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Author Topic: High Conflict Intervention Program  (Read 528 times)
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« on: April 06, 2007, 01:11:58 AM »

ARTICLE: High Conflict Intervention Program
How to “Ex” Communicate
 
In a break-up or divorce with children, there may often be high emotion and tension between the parents. This tension creates anxiety for the children as well as the parents. The children sense their parent’s anxiety in their voice, their body language and in their parent’s behavior.
 
To significantly reduce or entirely eliminate the anxiety for all of the family the parents should follow two simple rules for the first two years, in order to control the communication and contact between the parents. Even if a parent believes that there may be no reason to expect tension between the parents, the rules are designed to eliminate potential problems. The rules are as follows:
 
Number one: Eliminate all face-to-face communication  between the parents (including telephone contact), for a minimum of two years.
 
Number two: All communication should be done in writing, using a memo format to communicate.
 
Research shows that constant and chronic conflict between the parents negatively impacts the children. If the parents believe they can get along with each other after the couple of years after the break-up, they may want to relax the rules somewhat. At the first sign of tension or conflict however, they should immediately go back to following the rules which are recommended to protect the children from being caught in the conflict.
 
When parents split up, the children want to be able to still be with and freely love both of their parents. They want to feel loved by both of their parents too. Children will do anything to please their parents. A child’s primary attachment and sense of security has been to have both parents love.
 
We are all like vulnerable animals, because our “survival instinct" keeps us alive. While in the womb and until we were about six years old, we all learned to read our parent’s looks and feelings of anger, nervousness and joy. As babies, we learned to read our parent’s vibes. All children know subconsciously when their parents are upset and when they are feeling good. When a parent is worried, upset or unsure of themself, the child will react with anxiety too. This is how our basic anxiety states are formed. The more anxious a parent is during our childhood, the more opportunity we have for being wired and sensitive to anxiety. Children attach "life and death security" to both parents. This security is as if both parents are a single entity.
 
Unless the parent(s) learn to create new bonds with the children, when the family breaks up the bond they had established from birth is broken and destroyed. The bond the children had during the marriage was both parents as a single unit, now the parents are no longer together, the bond is severed. This bond can’t be divided like the furniture in a house would be divided in a divorce. When parents are in conflict, the children are constantly feeling unsafe and disconnected from their... .More information (see rule 3-10)

AUTHOR: Deena Stacer, PhD has a doctorate in psychology, with a specialization in high conflict intervention strategies, a master’s degree in counseling, teaching credentials ranging from pre-kindergarten through college and a Bachelor of Science Degree in child development.
 
Dr. Deena has been professionally speaking since 1983. She traveled nationwide as a parent educator. She also trained teachers on topics such as positive discipline, successful stepfamily strategies, stress and anger management, self-esteem, goal setting skills and conflict resolution techniques.
 
Dr. Deena is the Founder and Director for the San Diego High Conflict Intervention Program, (1997).

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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2007, 10:57:29 PM »

I think this has a lot of good advice on it.  I think there is a liklihood that some posters & readers may go into "but what if... ." mode upon reading it because they have ex-spouses (or SOs) that won't easily cooperate with the rules.  Hence the "high conflict" issue. But all in all I think it stresses the importance for the child not to be aware of any conflicts and may prompt parents to be more vigilant in dealing with their Ex's.
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