What is Co-parenting Counseling?

December 14, 2023
Written by:
Kristen Berglund

Ending a relationship is usually difficult, but it can be downright impossible when there are children

involved. Strong feelings often get in the way of communicating effectively with an ex-partner and

children can be “caught in the crossfire” of conflict that results. Co-parenting counseling is therapeutic

intervention with one or two counselors and any involved parent/caregiver with the goals of improving

communication, setting “rules”, being consistent with parenting and resolving any conflict that arises.

Who would benefit from co-parenting counseling?

Co-parenting counseling is designed for divorced or separated people who share children (and their

significant others, if appropriate).

Who is “the client” when you do co-parenting counseling?

The client is the parenting relationship. All counseling is geared toward setting rules and establishing

behaviors that benefit the child(ren).

Why would we ever need two counselors?

You can elect to have either one or two counselors involved in co-parenting counseling. If there is a high

level of conflict in the co-parenting relationship, it can be helpful to have two. In that case, each party is

supported by one of the counselors in the session. At the outset of therapy, you meet individually with

your assigned counselor to talk about the history of any issues and get an idea of your particular goals

and needs. As a result, that counselor can better communicate and represent your interests during


How many sessions will we need?

The number of sessions varies based on the complexity of conflict in the relationship, but we can often

make significant progress after just a few sessions.

Can my new significant other be a part of the sessions?

Probably. In some cases, it makes sense to include new partners immediately in therapy; in others, it

creates unnecessary conflict. Ideally, we will include anyone who has caregiving responsibilities for the

child(ren), but we may need to work through some conflict with your ex-partner first.

Why can’t we just work it out on our own?

You may be able to, and if you can, great! Some separated and divorced couples struggle to put hurt

feelings to the side and focus on what’s important: the kids. In co-parenting counseling we focus on the

PRESENT and work to leave the past in the past.

I want to be friends with my ex; can we work on that?

You and your ex may end up friends, but that is not the goal of co-parenting counseling. The goal is to

compromise and meet each of your needs as best as we can while prioritizing the wellness of your


If co-parenting counseling sounds like something that would benefit you, contact us! We will be happy

to set you up with experienced relationship counselors who can help.