Abstract Currently, 50% of today’s children are affected by parental divorce. Court dockets across the country are rife with angry parents embroiled in contentious divorce proceedings that are often protracted by custody and child support disputes. Children of these broken and failed marriages are stuck in the midst of a traumatic event. Whatever parental strife existed prior to divorce is now magnified and children are left helplessly watching the two people they love most tear each other apart. This trauma induced by divorces is equivalent to the trauma induced by experiencing the death of a parent. Many children are left with feelings of anxiety, sadness, depression, and anger. These children often exhibit a variety of behaviors that affect their school functioning. Clinicians counseling children of divorce must be prepared to educate parents and assist them in recognizing the importance of their continued involvement in the child’s life. Counselors must be cognizant of the extreme stress that these children endure and be prepared to advocate for the best interests of their child client. With appropriate intervention for both divorcing parents and their children, counselors can help children heal from the pain of divorce and develop healthy post divorce family structures.
Counseling Children of Divorce When parents divorce, children’s interests are often ignored or discounted. Angry parents are focused on exacting revenge, or are interested in moving on to a new life, and disregard the painful emotions experienced by their children. School difficulties that the children experience are viewed as problems endemic to the child, rather than latent results of sometimes protracted and contentious divorce, and custody proceedings. Court procedures recommend, and often require that children and adults pursue individual
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