While COVID-19 has forced many of us into our isolated “bubbles”, “pods” and “quaranteams”, we have also become accustomed with such services as Zoom and Teams to interact with others thereby bringing the world virtually into our homes.
As lawyers, these online (remote) platforms allow us to conduct our hearings and trials via video from the comfort of our homes or offices. And, for our clients, this new virtual world has brought a benefit that none of us expected—the ability to work remotely with therapists located anywhere in the world so as to explore a multitude of virtual therapeutic interventions during a family law matter.
In many family law matters a court order alone may not improve the relationship between parents or the parent and child. The family will often also need the assistance of a therapist to assist in improving their family dynamics so that the court order can be properly effectuated and actually work in the best interests of the family and the children.
Now, due to our adaptation of connecting with each other through various remote means, therapists are more accessible than ever before. Families no longer have to select a specific therapist based on geographical constraints or consider traffic times in getting to their therapy appointment. Instead, parties are able to select the therapist who is the best fit for their family issues, schedules and budget.
Below are just a few therapeutic options to remotely explore to improve family dynamics:
- Co-parenting therapy: Co-parenting therapy assists parents in improving their communication skills about their children. Parents also learn to co-parent in a respectful way to minimize conflict. Co-parenting therapy is a great tool for parents who find it difficult to communicate with one another. This form of therapy can also help parents work through basic logistical issues between households including but not limited to custodial timeshare, transportation to and from custody visits, and even the sharing of toys, clothes and books between households.
- Conjoint therapy: Conjoint therapy is therapy in which the parents and other members of the family, including the children, are treated together in joint sessions with the therapist.
- Reunification therapy: Reunification therapy is a type of therapy to improve and repair the relationship between a parent and child. Often, divorce can cause estrangement or alienation between one parent and the child. Reunification therapy attempts to reunite the alienated or estranged parent with the child.
Therapeutic intervention in family law matters can not only make a dramatic difference in the familial relationships but also reduce the expense of litigation as the parties work together, with the assistance of a qualified therapist, to work on their issues before resorting to litigation. Now, as we are all more accessible via remote means, virtual therapeutic interventions can be great tool for families to embrace while access to the outside world remains limited.