Intensive Family Reunification

Lisa offers a 2-4 day Intensive Family Reunification program for families needing support in recovering from severe parental alienation, or for the severe disruption of a Parent-Child Relationship. This is a short-term, effective treatment program to restore healthy family functioning between parent and child, and to promote a respectful co-parenting relationship.

Program Description

This 2-4 Day intensive intervention program is designed to support and assist in the healing of a child who has been severely alienated from a parent. This program offers a very unique way to treat the disruption in the parent-child relationship, as it combines structural family system theory with with psycho-educational and experientially oriented techniques in the treatment process. The therapist participates not only in the therapy sessions, but supports the family while engaging in family activities as well. This kind of program is best utilized when a parent and child are experiencing moderate to severe alienation issues, as these kinds of cases tend to be unresponsive to traditional reunification therapy.

Treatment Protocol

Prior to the intervention an Intake Assessment is done with the rejected parent and the favored parent if they are willing to participate. During several additional, individual sessions prior to the intervention, the rejected parent is coached on how to respond to various scenarios that are likely to arise during the intensive intervention. In addition the parent will gather important documents supporting the information they will be sharing with the child. The rejected parent will then accompany the child(ren) to the Austin area and stay in a prearranged vacation home, where they will take part in this intervention. They will meet daily with the therapist at her office, or in the vacation home.

Over the course of the treatment process the parent will be given the opportunity to begin developing more positive experiences with their child, and the child will be assisted in sharing their feelings with the rejected parent in a respectful way. Corrective history of past events may need to be explored during family therapy, and treatment focuses on helping the child and rejected parent heal previously unresolved issues. An important aspect of the treatment is to release the child from the “loyalty conflict” they have experienced for so long, and allow a more genuine relationship to emerge.

The rejected parent will be offered new parenting strategies both before and during the intervention that can assist them in repairing and healing the relationship with their child. In addition the parent is given the opportunity to reestablish their role as the parental authority figure in the child’s life, which frees the child from needing to function in an adult role in the family.

It is essential to the treatment process that all contact between the alienating parent and the child be suspended for a 90 day period of time if allowed, and often the court must order a “No Contact” rule before beginning any treatment.

The alienating/favored parent is offered separate counseling from the family therapy process between the rejected parent and the child. If they are willing they will write a supportive letter encouraging the child to participate in family therapy with the rejected parent. Follow up sessions and check in will be done once the treatment is completed to continue to assist the family in their healing process.

 Treatment Process Includes:

  • The experience of the rejected parent sharing with the child various mementos such as photographs, videos, letters, cards, artwork, etc. that allows them the opportunity to relive memories prior to the onset of the alienation.
  • Family therapy sessions to correct misinformation and false allegations against the alienated/rejected parent. Correcting distorted information the child has been told is essential to the healing process of the parent-child relationship.
  • Psycho educational videos on Alienation and the development of false memories in children and adults
  • Chosen family activities that occur outside of the counseling office where the parent assumes the parental role of supervising engaging with, and enjoying the child. These activities help the parent and child to actually create new experiences. The therapist accompanies the child and parent throughout these activities to provide support and encouragement as needed.
  • The participation of any nuclear or extended family of the rejected parent in the treatment process. This will be determined ahead of time by the therapist and the parent.

Contact Lisa

Office Location

Office Address
4131 Spicewood Springs Road
Suite D-3
Austin, TX 78759

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(512) 643-2851
(512) 502-5399 (fax)

Mailing Address

Lisa Rothfus
4131 Spicewood Springs Road
Suite D-3
Austin, TX 78759