Co-Parenting Therapy & Parallel Parenting

Co-Parenting counseling focuses on improving the communication between separated or divorced parents. Some of the goals of co-parenting counseling are to develop a healthy communication system between the parents, as well as establish a method to effectively solve conflicts in the future. Co-parenting counselors evaluate how parents communicate, identify positive and negative aspects of parenting, and can teach skills to improve family relationships.

There are times Co-Parenting may not be realistic (or possible) due to one or both parents. In those cases we focus more on parallel parenting, which isn’t the same as co-parenting but may be the most viable path based on the situation. This type of arrangement allows you to stop having contact with your ex as much as possible. In especially toxic situations, parallel parenting allows each parent to parent the way they choose when the child is in their custody. In that case parents do not attend things like school concerts, sports events, or parent-teacher conferences together. You will also likely choose neutral spots for pick-ups/drop-offs from visitations. Communication only happens when it’s absolutely necessary. While this may sound rather tumultuous for the child, it does take quarreling between parents out of the equation. This may be more beneficial to the children who struggle with the stress from their parents’ ongoing conflict. Once emotional reactivity is reduced, perhaps with time and with enough distancing, you and your ex might be able to eventually build better communication and cooperation where co-parenting may be an option again.


Reunification Therapy

Though parents may seek out my services on their own, in most cases reunification therapy happens during court proceedings or after a high-conflict divorce. The majority of my clients have often been ordered by a Family Law Court to engage in this type of therapy. A judge or commissioner may order this type of therapy to repair the bond between parent and child following intense disagreements and disputes during the parents’ separation and legal battle. Reunification therapy are visits with a licensed therapist, whose goal is to assist the parent and child in working through any difficulties they might be experiencing in their relationship with one another. Reunification therapy aims to reunite or reestablish a relationship, usually between a parent and child. It emphasizes attachment, promotes healthy communication, and works to heal injuries in the relationship. It can aim to improve relationships within the family or treat alienation. When reunification is court-ordered following divorce, it often includes co-parenting work in addition to parent-child sessions.

As a therapist who has worked for Child Welfare Services as a Master’s Level Social Worker, I have experience with families who are engaged in the Foster Care System or possible reunification litigation. Less commonly, reunification therapy might be recommended when a child has been removed from the home, when a child has been in foster care due to neglect, or if a child perpetrated abuse against another child in the home. In these cases, reunification aims to establish a safe living environment for all family members.



Due to the litigious nature (sometimes required) in many of these cases, I require consultation with both parents/guardians prior to accepting cases for both Co-parenting or Reunification Therapy. After discussing the case briefly, I may require court documents such as court orders or party declarations prior to making decisions on accepting these types of cases.