When an adult alienated child decides to reconnect with his/her targeted parent, the relationship can be fraught with fear of rejection on both sides. The adult alienated child may have some distorted thoughts and feelings about the parent which can create tension and conflict in the fragile relationship. While the interest in having a relationship is present, there are many strains and potential pitfalls. The Restoring Family Connections program is a set of exercises and activities that a licensed clinician can present to such a parent/adult child dyad to help them develop and strengthen the bond between them. This workshop presents the theoretical principles, the clinical principles, and the in-session activities that comprise the RFC program.
Trias Pedagogica is specialized in breaking taboo and increasing the educational skills of fathers, e.g. to prevent domestic violence. Trias Pedagogica focuses on a target group that is difficult to reach: fathers. Many regular parent trainings mainly reach mothers and are often not sufficiently accessible for fathers. However, in many families the father plays a very important role in the decisions about upbringing. At the same time, fathers have many questions about their role and how to fulfil it. In prevention programmes it is therefore essential to involve these fathers. The last couple of year Trias Pedagogica has successfully reached thousands of fathers, mainly through parenting training in the form of educational debates. During this series of educational debates, we focus on fathers' own strengths: How can they, together with their partners and in their own environment, ensure that their children develop healthily and safely? Many prevention programs related to domestic violence focus on the negative: you should not hit your child, because this is child abuse and punishable! This patronising attitude deters parents rather than making them aware of the consequences of their actions. Nor does it take into account the fact that many parents do not have suitable alternatives at their disposal to keep their child on the right path. The method of educational debates with migrant fathers of Trias Pedagogica (Distelbrink, Halane, Mehraz, Naber & Pels, 2015) focuses on the positive: Domestic Happiness! "Every parent wants the best for their child. The intention is good, but the action may turn out to be a mistake". How can we ensure that the right intention is also linked to the right actions? In the educational debates, fathers talk to each other about parenting and domestic happiness. What factors promote domestic happiness? And which factors hinder domestic happiness? The board game 'Domestic Happiness', which was developed in-house, is used as a tool. The aim of this game is to make the subject of domestic violence easier to discuss. By means of different cards, players are challenged to think about how they would react in certain daily situations, they become aware of the importance of paying attention to the family and enter into a conversation about domestic happiness. The player who chooses the best solution in certain situations and pays attention to his/her family, will eventually reach domestic happiness (the finish line)! In order to make it as accessible as possible, the educational debates have a low threshold: they are organised at a location of choice, at adjusted times (evenings/weekends), and the trainers match the group, if necessary, in terms of gender and cultural background. The educational debates can also be offered in several languages. Distelbrink, M., Halane, S., Mehraz, A., Naber, P., & Pels, T. (2015). Opvoeddebatten met migrantenvaders: Een methodiekbeschrijving en -onderbouwing. Geraadpleegd van: https://triaspedagogica.nl/library/Opvoeddebatten-met-migrantenvaders-5249-web.pdf
From literature we know that the impact of high conflict divorce can be considered as emotional abuse of ex-partners and children. In an empirical study among 1800 divorced men and women, we found an tremendous impact of ongoing conflicts on self-esteem, feelings of depressions and mastery of women after divorce. For men, an effect of conflictual interactions after divorce could be found for feelings of depression and mastery. From in-depth interviews with professional practitioners who are dealing with cases of high conflict divorce or separation, we concluded that (i) appropriate interventions according to the stage of the conflict are of major importance, otherwise risk of escalation occurs and (ii) knowledge about conflict and conflict escalation is crucial to understand and disentangle conflicts. Recently, we developed an innovative intervention for parents who are frozen in the transition of divorce or separation, based on five pillars as alternative for mediation and shared parenting, as well as screening instruments that are related to the underlying mechanisms of emotional abuse and used to measure change due to the intervention. This intervention is aimed to improve the well-being of children with parents who fail in the reorganization of parenting after their relationship dissolution. The main goals are informing parents and their network about mechanism of conflict escalation, providing tools to avoid escalation and to facilitate the decrease of conflict and learning how to obtain support from the family, the extended kin and the larger network in order to maintain focus on their children’s need as separate from their own, to protect their children from their own emotional distress and anger and from their ongoing disputes with each other. Therefore, parents are guided to develop some insight into their psychological impasse and especially into their own motivation to fight. This paper presents first results from an effectivity study about implementing this innovative practice-based intervention in case of high conflict divorces or separations. First, five pillars of the innovative intervention will be presented. Second, screening instruments that are related to the underlying mechanisms of emotional abuse and developed in order to measure change or progress due to the intervention will be explained. Finally, first results about the intervention effectivity (is the goal reached?) as well as effectivity related to experience rating (experiences of clients?) will be revealed. This paper aims to contribute to the following issues: • Screening for family violence • Alternatives to shared parenting in the context of family violence that involve family violence.