Parents Separating

May 2, 2020

This is about a 12-year-old girl called Sarah.  She asked for counselling at school.  She was a high achiever in class and was involved in sports and music pursuits. She was happy and had not experienced any great hardships.

Then came the news that her parents were separating.

  • Sarah changed both at school and at home
  • She became anxious
  • She dropped out of some of her sports
  • She changed towards some of her friends and became withdrawn
  • Her schooling deteriorated

She requested counselling

  • We explored what was happening at home
  • She feared for her future in terms of living arrangements
  • She was worried that she wouldn’t see both parents
  • How will she manage homework?
  • What if I leave my laptop at the other parent’s house?
  • What if Mum or Dad met someone else and she didn’t like them?

We gradually worked through all of the worries.  This included:

  • Seeing Mum and Dad with Sarah
  • Seeing Mum and Dad separately to help them with their management of the children in the least harmful way
  • Encouraging Sarah to return to her normal activities as soon as she felt ready.
  • Encouraging her to retain her good friends
  • Working out ways of making sure she had her favourite and necessary items at each house

This case was a positive example of a healthy way to transition to a different family dynamic.

Sarah and her siblings managed to adjust without long-term emotional harm.

If this is your situation please contact me on 027 488 9236 or email me on I am located in Birkenhead, North Shore, Auckland.

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