Craine Counseling and Consulting Group provides counseling services, social work ethics consultations and social work ethics workshops in a variety of settings.

Archive for August, 2014

What is Parental Alienation?

There are many books written on this topic. Some say it is a mental illness where a child aligns him/her self with one parent when they had a perfectly healthy relationship with both parents before the divorce. Some say it is linked to high conflict divorces. Parental alienation can come from two sources. The first source is the unhealthy parent who works very hard to sabotage a healthy parent-child relationship with the other parent. Another source is the healthy parent who works to protect the child from an unhealthy parent and the unhealthy parent takes no responsibility for their behavior and berates and blames the other parent to others and the children. In both scenarios, the child is caught in the middle and can result in mental health issues for the child. The goal should be for children to have as healthy a relationship as possible with both parents! Children need two healthy parents, ideally, to raise them and nurture and guide them as they grow and develop. Unfortunately, in high conflict divorces, one or both parents are unhealthy to varying degrees and with varying struggles and here the goal needs to be developing a parenting plan that is in the best interests of the child regardless of the parental struggles and minimizing the parent bashing in front of the children. Often, in high conflict divorces, it is in the best interests of the child to have a Parenting Coordinator work with both parents to minimize the parental conflict and help both parents see how the conflict negatively effects the child. When parents can’t agree, the Parenting Coordinator can make recommendations that can become binding with an Order signed by the Judge. For more information on Parenting Coordination visit http://www.crainemediation.com and http://www.parentingcoordinationcentral.org There are many books available on Parental Alienation on Amazon should you want to learn more.

A Possible Key to Successful Resolution of Conflict

When two people are in conflict with one another, there is often a great deal of anger that shows itself. the result is either a decrease in communication all together or negative communication both verbally and non-verbally. A possible key to the successful resolution of conflict if a conversation facilitated by a neutral third party, or mediator, who can help both people get to and share their underlying needs and interests with the other person. When these underlying needs and interests are expressed in a neutral environment, the conflict (about division of property or a parenting time issue, for example)is more likely to be resolved in a way that seems fair and equitable to both sides since they both feel heard and understood even if there may not be agreement about the feelings about whatever concrete thing the conflict is about. For more information about mediation as a viable method of conflict resolution visit http://www.crainemediation.com

Why do affairs happen and how should they be handled?

It is my belief that an affair happens because people feel a disconnect with their romantic partner. As a result, they feel vulnerable and are more open to others pursuing them or they are more likely to pursue another. The person engaged in the affair and still in a relationship with another person may have already gone through the grieving process over the loss of the first relationship to some degree and cannot seem to share this grief with the person it needs to be shared with before attempting to move on. Perhaps it is a selfish need from low self-esteem to be in a new relationship before leaving the old one and to feel secure in the new one that prohibits the conversation that needs to happen from happening first. Regardless of the reasons that affairs happen, they really cause more harm than they need to. If is much healthier, and less impulsive, if a person who is feeling the disconnect, or the need to reconnect with someone new, to please let the person you are feeling disconnected know how you are feeling. You will either be facilitating a conversation towards healing a disconnected relationship and making it healthier or you are showing respect to everyone involved and allowing the two of you to disengage before you move on. Either way, the result is less hurt, feelings of betrayal and disappointment that are more likely to heal, and increased self-esteem.

What thoughts do you have an affairs?