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high conflict Family matters
What are High Conflict Family Matters?
High Conflict Family Matters refer to a range of unresolved issues, disagreements and arguements that create a great deal of antipathy, hostility and resentment between a couple or family. These conflicts are generally a result of separation and divorce matters that involve finances, children's welfare and living arrangements. When trying to find understanding, solutions and agreements towards a well-balanced outcome for all parties (especially the children), the individual, couple or family struggle with emotional and psychological restraints that prevent them from negotiating reasonable, logical and amicable solutions.
Generally high conflict family matters involve allegations of abuse, family violence or mental health problems. Allegations must be taken seriously and it is the legal and court system's duty to make determinations from the evidence as to whether these allegations have merit or not. Often Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counsellors, Social Workers and other Mental Health or Social Science professions are engaged to help determine if these allegations are real and contribute to the High Conflict Family Dynamics.
Sometimes abuse and family violence are the reason or cause of the High Conflict dynamics in a family. However, most often the main contribution of High Conflict Family Dynamics are due to the difficult personality structures and erroneous behavious of one or more of the family members. These behaviours can be overt or covert and eventually wear down the family unit. Often there is little awareness and lack of insight into how these behaviours negatively affect the family. Eventually the family unit breaks down and there is little or no capacity to find healthy resolve.
During separation and divorce the erroneous behaviours of High Conflict individuals within the family can become amplified, and in some cases extremely toxic. Some individuals or family members who revert to toxic behaviours go on to falsely accuse other individuals or family members of abuse and family violence. This only fuel's the high conflict dynamic further, as its attempts to rupture or sever relationships permanently, and ends up in bitter and expensive legal battles or criminal behaviour. When one parent engages in using these pernicious strategies against another parent it can be termed undue influence, psychological abuse, family violence or parental alienation.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental Alienation is the psychological manipulation of a child by one parent into rejecting or creating unwarranted fear for the other parent. Prior to separation or divorce the child had a healthy and loving relationship with the parent who they now alienate, reject, and resist or refuse to engage with.
Unfortunately PA can be instigated, not only by the other parent, but, by other family members, or by unenlightened professionals.
The loss of relationship and access to a child through parental alienation is one of the most traumatic experiences for a parent. PA is a confusing dilemma, or loyalty conflict, for a child and is a form of psychological abuse and family violence. Evidence shows parental alienation has lasting adverse psychological effects on both the child and the targeted parent.
What Is Justified Estrangement?
Justified estrangement refers to a child’s rejection of a parent for valid or justified reasons. That is, the child's rejection is a consequence of a parent’s history of family violence, abuse or neglect. A history of family violence usually involves police, an AVO (DVO), domestic violence services, a conviction, or at least some evidence, record or witness that these acts occured. It has usually gone on in the family for a long period of time and may have started before or during the marriage/cohabitation and prior to children. Children who witness family violence or are victims of abuse or neglect may estrange themselves due to fear or lack of trust for that parent. However, these children often don't estrange or alienate even the most abusive parents but rather are willing to have supervised contact and to work with therapists and familiy to support their parent's recovery (if possible) or work on their trauma and learn about healthy boundaries.
What Is Unjustified Estrangement?
In contrast to justified estrangement, unjustified estrangement is where a child rejects, refuses, resists or alienates a parent for no valid or good reason. Parental alienation is unjustified estrangement. It rarely involves the kind of family violence involved in justified estrangement but often presents with acusations of family violence just before or just after separation. These accusations or false misrepresentations eventually prove to have little or no evidence, record or witness. However, they cause major havoc, disruption, and shear terror for the targeted parent, and incredible anxiety, loyalty conflict, and serious psychological harm to children. This is a form of family violence which is covert, manipulative and extremely dangerous for all who tread in its path. Families, professionals, and society can be blindsided by this deeply maladaptive and deceptive form of family violence, especially the children!
What Can Be Done?
Consulting, Counselling or Coaching: Your situation may require the psychoeducation, tools and coping mechanisms necessary to navigate you through your unique PA circumstances. Together we will explore and find parenting strategies that best suit your situation. I will assist you in communication methods for working with your ex-partner (the favoured parent) and in finding a clear path to the things you can change, and an understanding, acceptance and resolve for what you cannot change. I will also assist you in preparation for a family therapist or familiy consultant.
Mental Health Consulting for Parental Alienation: I can assist you to work with your lawyer or to find a lawyer and experts who are familiar with PA. That is; to consult in the background of your case with you and/or colloboratively with your lawyers, and independenant experts.
Family Therapy Specialising in High Conflict Divorce: As as a court appointed Family Therapist (reportable therapy) or as a private therapist appointed by one (or preferably both) parents, my work will assist the family (and courts) to seek understanding and resolution of any dysfunction or negative patterns that stop the family from co-parenting in a healthy child focussed manner.
Court Ordered Reunification Workshop (FBAC): As part of a fully trianed reunification team lead by Dr Stan Korosi, we can assess your case suitability for a court ordered Family Bridges Reunification program for alienated children.(FBAC). .
Coming Soon: Reportable Intensive Family Remediation (RIFR) as an alternative to FBAC court orders.
NB: To find out more about these service please send me a contact form
How I Can Help You
Target Parent Trauma PTSD
Working with Alienation
PA Parent Coaching
A specialised and intense program has been created to work with the alienated parent to address trauma, PTSD and to begin the recovery process. The counselling and coaching program are created to develop specific skills and strategies to assist in working with challenging behaviours of both the alienating parent and the alienated child and to move forward towards creating opportunites for reconciliation with the child/children. A similar program has been created for the targeted parent , and the adult-child victim of PA, who have reunited (or would like to reunite) and are seeking specialised support to navigate this delicate process.
PA CONSULTANT & COACH
As a Mental Health & PA consultant I can help you to negotiate the PA elements of your family law proceedings. This could include working as a mental health consultant behind the scenes collaboratively with your lawyer or an expert witness to build a PA case or a best interest of the childrens case, and to avoid "points of slipage"(important information or evidence for your case.
Alternatively or additionally I can assist by reading and reviewing correspondence and providing you with guidelines for responding and submitting documentation from a Mental Health/PA perspective and framework.
PA and Family Law
Mental Health Consultant
Working with your Lawyer
For couples wanting to rebuild their relationship I have developed a strong program focused on gaining understanding of self and each other. The sessions and coaching program teaches how to work together to improve, repair and reconcile your relationship.
For an individual having a challenging relationship with family, work or friends, my system allows us to work together at your level to explore the difficulties and find understanding, strategies and solutions for lasting change and positive growth.
If one or both parties do not wish to continue their marriage, divorce counselling and coaching can help find understanding, and support around the stress of divorce. We are not taught the skills or strategies to deal with the emotional and psychological changes that divorce can bring, nor are we given the tools as individuals to help us make decisions to improve rather than hinder our present and future well being. My vast expertise in this area offers real options and clarity for creating amicable and equitable agreements.
How to Divorce Well
Healing Negative Emotions & Reactions
EMOTIONAL DYSREGULATION, PTSD, CPTSD , ADHDA
Do you, or someone you know;
React irrationally and uncontrollably in anger, fear, or extreme emotional states?
Often become verbally or physically abusive and over-reactive to others?
Suffer from sleepless nights, and/or non-productive days ?
These traits of emotional dysregulation are often associated with past trauma or mental health issues such as, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex PTSD, or Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD or ADHD) .
They cause great emotional pain & suffering and can result in relationship breakdowns, learning difficulties and conduct issues.
During my program I will help you identify the cause of your emotional dysregulation. This will involve therapeutic supports, psychoeducation, and resources and strategies to find pathways towards healthy emotional states and relationships.
For friends and loved ones: Just as importantly I offer education, strategies, resources and coaching for loved ones, friends or colleagues struggling to relate and work with someone who presents with traits of emotional dysregulation.
Specialising in High Conflict
The purpose of family therapy is to support family members to improve their emotional health and solve family problems/conflict through improved communication and greater awareness of family issues or dynamics. It will also assist in better understanding of special family situations such as high conflict divorce..
Family Therapy may be recommended by a GP, Lawyer or therapist and is usually not reportable. If Family Therapy is recommended by a single expert witness or the by the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court it is likely to be reportable.
Having many years of experience helping individuals and couples through relationship issues, divorce, and parental alienation, I have developed methods to assist my clients overcome the emotional and psychological trauma associated with these life changing circumstances. My counselling sessions and coaching programs are designed to follow your process and to work together intensively to create positive outcomes.
My training has incorporated a broad range of modalities to accommodate different personality styles and cultural differences that make us unique. Over the last 15 years of study, research and practice, I have created a method and program that incorporates counselling, coaching and psychotherapy which can be tailored to the individual, couple or family's process. I specialise and practice mainly with relationship issues, divorce and parental alienation (PA). My focus in therapy and coaching is to assisst in understanding and resolving Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) , and Emotional Dis-regulation (ED) issues. My work and experience has allowed me to work with traits and diagnoses of Borderline Personality Discorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and Anti-Social Personality Disorder (APSD).
I will let the testimonials speak for me and my work and look forward to helping you find the peace, happiness and the resolution you seek.