Surviving The Pain Of Divorce
And Separation

 ©Janice Cohn, D.S.W., A.C.S.W.


What Does This Workshop Do?

What is it that empowers some children to survive divorce emotionally intact, while others develop serious problems which may persist for years? Many factors contribute to how well children weather divorce, but experts agree that the most crucial one is parental behavior. If parents sensitively respond to their children’s emotional needs and give them the opportunity to grieve and confront their pain, loss and anger, then genuine healing can occur. Enhancing and strengthening parents’ abilities to do this is the focus of the workshop.


How Does The Workshop Do It?

The workshop has been designed to give parents the latest information regarding what helps children and parents cope and heal after a separation or divorce.  The sessions focus on the current research (which often doesn’t reach parents) as well as insights from clinicians, child therapists and families, themselves.  This information has been synthesized into an effective eight-step program, which encourages questions and group discussion. 

Each workshop participant will receive an illustrated handbook, which is based upon the eight-step program, and a comprehensive information packet containing: 

v      Reprints of selected articles

v      Annotated bibliographies of books for children and parents

v      A list of recommended videos


What Are Some Of The Questions This Workshop Answers?

v      What are the psychological tasks which children of divorce must negotiate?

v      What can parents and other caring adults do to help children through this process?

v      How can divorcing parents respond to the needs of their children without neglecting their own needs?

v      What is a “normal”, expectable response on the part of children who must cope with separation and divorce?

v      What are the signs that they may be in need of therapeutic help?

v      How can children’s schools be a source of help and support during the process of separation and divorce?

v      How much information should schools be given?

v      What are the community resources which provide children with help and support, during these times?

v      What books and videos are effective in helping children cope?


Background About The Workshop

This workshop was originally, designed for the Family Court of Ocean County, New Jersey. In July of 1993, the Court instituted the first mandatory parent education program for divorcing parents in the State.  Because of the enthusiastic response to the workshop participants, plans are being made to expand the workshops to other localities.  The accompanying handbook for parents has been distributed to family court judges and parents throughout the country, and has been endorsed by a number of judicial organizations.

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