Changes in the family structure – even when positive – are stressful for everyone.
Many kids will feel significant stress and upset during this emotional time. Parents can find it hard to be supportive because it is also a difficult time for them. Many children also feel responsible for their parents’ problems.
Psychotherapy can be an important resource for children of separation and divorce. Establishing a therapeutic alliance outside of the home can:
- Facilitate open and appropriate expression of the strong feelings which routinely accompany family transitions, including guilt, grief, sadness, and anger.
- Provide an emotionally neutral setting in which children can explore these feelings
- Help children understand and accept the new family composition and the plans for contact with each member of the family.
- Offer feedback and recommendations to a child’s caregivers based on knowledge of the child’s specific emotional needs and developmental capacities.
Families who prioritize their child’s well-being during a major life change can make a significant positive difference. You don’t have to do it alone! CFCE therapists are trained to help your family cope with the transitions and find ways to feel better and do better.
In some cases, there may have been a high level of tension and conflict in the home for some time. Some children have already been dealing with other issues, such as learning differences or anxiety. New siblings can bring joy but present new challenges.
A child’s age and maturity level also affect their ability to cope. Young children and adolescents benefit from different types of support. While younger children often benefit from play or family therapy during this transition, adolescents can benefit from having a neutral person to talk to, someone who understands the emotional effects of changes to the family, and the developmental phases that children go through as they mature.
If your family is currently going through a major life transition such as divorce, separation, and/or remarriage, therapy can support a child to effectively manage these changes.
Reach out to us today to explore how counseling can help your family.