Parents agree the objective of Court-Involved Therapy (CIT) is not to determine IF it is in the child(ren)’s best interests to have contact with one of the parents. Rather, the parents agree it is in the child(ren)’s best interests to have meaningful relationships with both parents. The CIT is intended, therefore, to help the children have healthy and meaningful relationships with both parents. This process is generally court ordered.
There are many reasons why a child may be reluctant to have contact with a parent. The parent and child never had a well-established relationship or the difficulties may be newly emerging. Sometimes events have hurt a parent and child’s relationship, including exposure to stormy or violent parent interactions or child mistreatment. In some situations, one parent is knowingly or unknowingly undermining or interfering with the child’s relationship with the other parent. Many times a child is reacting to the stress of being caught in the middle of parent conflict or to differences in the parents’ styles of parenting, and has aligned with one parent to relieve their internal distress. Usually, there is a combination of factors at play.