Help for Families Undergoing High Conflict Divorces

As summer approaches and schools let out, many families anticipate having more time for family activities, the salutary effect of which is typically to promote interpersonal bonding and strengthen internal ties of connection and support.

But for families involved in high conflict divorces, “family” and “family activities” are at best concepts that have been set aside, supplanted not only by the divorce itself, but also by the family’s overall new-found need to balance daily life routines with the management of damaged relationships.  In wake of all this, children in these families are often left with feelings of alienation towards one parent or the other, and with no obvious guidance or support when it comes to processing these feelings as part of their psychological development.

Thankfully, however, an effective way to address these issues can be found right in our own midst.  Santa Clara County is home to a bi-costal organization specifically designed to help families who are undergoing these kinds of divorced-driven, relationship disruptions.

“Overcoming Barriers” (OCB) is a Santa Clara County-based non-profit organization that hosts intensive and unique psycho-educational training programs for families with children in danger of losing a relationship with one parent after divorce.  Staffed and directed by an expert group of legal and psychological professionals, OCB aims to help divorcing families move away from entrenched relationship patterns into a space of new beginning where both parents can recognize the value of the other parent in the lives of their children.

From June 29-July 3, 2012 in a location near San Francisco, OCB invites six families to participate in a program entitled “High Conflict Divorce Camp,” which, as the title suggests, is indeed a camping experience.  Specifically, it combines traditional camp activities such as yoga, arts and crafts, hiking and campfires, with specially designed Children and Adult Programs that take place each morning.  Over the course of 4 days, families will learn how to repair ruptured relationships in a safe and healthy environment and at the end of the experience, they will be given detailed, written, aftercare recommendations.

If you know of a divorcing family who might benefit from this kind of work, please do direct them to the OCB website (


About James Frederic Cox

Former Family Law Settlement Officer, with experience in over 13,000 cases,working as a Private Neutral in family law dispute resolution, from mediation through settlement conference to trial.
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