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This podcast is the third in a series of Discover Lafayette podcast interviews with local psychologists and therapists who work with children caught in the middle of high conflict divorces and separations.
Walter Camos, a licensed professional counselor in Lafayette, discusses reunification/reconciliation therapy which is focused on bringing a parent and child back together when the child has rejected a parent. In many cases, a child may not have connected with a distanced parent for months or years.
Families are referred for therapy during the course of family court involvement when a child refuses to interact with a distanced parent. In these families dealing with levels of conflict, the child may come to see the close/residential parent as all “good” and the distant parent as all “bad.” Many times the close parent, without realizing it, may not have provided their child with a feeling of freedom to love the distanced parent and extended family. These children often reject the distanced parent’s entire family and the familial connection may be lost forever.
Reunification therapy works with the entire family to help all understand that a child benefits from a relationship with both parents. Children instinctively want to be free to love and be loved by both parents, and studies have demonstrated that positive changes can occur in 90% of the cases when warring parents learn to put their child first and allow them the right to love both parents. With therapy, over time, a loving relationship may be restored.
Studies affirm that children who are allowed to reject a parent suffer from long-term problems with guilt and depression. Experts in the field state that children who have developed loyalty conflicts because of parental acrimony “have a secret wish for someone to call their bluff” when they say they don’t want to see the distanced parent.
Better Options Initiative is a Lafayette non-profit organization which supports the work of Walter Camos’ therapy. With the goal of making Acadiana an inhospitable place for high conflict parents, BOI has invested funds to offer effective legal and mental health responses to cases of parental alienation, domestic violence, and child abuse. Their mission is to eliminate harm to Acadiana’s children due to parental conflict.
To learn more about the work of Walter Camos, visit http://www.camostherapy.com.
To learn more about Better Options Initiative, visit https://betteroptionsinc.org.