Counselling Services

Family Separation Counselling

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Let’s face it – relationship breakdown and family separation is hard work! When children are involved it typically entails a period of disorganised family life for all members. The duration and intensity of the disruption may be influenced by your child’s age; the level of hostility between you and your ex-partner, family finances or your preparedness as parents to work together in resolving an array of parenting issues.

Parents and children alike can expect to experience a range of mixed emotions – and that’s perfectly normal.

When children are not involved the process of relationship breakdown and separation can never-the-less be a time of intense emotional upheaval. The fighting may/may not continue as one or both partners contend with intense feelings of anger; sadness; grief; resentment… It may be that you are still in love with your ex and find it heart-wrenching to divide your belongings and prepare to move on alone.

Counselling offers you understanding amidst all the confusion. A counsellor can show you how to respond (rather than react) when you are under the influence of powerful emotions – and help you begin the process of coping and letting go so you can move forward with your life goals – or develop new ones.

Adjusting to Separation with Children

Everyone needs time to adjust to family separation...but how will you know if things are going well? Generally, when a family is free of violence or abuse, an important indicator of post-separation well-being for children and parents alike is the maintenance of equal or significant time with both parents across a range of week days - and little or no ongoing parental conflict. For most families this is a big ask. Separation is typically a time of heightened emotion, tension and disagreement – which means it’s not always easy to make rational parenting decisions…

Moving on…peacefully

Separation and divorce have a bad reputation – particularly when children are involved. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Once you realise your marriage or couple’s relationship is over, counselling can help you make sense of your loss and adjust to the many changes to family life. Amid all the emotional upheaval and frustration, a counsellor can show you how to maintain a rational outlook and communicate your concerns to your ex in a way that allows you both to move on peacefully.

What your child needs most is happy parents

As parents you are best-placed to know what’s best for your child. Making child-focused parenting decisions together, despite separation, means you are more likely to remain in control of your family’s future.

Northern Frontiers Counselling and Mediation offers individual and joint counselling (when assessed as appropriate) for parents wishing to improve or maintain their post-separation relationship. Family Dispute Resolution (more commonly known as Mediation) is also available for separated parents wishing to establish a Parenting Plan outlining care arrangements for their child/ren. A Parenting Plan may include agreement around major parenting issues such as Time Spent with Each Parent; Education; Parental Relocation; Medical Treatment; Religion; Child’s Surname, International/ Interstate Travel etc.

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Signs your child may be hurting

Children may experience a range of quite powerful emotions that are both confusing and hard for them to deal with. When they can’t say what’s wrong they will most likely act out - making parenting more difficult.

If your child is displaying any of the following behaviours seek professional help as soon as possible.

 
  • Loss of trust in parents

  • Difficulty making and keeping friends

  • Loss of self-confidence

  • Poor school performance

  • Uncharacteristically bad behaviour

  • Loss of self-belief

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Becoming overwhelmed by their feelings

  • Low energy

  • Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy

 

If you are concerned about your child’s adjustment to family separation seek professional help. A counsellor can help you build a secure parenting base and reduce the risk of long-term behavioural or mental health issues for your child.

Flexible Appointments: Weekdays from 7.30am - 4pm plus Sunday mornings from 8:30am. Out of business hours appointments tend to fill fast so please book early to avoid disappointment. Simply call 1300 90 81 70 or email: reception@northernfrontiers.com.au