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|Clinicians Digest May/June 2008 - Page 7|
The study provides an indirect look at the social isolation and pressures that prehomosexual children face. It suggests, Rieger says, that when parents worry about a child who isn't conforming to gender expectations, the therapist should advise them to focus less on their fears that their child may be homosexual and more on supporting their child's interests and personality. That'll help prepare him or her for the social pressures and rejection that have probably already begun to build.
Bringing Children into Divorce Mediation
Most divorcing parents understandably want to shelter their children from contentious custody and visitation negotiations. But a study of 181 families by child psychologist Jennifer McIntosh, who's researching child-inclusive mediation for the Australian Attorney General, finds that bringing children's input into mediation sessions works better for everyone.
The Australian model of child-inclusive mediation includes a single separate session between the child and a consultant (not the mediator) trained in child development. The consultant explores any previous separations or traumas, what attributions the child makes about himself vis-a`-vis the divorce, other current stresses on the child's development, the child's strengths, the developmental needs that should be prioritized as part of the custody negotiations, and how the child's own preferences about living arrangements and visitation fit with his current adjustment and with each parent's capacity to support him emotionally. Then the consultant presents the findings in the next meeting of the parents and mediator. The parents, mediator, child, and consultant thus form what McIntosh calls a strategic therapeutic loop.