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Ex-Wife with BPD Won’t Allow Kids to Go to Therapy

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My ex-wife and I have a rule in our divorce decree that both parents have to give their approval if the other parent wants to take the children to play therapy. I have requested that they attend therapy and she “No, if they need to talk to someone they can talk to me.” I’ve now filed paperwork with the courts for a judge to hopefully allow me to take them to therapy. She was given this news two days ago and is extremely angry. My ex-wife has borderline personality disorder which has made everything increasingly messy and this morning she had an inappropriate outburst in front of the children.

We were all at the children’s school and she started yelling in front of the kids about going to court and she said they know all about what I’m trying to do. The children are 4, 7 and 8.

My question is, tonight I have them for one evening before their summer break begins and I won’t see them for a week. Should I sit them down this evening and talk to them about the therapy that their mother mentioned? She’s started the process of parent alienation with the children and numerous times she’s told the kids inappropriate things about our divorce and is trying to make me look like the bad guy by convincing them that Dad thinks something is wrong with them.

My attorney suggested I not talk to the kids about what happened this morning at school.

Do you agree? I feel like they need to hear my side and be comforted. I feel by not saying anything, she’s gaining even more control of the kids and their thoughts.

We don’t have a court date set just yet, so right now I’m not sure they will even be allowed to go to therapy. It just depends on what the judge decides. (From the USA)

Ex-Wife with BPD Won’t Allow Kids to Go to Therapy

Answered by on -

A.

 Therapy for children during a divorce is almost always a good idea to consider. You are doing the right thing asking for the judge to make this important decision. There is often an overlap between legal and psychological concerns. As an example, psychologically it may be better for a spouse to leave the house to help cool-down the situation, but it may not be the right thing to do legally.

While I could certainly argue for the merits of talking to your children, I believe the essence of the current matter is a legal one and would encourage you to honor your attorney’s counsel. The legal stakes here seem quite high and you want to use the best legal advice you can in the situation.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Ex-Wife with BPD Won’t Allow Kids to Go to Therapy

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Ex-Wife with BPD Won’t Allow Kids to Go to Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/07/10/ex-wife-with-bpd-wont-allow-kids-to-go-to-therapy/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.