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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 11-08-2018, 04:18 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default Co-Parent Counselling- Tips?

Hi all,

I've seen a bunch of responses in various threads about having gone through some type of family mediation or co-parent counselling....

I've suggested- and ex has accepted that we seek at least 5 sessions of co-parent counselling.

We are in litigation currently. We have both filed pleadings (him- application, me - response); attended first settlement conference and entered into consent application to deal with access and preschool choice only- and the coparent counselling sessions.

I would rather spend money on good therapists to help us function as parents, rather than lawyers.

So what are your tips about going in with realistic expectations?

What was your experience like?

What does the therapist do? What should I ask them to focus on?

For example- to me, the big pink elephant in the room is that my ex made threats against our daughter. There is a history of domestic violence. There is a history of violent actions in front of her- and even using her to get to me.

However, for the last 8 months he has had regular, supervised access visits with no issues. He loves our daughter- and he wants to be involved in her life. She loves him... and they should have a strong relationship.

I would like to move on from the violence issue- and he has asked me what do I need from him to prove he's a capable dad and so we can share custody and parenting time. I've said he needs to continue therapy and address his substance abuse and anger issues.

I'm open to all of that- but we need to address the big issues I've outlined above.

Anyways- I'm just looking for some insight from people who've been through the co-parent counselling process, or something similar.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:42 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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I can't recommend Gary Direnfield enough. He does longer sessions, but fewer, so he can get to the meat of the matter and he has a lot of experience with abuse (which a lot of counsellors do not know how to deal with appropriately and either outright refuse or make the situation much worse).

He has a lot of info on his website and he does online sessions if in-person does not work.(I know he tells new clients to read his website to make sure you understand his approach so you can judge if you are on the same page)

I did one session, even though my co-parent refused to participate, and it helped me change my behaviour for improved results. I have no plans to go back but I know that is an option. I let Gary take control of the session as he was pretty incisive and got right to the point and focused on moving forward.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:20 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Thank you for your reply. I'll keep him in mind...we've already set up our initial sessions with a counselor named Stella Kavoukian in Toronto. But we're just at the intake stage.

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Old 11-13-2018, 09:28 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Originally Posted by youngdad91 View Post
Don't make too much noise in counseling. Have a go forward mentally. Don't constantly bring on the past and try to prove your case with allegations to try to win your legal action. The counselling is not the judge and her meeting room is not a court room. He or she is just a counsellor to help you guys get along for the sake of the child. He or she probably doesn't care too much about the parents - the focus is on the child.

Don't turn counselling into a Jerry Springer show.
How many sessions did you and your ex attend?

Did both of you have to be willing to participate? I ask because I've driven the bus here so far...but I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time and just being too pushy and naive trying to force us to cooperate....

And since you've been in litigation- did you go through the counselling at the same time as litigation or did you try it after?
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