Presentation on theme: "WELCOME TO THE OPEN SKY WEBINAR! We will start at 6pm- see you soon."— Presentation transcript:
WELCOME TO THE OPEN SKY WEBINAR! We will start at 6pm- see you soon.
PARTING MINDFULLY NAVIGATING SEPARATION, DIVORCE, AND BEYOND Kara L Collins, MFT-C
Divorcism There is a right way to divorce I gave up or didnt try hard enough My children will be damaged forever I should be happy Divorce has to involved a lot of conflict No one understands Single parent families are harmful to children I will be alone forever We should stay together for the kids Common Assumptions
Reality for Parents Social isolation Depression Grief Loss of support (friends and family) Moving Loss of job or need to gain employment Loss of income Impact on children Parents
Reality for Children Grief Loss of routine Loss of stability New school New responsibilities Loss of activities/lifestyle Loss of non-custodial parent and extended family Loss of siblings and friends Children
Ahrons Four Types of Divorced Couples The style of interaction and communication a couple develops post divorce affects all of their future intimate relationships and family relationships.
Perfect Pals & Cooperative Colleagues Perfect Pals High interaction and communication Close and caring relationship Cooperative Colleagues Moderate interaction and high communication Able to compartmentalize anger
Angry Associates & Fiery Foes Angry Associates Moderate Interaction and Low Communication Unable to contain their anger to marital differences Fiery Foes Little interaction and low communication highly litigious divorces
Dissolved Duos Single parent No contact with non-custodial parent Lack of contact can negatively effect children, even if the marriage was unsafe
The Emotional Process of Divorce Think of divorce as a developmental transition
The Formal Divorce Divorce within a Divorce Social, spiritual, financial, mental, emotional, etc. Legal agreement for custody, child and spousal support, and community property. Take it slow- try not to make legal decision in the midst of emotional overwhelm or crisis Get the info you need Know your rights Consider info carefully before making a decision Ask yourself: Will I get revenge? Will this help me move on?
Alternatives to Litigation Mediation Collaborative Law Parent Classes & Education Marriage Classes & Education Financial Planners Divorce Coaches Family Counseling Support Groups
How Divorce Affects Adolescents The existing dysfunction before and during the divorce is most impactful on children GIRLS Internalize Sleeper-effect Somatic symptoms Struggle with relationships in the future BOYS Externalize Show adjustment issues immediately Overtly symptomatic Better success in future relationships Adolescents probably know what is going on Keep boundaries and routine consistent to avoid splitting Conflict between parents may negatively affect long term relationships with children
Family Structure Blake Carly David Maria Pre-Divorce Post Announcement David Blake Carly Maria Family systems are always trying to maintain homeostasis. When one parent leaves, the system becomes destabilized and family members attempt to reestablish stability. Ex) A chair missing a leg
Triangulation Carly David Maria Blake Post Separation When a system becomes unstable due to divorce or conflict anxiety arises. In attempts to stabilize the marital relationship, children will often become the 3 rd leg to lower the anxiety. Parents can assign this role or some kids will act out drawing attention away from the conflict between parents. This creates the common dynamic of children of divorced families beingcaught in the middle.
Parentification 1 year post separation Carly Maria David Maria Carly Common for child/children to assume the roles and responsibilities of the absent parent. Potential for parentification increases when parent is seriously emotionally distressed by the divorce, has a previous mental illness, or in the case of a Dissolved Duo. Best way to counteract this common pattern is to seek support for yourself and children, continue to hold boundaries, and keep marital issues and conflict away from kids. Ex) therapy, family therapy, support groups, mentors, extended family members
Beyond Divorce Dating, Remarriage, and Step-Parenting Consider dating and remarriage another major family transition establish new roles, rituals, boundaries, and structure Anna Theresa Blake Carly David Maria Tom 5 years post separation Step-sister Step-mom
Dating & Remarriage 60% of second marriages end in divorce What you do in your personal life does affect your children. Take time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your last marriage and your role in the divorce. ex) looking at unhealthy patterns, issues from family of origin No formula to when it is ok to move on and start dating Check your motives- Am I ready? Is my family ready? Am I doing this for comfort? DO YOUR WORK SO YOUR NEXT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE DIFFERENT! Keep open and appropriate communication with your former partner around dating. YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT MESSENGERS
Step-Parenting Take it slow- allow kids to come to you. Refer to bio parent and ex-spouse to establish rules, boundaries, and routine at first. Be involved in creating new rituals and routines for the family. Remember that you are a valuable resource in the family. Your role allows you to bridge the gap between mentor/parent/friend/support. Keep an open dialogue with kids about their emotions, needs, boundaries, and relationship with you. Encourage kids to spend time one-on-one with their bio parents.
Things TO do Seek support Practice coping skills & mindfulness Make self care a priority Find boundaries and structure you can agree on Minimize parentification and conflict Keep parenting consistent Validate, increase support, and healthy choices Work together to establish new roles and rituals Establish new roles & rituals
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, FEEDBACK? THANKS FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING! YOUR PARTICIPATION SPEAKS VOLUMES TO THE DEDICATION AND LOVE YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILIES. Kara Collins firstname.lastname@example.org Please leave this browser window open when the webinar is finished; it will take you to a short survey.
References Ahrons, Constance. (1994). The Good Divorce. New York: Harper Collins. Bracke, P., Gouwy, A., Wauterickx, N. (2006). Parental Divorce and Depression: Long-Term Effects on Adult Children. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, vol. 45 (3/4) 43-65. Garon, R. (2005). Collaborative Law. Retrieved from http://www.divorceabc.com. Hawkins, A., Fackrell, T. (2013). Should I Keep trying to work it out: A guidebook for individuals and couples at the crossroads of divorce (and before). (Power Point Slides). Retrieved from http://www.strongermarriage.org. Stevenson, M., Black, K. (1994) How Divorce Affects Offspring. New York: Harper Collins.