Reunification therapy is for the goal of reuniting parents and children who have been estranged as a result of parents' separation or divorce. Often the therapy is court ordered following a parent's petition to the court to have Parenting Time with his/her children. Sometimes the estrangement has occurred for one or more of the following reasons:
1) The estranged parent has not exercised his/her parenting time, and now has decided to do so.
2) The custodial parent has denied access to the estranged parent because he/she believes the children will be at risk for being with that parent.
3) The children have refused to spend time with the estranged parent, in spite of the estranged parent attempting to exercise his/her parenting time.
4) A court order has required the children to participate in the therapy.
Karen Grais Meyer initially meets with each of the parents individually, and then with the children, prior to the estranged parent and children meeting. The parent/child meetings take place in the therapist's office. The estranged parent has the opportunity to communicate with the children the reasons he/she has not exercised their parenting time, why he/she is wanting contact with the children at this time, what has transpired since their last contact, etc. The children have the opportunity to share with the estranged parent their reasons for not wanting to see the estranged parent, if that is the case, or express their feelings about the estranged parent not being in contact with them.The estranged parent and children can hopefully remember a time when their relationship was more positive, and evaluate what they all need to do to reunify them as a family.