At CJI, we offer a number of programs that adapt the principles of restorative practices to work with families experiencing conflict and/or change; this group of programs is known as our Family Centered Programs. Many participate in these programs while in the process of re-organizing their families following a separation or divorce. At CJI we frame this process as family re-organization, where families work to create a sustainable plan that is psychologically, emotionally, and physically healthy.
The landscape of divorce or separation can feel treacherous and is unfamiliar to many. Family re-organization is largely a psychological, emotional, and social process where feelings of loss, rejection, fear and disappointment are common. At times, these feelings may overwhelm the capacity to problem solve and make decisions for any children involved. When not attended to, these feelings can lead to engaging in the dynamics described in the “Drama Triangle” – when individuals persecute each other due to perceived disappointments (pictured right).
When drama continues unchecked, it can escalate into destructive patterns of high-conflict behaviour. Social research in this area indicates that exposure to escalating conflict behaviour is what leaves lasting negative impacts on children, not the separation or divorce. As our understanding of trauma deepen – we know that emotional harm leaves lasting effects on the body in much the same ways as physical traumas.
CJI’s Family Centered Programs work with co-parents to develop and implement skills to navigate this challenging time effectively and with minimal drama. By understanding and applying these skills, emotional and psychological distress is reduced and the potentially harmful effects of family re-organization for children are mitigated. Family Centered Programs provide the opportunity for families in the midst of re-organizing to change the script and model how to manage conflict from a place of empowerment.
Are you curious about what CJI’s Family Centered Programs have to offer? Contact Jason , Family Centered Programs Coordinator at Jasons@cjiwr.com or 519-744-6549 ext. 120 to find out more!
Written by: Bill Smith, Mediation Service Coordinator