Family therapy after the divorce: developing a strategy.
by Goldman J, Coane J., from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Family therapy with the whole family after a divorce has taken place provides a unique opportunity for intervention. Though the spouses have legally terminated their relationship, their parenting function remains. However, this reality is often clouded by the emotional conflicts generated by the divorce. Family therapy can be useful in facilitating life in the post-divorce period. A four-part model for intervention is described. The first task is to redefine the family as existentially including all members. Next, generational boundaries are firmed in order to reduce the parentification process, often intensified by the parent's physical absence. Third, the family needs to have a replay of the history of the marriage to correct developmental distortions and offer a changce to mourn the loss of the intact family. Finally, the therapists attempt to facilitate an emotional divorce. A case study is presented to elucidate the manner in which these steps unfold in treatment.