Co-Parenting Facilitation/Coaching is a service offered to families who are willing to work together, despite their differences, to lessen the challenges and frustrations of separation and divorce on their children and each other. At first glance this process may seem unrealistic. Often when separating or divorcing, feelings may drive our views and decisions, as much as we may not think so. Emotions can run high and anger, grief, anxiety, fears may not always allow for objectiveness, flexibility, and openness.
Co-Parenting Facilitation/Coaching is not therapy and as such has very different guidelines and expectations. Children should not feel there is something “wrong” with them and as such, support is offered to the family unit as a whole. Children will experience many different feelings in reaction to the separation/divorce and deserve to be recognized as being thoroughly impacted by having to transition to a new situation.
The process includes meeting with the individual parent initially to determine their hopes, challenges and concerns. Following this, sessions are held with the children. This is an opportunity for them to express themselves, voice their own concerns, worries, views and perspectives. Following this, information can be shared with the parents, but only what the children are comfortable sharing. These meetings can be held between the adults only, or children and their parent(s).
I am solution-focused, meaning we address the issues directly, rather than spending too much time on the stories behind the dissolution or complaints against the other parent. It is child-focussed and as such, their needs will be prioritized.
Co-Parenting Facilitation/Coaching is not couples or family counselling. You, as the parents, will not be expected to be friends should you choose not to be. However, it is hoped that during this process, you do your best to be flexible, amicable and respectful, especially when the children are present.
Parenting skills are not evaluated during this process but suggestions may be made. Some of the feedback may be difficult to receive; you are encouraged to be open, but ultimately you will decide on your next steps.
(adapted / Kristin Little Counselling)