The Children of Divorce Program is a 10-session group program designed for children and their parents who have considered a marital separation or who have already experienced a separation or divorce. Children attend group counseling sessions specifically designed for their needs, and a separate group is held simultaneously for parents.
The program is designed to assist parents and children of families in transition to understand and address the pressures on their relationships and the changes occurring in their lives. Through early intervention, children are helped to adjust in order to minimize disruption in their normal development.
Goals of the children's groups are:
- To discover ways to problem solve and to clarify confusing issues such as loyalty, conflicts, feelings of self-blame and feelings of shame.
- To learn how to take an age appropriate perspective on family events during the divorce process.
- To decrease isolation and loneliness.
- To develop coping strategies and assertive communication skills for various problems, including visitation, transitions, custody and blended families.
- To improve understanding of parental conflict, separation and divorce.
Goals of the parents' groups are:
- To offer guidance and psycho-education for parenting issues related to divorce.
- To address parental concerns such as visitation, single parenthood, dating and remarriage.
- To understand the short range and long range impact of divorce on their children.
- To enhance co-parenting skills.
- To give feedback to parents about their children's progress.
Support Group Program
The support group program consists of 10 sessions for children, with parent groups running concurrently. Siblings are enrolled together in the same group, when appropriate. Groups are co-led by a team that includes senior faculty and staff members trained in child development and divorce issues. Groups are kept small, with five to nine participants.
Time and Place
Groups for pre-school age children meet on Mondays from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM and from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM for school-age children and pre-teen/early teenage children. Older adolescent groups are formed as needed. All sessions are held in the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Department on the hospital's White Plains campus.
The fees for the Children of Divorce Program are set on a sliding scale, based on annual income and the number of members in the family. For questions concerning payment, please call (914) 997-5964.