Co-Parenting Services

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Karen Cohen LMFT
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“I never want to do what my parents did. I don’t want my children to go through what I went through as a child. I was told by mom to let the court know that my father did bad things to me so she could have full custod. I had to wait until I was 18 to get to know my dad”
-Laura C. age19

Children experiencing a high conflict divorce, child custody hearings and the dissolution of the family structure will do better if the parents help to reduce emotional trauma by preventing parent alienation through co-parenting sessions. Co-parenting exists with any parenting arrangement, regardless of its formal designation.  Time-limited co-parenting services can help to avoid parental sabotage. To shift from dysfunctional dynamics to functional interpersonal dynamics is planning agreements between the parents by having them attend sessions for:


v     Cooperation

v     Communication

v     Compromise

v     Consistency


Working with a high skilled family therapist with expertise in mediating and maintaining neutral boundaries is primary in working with individuals in high conflict divorces.  The counseling goal is to ONLY focus on the importance of their specific parental roles and NOT their relationship. Addressing and acknowledging both parent’s parental concerns is significant to their child’s welfare, in terms of future emotional and interpersonal development.


Parent Alienation Syndrome:


Prevention of Parent Alienation Syndrome is necessary. Addressing child custody disputes over child rearing is a means of avoiding the possibility of developing Parent Child Alienation Syndrome. Children must not see themselves as collateral or as a pawn when parents disagree on how their child is being raised in separate households. Co-parenting Only sessions are to help the parents learn how to communicate and problem solve as co-parents only; not to be used as relationship counseling.  


Co-parenting only sessions will help the children in coping with divorce and custody arrangements. Parents should be reminded that they will always be their child’s basic role models, and that the affects from a high conflict divorce or child custody dispute yield the child/children as the real loser/s. The child/children will be affected by their parents and how they parent their children separately or together, emotionally or unemotionally. The most positive affects are found when both parents are involved in the parenting process and are emotionally involved in the relationship they have with their child/children.


To help prevent the possibility of parent alienation syndrome, parents are referred by either or both attorneys to seek short-term counseling services from a licensed family therapist who specializes in high conflict divorce and child custody. The therapist must have expertise in Co-parenting counseling sessions only. One must not refer clients to a therapist who takes sides with either parent. Co-parenting Only sessions are a minimum of 6-10 sessions. Therefore, depending on the case the therapist is to either encourage or inform both parties to seek professional counseling for Co-parenting issues and NOT couples therapy. The Licensed Family therapist must remain neutral in order to help the parents learn how to communicate and relate as co-parents only when it comes to child raising. Without it, the child will suffer if they have to be the go-between two households.








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