When parents truly acknowledge the potential damage that their conflict can inflict on their children, many begin to find a way to work together so they can put their kids first. Still, some parents engage in negative intimacy—while they manage to legally divorce, they have not emotionally divorced.
In co-parent counseling, we help parents reconfigure themselves as co-CEOs in the “business” of parenting. In this way, they both care about the outcome—a happy, healthy, and emotionally safe environment for children.
In order to build a productive and functional “business,” we work with parents to create a business model that has the necessary support structures. This might include building more functional ways of communication, sharing a joint Google calendar, and/or having a weekly parenting team phone call. As a result, parents begin to view each other as the executive team—communicating routinely about their children in order to find solutions.
Conceptually, this is helpful to parents, particularly in terms of increasing their awareness about the effects of conflict on children and the associated risks.
This construct also helps parents to function as a team. For example:
Parents report that they are seeing signs of anxiety in their child. In the session, they both agree that looking for a therapist to assess and help their child would be beneficial. First, we will help each parent identify what are critical factors in finding a potential therapist (gender, speciality, insurance, etc.). Together, we will devise a list of therapists, identify which parent will make the phone call, and set up the appointment. We will go step-by-step as the parents work together to find a solution that best meets the child’s needs.
Co-parenting requires that both parents shift their mindset and disengage from marital conflict. My Divorce Recovery can help you do that. Contact us today.
My Divorce Recovery
Lauren Behrman, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Zimmerman, Ph.D., ABPP