Guidelines and Procedures


There are several aspects of RT/CC that differ from other forms of therapy, and you should be aware of them from the beginning of the process.


1. This is a team effort that includes other professionals involved in the child's welfare such as attorneys, therapists, Guardians ad Litem, and Parenting Coordinators.


2. Although I will be sensitive to protecting any personal information you share during RT/CC, this is a relatively open process where I will be updating other members of the team on progress and conferring with your therapist, if you have one. RT/CC work is delicate and difficult, and unless all team members are pulling in the same direction, our chances of success are not great.


3. Sessions will focus on building communication and emotional regulation skills and on providing education on the needs of children from divorced or separated parents. Parents will only interact with each other respectfully and purposefully, using the skills taught in the early sessions.


4. I will respond to email from either parent (or other team members) usually within 24-48 hours. However, I do not charge for these email consultations so please do not use email to address a problem unless there is an urgent matter. If a problem comes up in between sessions that can wait until the next session, please bring it to the session.


5. All communication between myself and a parent will be shared with the other parent. There will be no back-channeled communication between us. If you email me, please cc the other parent. If you forget to do so, I will forward the communication to that parent.


6. Many parents enter RT/CC feeling that it is very important for me to have a "dirty laundry list" of the bad behaviors, sinister motives, and dishonesty of the other parent. I will give you a little time to discuss your perceptions of the other parent in our first meeting. However, your child really needs us to focus on him or her in the present and plan for his or her future, not dwell in the past or assassinate the character of the other parent.  This is often the most difficult aspect of RT/CC because of the history of conflict. Nevertheless, we must shift out of conflict mode and into problem identification and problem solving mode if you child is to have a good chance at having a healthy and happy future.


7. I cannot accept cases where either parent has an active substance abuse diagnoses, where there is ongoing violence between the parents, or either parent has an active diagnosis of psychotic disorder or equally debilitating psychiatric condition.


8. RT success usually requires 23 -39 sessions to reach success, and CC usually requires 13 - 22 sessions. I prefer to meet weekly, if at all possible.


The sequence of RT sessions is as follows:


  • Meet with Parent 1 and assess his or her capacity and willingness to participate in RT.
  • Meet with Parent 2 to assess the same.
  • Meet with both parents together and go over the procedures and expectations. After this session, at home the parents will explain to the child that they are getting help to establish a mutually respectful relationship where they can communicate cordially on behalf of the child.
  • Next 3 - 7 sessions: meet with both parents together and learn the requisite communication skills and impart the necessary educational information.
  • Next  5 - 9 sessions:  begin addressing problems and disagreements beginning with relatively small matters and build competence until more sensitive and volatile matters  can be addressed.
  • The child attends a session with both parents and the parents explain that they have established a new relationship with each other where they can resolve disagreements and make decisions without hostility.
  • Next 8 - 16 sessions: the child meets with the rejected parent to address the issues of concern to the child. The rejected parent will use the previously learned skills to respond to the child empathically and non-defensively. Sometimes, the preferred parent will join a session to assist the rejected parent if he or she is struggling.
  • Last 2 - 3 sessions: wrap up and plan for the future.


The sequence of CC is as follows:


  • Meet with Parent 1 and assess his or her capacity and willingness to participate in CC.
  • Meet with Parent 2 to assess the same.
  • Meet with both parents together and go over the procedures and expectations.
  • Next 3 - 7 sessions: meet with both parents together and learn the requisite communication skills and impart the necessary educational information.
  • Next  5 - 9 sessions:  address parenting decisions, problems, and disagreements, beginning with relatively small matters while building the competence to address more sensitive and volatile matters  in the later sessions.
  • Last 2 - 3 sessions: wrap up and plan for the future.

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