Divorce Counseling for Children

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It is said the minor members of the family are affected in a very harmful way during the conflict of their parents. Many times, it has been observed that the kids of separated parents experience negative feelings like anger, stress and insecurity. These emotions may lead them to the loneliness, drug addiction at a younger age and also might lead to involvement in crime. Therefore, it is necessary to help them to cope up with the post dissolution problems. Here are some details regarding divorce counseling for children.

Types of Divorce Counseling for Children

Different types of therapies and techniques can be used to counsel the kid about the dissolution of marriage. The nature of these tools and duration of sessions depend on the age of the child. Also, the intensity of the effects of disintegration of the marital union will decide the requirement of the sessions. The types of sessions that are largely prevalent are -

One Day Workshop

  • This is usually for kids in between the ages of 10 to 17
  • This comprises of showing films on assertiveness training and mental exercises
  • The attendees are benefited in the following ways -
    • Development of communication skills to deal with difficult circumstances.
    • Learning to express their own and parents' feelings, as well as how to cope with them.
    • Exploring values and assumptions of marriage and dissolution of marriage

Structured Group

  • This comprises of the use of drawings and other art mediums, role playing and group discussions.
  • The attendees learn how to deal with crisis situations.

Situational or Transitional Group

  • This consists of sharing of information regarding stress, mutual feelings and identical experiences.
  • This group offers catharsis and emotional support.

Classification of Divorce Counseling for Children

Some kids may need support from others during helping sessions, while some may need privacy to share their inner feelings. According to the requirements of the child, the type of session is selected. The sessions are carried out in two ways as below -

Group Sessions

  • Elementary school counselors guide the groups on facing the issues after their parents get separated.
  • The counselors are of the opinion that there are multiple benefits of this kind of session and they are cost effective.
  • It may involve various group activities, support sessions. They encourage the children to express their true emotions with the help of available mediums.

Individual Counseling

  • Kids who cannot perform well in groups are directed to this type of session.
    • It is especially for those little ones who have unproductive and long term coping problems.
    • It has been observed that a desirable change occurs after this kind of session. The child experiences a drastic change in the attitude and thought process.

Tips for Divorce Counseling for Kids

Teachers and counselors who work for the children should keep the following things in mind to ensure efficient assistance-

  • They should arrange events for parents, specifically (i.e. separately) for mothers and fathers.
  • They should avoid language that is offensive for offering assistance.
  • The need to persuade parents to be firm, supportive, direct and honest with their kids.
  • They need to keep the parents updated regarding the difficulties and progress.
  • They have to ensure that a supportive communication system is being built.
  • They also have to ascertain that consistency is being maintained in the routines and expectations.
  • Counselors have to confirm that a stable ambience exists.
  • They need to advise and promote the use of resource materials that are appropriate for their age.
  • They should offer a private atmosphere to the little ones, when they desire it.
  • They also need to offer chances for the kids to talk about their feelings.

Role of School Counselor in Divorce Counseling for Kids

  • A school counselor can conduct some services pertaining to the impact of termination of marital relationship on children and the resultant classroom demeanor. This would work as guidance for teachers and other school personnel.
  • The counselor can assist the teachers to understand and realize the transition that a child is going through and the implications of the transition.
  • The counselor can conduct Divorce Specific Assessment that comprises of the following -
    • Evaluation of the child's existing support systems
    • Having an interview with the child regarding the child's response to the family situation
    • The developmental achievements of the child
  • Counselors should not have a perspective that the legal procedure s the single problem that has negative consequences. They must concentrate on the alterations due to visitation patterns with relatives, alterations in life styles and routines and single parent homes. Further, the neutral, negative and positive effects on the minor members of the family must be studied.

These are some advantages of the divorce counseling for children. The counselor should have detailed knowledge about the psychology of the kids before starting a session with them.

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