my father. Taking away his son, it seems, is the easiest way for her to accomplish this. I am so scared for my brother. If anyone can do anything about this horrible camp, please help us!! I'm worried that she is going to hurt my little brother again!!

Anonymous said...

I have been separated now for 2 years. Since I voluntarily moved myself from the residence my oldest daughter has disowned me, my son placed criminal charges on me( It was dismissed after his testimony at trial), my next oldest daughter has jumped out of the car because she doesn't want to go to court ordered reunification therapy and my youngest daughter loves and misses me. There is nothing I can do to change this but to give up on them for a long while? Mom has shared every single thing with the children in the divorce- everything that is untrue.

I am a father for over 20 years and little is there for a father to defend himself against the wishes of a hate filled ex. Going broke now too.

I haven't seen my children outside reunification therapy in almost 2 years since my ex placed a restraining order on me with my son's case which was dismissed. My story, like others here, is heartbreaking but I am sure there are others out there like me. Any advise would be welcomed.

Anonymous said...

Ron, how can you help! I need help...I have been dealing with this for the past 5 years. Please help!
Lw

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Do you have any recommendations for a psychologist in the Jacksonville, FL area who is experienced with dealing with PA cases?

Any recommendations would be welcomed.
Thank you

DBennett said...

The court system will often place therapists in unethical situations. This may be the case here where the counselor is ethically (legally) required to end therapy when they are not being effective. Maybe if you had the court change the order to family therapy in order to help the children deal with the contentious divorce/custody struggle instead of reunification, you could find a therapist to take the case.