It is not divorce
that hurts our children...
It's the conflict between their parents.
You aren't alone...
You never asked to be here. (I get it.)
It sucks… royally!
Court battles aren’t fun. They are expensive and take much longer than most realize.
Therefore, I imagine that you aren’t too thrilled to be searching for a Parent Reunification Counselor, because it means that your family has been torn apart. The vision you had has been ripped to shreds and your heart is hurting.
Yet, there is good news. Things can change and my services might just be the pathway to the hope you are so desperately ready for.
Through the process of Parent Reunification, you and I work together to shorten your misery and get you the heck out of Hell using the shortest route possible.
This means your confusion turns to clarity.
Your despair turns to hope.
And yes, your frustration softens because you now have a plan to guide you towards better-feeling days.
Parent Reunification Services can help…
In 3 months (or more if you need it), you progress through a 4-phase healing process.
I take the burden off your hands, while I assume the role of unpacking the mess to identify what it is that your child is truly wanting, thinking and feeling. And finally, I get to tell you exactly what that is.
Let’s get to know one another…
With a reputation for working “magic”, the region has come to expect amazing outcomes when I, Ms. Ayana, support parents in creating new structures for their family post-separation and divorce.
It will require you to do some of the hardest work yet. It will require your patience, your ugly raw truth and stretching beyond your own point of view.
However, the method I have developed over the years has yielded results which individuals once believed impossible.
Who is Parent Reunification for …
Parents and Caregivers who are:
- Having problems co-parenting
- Have difficulty communicating with the parent, yet both love their child(ren) very much
- Tired of the conflict & truly desire to learn new ways to work together…for the sake of their children
- Open and ready to receive new understandings of their past
- Ready to invest time in the process of self-development
- Financially ready to invest in getting expert help
- Willing to give 3-6 months to support their child participating in virtual sessions
- Willing to be patient by staying engaged in the process until its completion (there are no shortcuts for sorting through the #$%! to cultivate manure and prepare a garden for the new harvest)
Hire me to support your family through these difficult times.
Here's how it's done...
A 4-Phase Process
Parent Reunification is a process. It has distinct phases that are structured to gather information, observe patterns of behavior and provide space for positive change.
The first phase is Orientation with both parents. Separately, each parent is invited to discuss their concerns about reunifying the children with the estranged parent while being informed of the policies of this office.
The second phase focuses on building rapport with the minor(s) and beginning to explore their primary concerns about reconnecting with the estranged parent.
The third phase focuses on clarifying the minor(s) concerns and discussing these openly with the estranged parent, thereby establishing the foundation for phase four, where communication and direct contact (if appropriate) is facilitated between the child(ren) and parent.
The objective of the Parent Reunification process is to provide the family with short-term therapeutic intervention to address the obstacles that impede the child from having an open and positive relationship with both parents.
Clinical expertise is used to assess the minor(s)’ readiness to have face-to-face contact with the estranged parent and therapeutic intervention is used to insure the minor(s)’ emotional, mental and psychological preparation for any and all face-to-face meetings.
If it should be determined that reunification will cause emotional and/or psychological harm to the minor, all parties are thoroughly educated as to why and recommendations are made regarding how to address and resolve the current concern.
A Personalized Touch...
All therapeutic intervention is customized to address the unique dynamics of each family. Additionally, each family is encouraged and supported in the process to develop resolutions that will work for their specific circumstances long after the process has been completed.
The developments and outcomes of the entire process are summarized in a written report rendered to the Jurisdiction presiding over the case, when needed.
All services are remote. However, therapeutic visitation facilitation is available at a premium rate when the clinical need is evident.
How to Begin...
Once parents agree on payment, a contract is signed or a Court Order is provided to begin services.
If an initial assessment is desired, 5 sessions can be acquired.
However, most families invest in 15 sessions at a time and may require additional bundles. Services are paid via a monthly retainer. Whereas trial fees can cost you $30,000- $50,000, Parent Reunification rate averages between $3000 – $6000. That’s over 50% in savings in the long run.
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Circle back later and schedule your consultation to get feedback on your specific questions.
Listen to my podcast for inspiration and insight!
To learn more about coping with the hardship of Parenting amongst Conflict & Divorce, check out the following podcast episodes:
You got questions, I got answers! …
Every family is unique in terms of the complexity of issues that present at orientation. Several key indicators informing treatment length include: (1) Age and the level of resistance (to visitation) in children; (2) Length of absence of visiting parent; and (3) Issues which led to estrangement. On average, highly complex cases can take between 6-12 months and less complex cases 3-6 months.
PR is specialty service. It’s model is unique and thus expands beyond the perimeters of what Family Therapy will cover. The session can be longer and they are customized to meet your needs. Although it is pricy, it is a short–term service that provides you with a solid base. You are always welcome to continue your progress by seeking insurance covered services later. Ms. Ayana however, will not be able to serve in this role as it would cause a conflict of interest. If you should want to seek services with Ms. Ayana in the future, you are welcome to schedule a return booster session.
Payment arrangements for PR are worked out before the Judge or Master. Therefore, if you have a concern with the Court’s ruling, then you need to address the Court. Ms. Ayana too must follow the Order as written. Therefore, she is not at the liberty to make changes regarding payment.
Certainly. You and the other parent will need to agree on some details though. Primarily, how the fee will be covered. Attorneys can often help you work out this detail if you need support. Otherwise, both parties will sign a contract to be sure everyone start on the same page.
It is normal to have tons of questions and worries even about starting the PR process. Ms. Ayana knows this and this is precisely why she allots time during your individual Orientation to address not only your questions, but to give you a thorough overview of what to expect. Given, PR is a Court Mandated service and to make sure that the process remains consistent and reliable for each case, the initial structure must be followed. Thus, your quickest way to get your concerns addressed is to pay the retainer so that your Orientation can be scheduled. This will get you directly in front of Ms. Ayana where you can present your concerns in full detail.
If you find that you need to have a full conversation before starting services, you can request a virtual 30 minutes consult for $125.
This depends on whether there are any restrictions in place that have been established by the court. For cases that are court-ordered, the Reunification Facilitator will typically make recommendations regarding how to structure visits, in terms of level of supervision, length, and frequency of visits. It is possible that letter-writing, sharing of pictures and videos, and other methods of communication that can be screened by the facilitator may be requested. I will work with the parent on maximizing healthy expressions and minimizing harmful ones. This can be a difficult emotional process as reconnection between parent and child can bring up many mixed feelings as they work to heal the hurt that underlies the cause of estrangement.
Yes-traditional “talk” therapy is usually not effective for younger children. In these cases, the reunification facilittor may use creative play or other alternative forms of therapeutic intervention which are considered best practice and age appropriate. In most cases, utilizing “therapeutic visitation” as a means to re-introduce young children to a parent isa preferred component of reunification process.
This is an important question. If there is not a balanced level of transparency in the progress made throughout reunification. the chances of a parent and/or their attorney bringing additional motions to the court (including motions of contempt) increase. If information is shared with attorneys in a responsible manner. parties will be better informed about any additional barriers that have arisen during reunification therapy, and a good family court attorney will want to assist in overcoming those barriers rather than immediately turning towards more litigation.
This is not likely. Clinicians are careful not to take on issues that will place them in a “dual role” with their client. Sometimes what the client wants is different than the goal that has been identified in the reunification process: or, the child needs additional therapeutic support while participating in reunification. When this conflict presents itself, the child’s therapist usually declines to facilitate the reunification process. However. having two therapists (the child’s Therapist and the Reunification Facilitator) work together in a collaborative way through on-going case consultation typically yields a better outcome for the family.
This is one of the most common presenting problems in the reunification process, especially for older adolescents and teens. It is critical for the residential parent to support participation in therapy (bringing/ picking them up, keeping appointments, and making positive statements about reunification) to optimize the chances of success. The Reunification Therapist will develop a treatment plan which include identification of barriers to therapy. At Living Light LLC, we take a child-centered approach-that is, barriers are identified (and validated) through an interactive process with the child.
The court generally establishes whether protective restrictions are warranted, so the Reunification Facilitator will typically ask to see court orders such as a temporary or final parenting plan, any Orders of Protection, and a GAL (Guardian ad Litem) report, if applicable. Having said that Ms. Ayana conducts a safety and risk prevention assessment during the first phase of the process. If additional recommendations to the court are necessary, Ms. Ayana will facilitate that process.
Ms. Ayana is experienced in identifying alienating-type behaviors and will work with parents to identify where on the alienation “continuum” these behaviors reside.
After many years of research (much of which is on-going), I now know that PA is not as black and white as once thought. There are many types of alienators, and many alienating behaviors that are harmful yet don’t rise to the level of malicious campaigning that is described in the concept of Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Other constructs, including enmeshment, alignment, and loyalty conflicts, are components in the alienation spectrum and can lead to unhealthy triangulation between parents and children. These are all evaluated during the process and will be addressed as potential barriers to reunification when identified.
As a result of the pandemic, I shifted to working remotely. I found that offering remote services greatly benefited the process structure. It made building rapport with your child much smoother because they could be in the comfort of their own environment. It also cancels out many safety concerns, given the child is initially reconnected to their estranged parent over a screen.
If however, the process does progress such that the family is needing therapeutic supervision of in-person visitations between the parent and child, arrangements can be made for me to facilitate the meeting at an additional premium rate starting.
The structure of the process allows me to observe their behaviors and patterns when in a familiar and safe space. As the process takes place over time, I am able to study your child’s behaviors which is quite informative when the time comes to introduce them to the estranged parent. If there are changes in your child’s demeanor, it will be noted, documented and addressed as part of the process.
You're in capable hands when you choose me, Harford County’s Best, Ms. Ayana!
Ready for change?
Still have questions?