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Resist/Refuse

When a child resists or refuses to maintain contact with a parent, especially in cases of separation or divorce, it can deeply impact not only the child but also the parents and all parties involved. In the last 15 years, instances of resistance or refusal dynamics have seen a rise, accounting for approximately 20% to 25% of contested child custody cases in family courts. Mental health professionals and legal experts often assess and debate responsibility for such situations. A comprehensive analysis is crucial, requiring a thorough understanding of all potential explanations for the child's behavior while adhering to ethical and clinical boundaries in the assessment approach.

In addressing such Resist Refuse Cases, Dyadic Treatment emerges as a therapeutic approach where the child and parent undergo treatment together. With a clinician present, the parent-child dyad engages in positive interactions to enhance parenting skills, strengthen the parent-child relationship, and improve the child’s behavior. The parent and child are allowed to explore more positive ways of interacting and repairing any ruptures in their relationship. Various evidence-based models of dyadic treatment exist, such as Parent-Child Interaction Treatment and Child-Parent Psychotherapy.

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