Controversial reunification therapy shapes custody cases

Arizona couples may be interested to learn about a controversial court-ordered therapy that sometimes shapes child custody battles. The treatment, known as "reunification therapy," is designed to heal families torn apart by what has been termed by psychologists as "parental alienation syndrome."

This type of therapy was recently ordered after a Michigan judge made headlines for sending three children to juvenile detention for refusing to see their father. The children's mother claimed her ex-husband abused one of their children. However, the father alleged that the mother had mental health problems and poisoned the kids against him. Believing the situation to be a case of parental alienation, the court ordered the children to undergo an intensive five-day course of reunification therapy. Following treatment, the children, who are ages 9, 11 and 14, went to live with their father and his second wife.

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