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Integrative Family Therapy for High-Conflict Divorce With Disputes Over Child Custody and Visitation

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Abstract

A growing number of divorcing families become locked in intractable disputes over child custody and visitation. This article describes an integrative family therapy approach targeted toward such families. Aspects of this treatment include negotiating a clear therapy contract, creating a multipartial alliance with all parties, assessing through the lens of specific understandings about these cases, incorporating multiple therapy session formats, holding both systemic and individual focused perspectives, incorporating a solution-oriented focus, and drawing upon a wide range of intervention techniques. The treatment aims to create a good-enough postdivorce climate in which a new family structure can be constituted in which parents maintain distance from one another, and conflict and triangulation can be minimized.

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