Middle Ground Parenting Programme – A Focus on Children of Divorcing Parents
Sometimes going to court is the only option for families. However, what we see as practitioners in Family Law is that even when the judge hands down an order, let’s say for children arrangements, it doesn’t mean that everything is sorted out. In fact, families coming out of the court process have more tears in their relationship than they had before and many smaller issues are left un-arranged.
After the court process people are usually bruised and sore and many things have been said or argued which are hard to get beyond.
In our work we have found that despite this and to prevent a return to court, for some families there is a chance to move forward in a better way and begin to have those discussions which should have happened a long time ago.
We provide a place where your experience, thoughts and emotions are acknowledged and validated. We then move forward to place your children’s experiences of the conflict at the centre, and look at how to communicate and engage differently.
If you can develop a less intense and painful relationship as parents, despite differences, the weight of family conflict will be lifted from your child’s shoulders.
We want to be honest in saying that this process is not an easy one. We will be supportive and yet challenging. It can be easy to get caught up in a victim stance when you have been through court proceedings, whether you were taken to court or took the other parent to court, but this stance is unlikely to be helpful to hold on to and will get in the way of you taking responsibility and therefore finding your own power.
We have set up Middle Ground as a response to parents we have worked with who are either going through or who have been through the family court system to work out arrangements for their children.
Going to court is a stressful experience and will divide rather than bring together co-parents. Our dynamic and forward-thinking programme encourages parents to find the Middle Ground by facilitating discussions to focus on the needs of their children.
What makes our programme different?
-Each parent will have their own family consultant working with them throughout the programme.
-Our programme has a structure, each parent will have a total of 6 individual meetings with the family consultant and 4 joint meetings with the family consultants and the other parent.
-In the individual meetings, we will consider the journey so far, discuss the family of origin, the qualities that each parent brings to the children’s lives and prepare for the joint meetings. We will also help parents explore their own reactions to the situation, the impact for their children and supportively challenge and guide parents into expressing their views and hearing the other parent’s views in a different manner.
-The 4 joint meetings will have a structure, the agenda will be set in advance so both parents have an opportunity to think ahead about what is most important for them. We try to avoid shocks or surprises!
Who is this programme for?
-Parents trying to avoid the court process but finding mediation or traditional conflict resolution routes unsuccessful.
-For families already involved in the court system wanting to do some valuable work alongside or in between hearings. With the hope that they can together take back decision making and parenting autonomy over their children.
-For parents who have been through the court process and are wanting to move forward with repairing and building a co-parenting framework around the court orders in place.
What happens afterwards?
After the programme ends there will always be ongoing discussions and work between parents. Hopefully you will be able to have these between yourselves, but many clients continue to work with us. We offer a monthly or bi-monthly space to have these discussions and hold you as you move forward with a different set of tools and understanding.
Who are we?
Kim Crewe and Leia Monsoon are two highly experienced Family Consultants, both with backgrounds as psychotherapists working with children and families for the last 16 years.
The current fee for this programme is £1450 per person no Vat is payable