The adversities and intricacies of immigration have caused millions of families to come to this country in a staged mode: the parent/s coming first, leaving their children behind, under the care of grandparents or others. After many years of separation, the children, now many in their teens, have arrived to reunite with their parents. A most painful unintended cost of this process is the lost bond between parent and child. In addition to the struggles to survive and, unseen behind the walls of that home, there is another battle going on in the hearts and daily lives of parents and children: how to heal the emotional wounds caused by the long separation and rebuild a relationship of mutual trust and caring.
This blog is about a roadmap for all the professionals working with these reunited immigrant families: counselors in the schools, therapists in mental health, social workers in the Child Welfare Agencies, educators, etc. and all those people who know and care about these families. Its purpose is to help them begin their process of healing by:
- Understanding the psychological issues affecting the reunited parents and children to start work with the parent-child dyad
- Identifying some key elements to counseling these parents and their children
- Utilizing psycho-educational tools to start work with the parent-child dyad
- All of this framed by a helping relationship that is deeply compassionate and supportive of them.