Reintegration Counseling is a therapeutic interaction between an absent parent and their child(ren) designed to rebuild the relationship between them.
It is something that is court ordered as an initial step before supervised or unsupervised parenting time starts. It is possible for a parent to have regular parenting time and simultaneously be involved in reintegration counseling with the child(ren), however, this is an agreement that is typically made between parents and with a judge or mediator prior to engaging the services of a counselor. Reintegration counseling is most typically ordered in situations in which the children have been away from a parent for an extended period of time.
Reasons for the absence may vary, whether parental alienation on the part of one parent, the absence of a parent from the child’s life for an extended period of time for whatever reason (including a voluntary absence), or perhaps a significant rift between parent and child (more commonly with teenagers). As part of attempting to repair the parent-child relationship, attention will also need to be paid to whether the child(ren) are emotionally ready not only for parenting time, but even for joint counseling to start. In some cases, the reintegration counselor may not be subjectively equipped or willing to make such an assessment and the opinion of the child’s own individual therapist may be needed as relates to the child’s emotional and mental health state, and often mental health professionals will need to consult and collaborate to best meet the needs of the child(ren).