This family were struggling under the pressures of a divorce, a pending move, arguments and stressful exams. They needed support to rebuild their confidence, listen and hear each other well. An example of how one-page profiles can be used to support families experiencing divorce.
Written by Sue Atkins, Parenting Expert
Yasmin worked for a University as a PA. She came to me because her home-life was changing dramatically. Her teenage kids were suffering from arguments as they were both studying for important exams. She had a comfortable lifestyle but was going through an acrimonious divorce and was transfixed with fear about losing her home and how she was going to cope with all the changes that lay ahead.
Yasmin wanted support to rebuild her confidence, determine her new path in life and form ideas about how to handle her husband’s furious outbursts in front of the children during the divorcing process.
Yasmin had found out that her husband, a doctor, was having an affair with a younger nurse at the hospital. He suffers from OCD himself and the unhappy atmosphere in the house was unbearable as her husband initially refused to move out despite his affair. This family lived in Birmingham and the daughter was studying for her A Levels whilst the younger brother was studying for his GCSE’s during this traumatic, stressful time. Things were so difficult that Yasmin’s daughter started suffering from alopecia.
Yasmin and I had three, one-hour secession over the phone where we created her one-page profile with the aim of giving her clarity, direction and empowerment. Then I coached each child for an hour over the phone to help them in creating theirs. I always start with parents when creating one-page profiles with a family. It is so important that mum gets her confidence back and feels able to express herself, identifying what is important and what support she needs first in order to be able to support her children.
Whilst creating the one-page profiles we had good conversations about what was working and not working. This was the most powerful part of the process for the children who both finally felt heard and could be supported in the way they wanted to be supported.
The process of healing and forgiveness began and the kids bonded more with their Mum. She in turn gained in confidence and they TALKED more and looked at solutions not just difficulties.
I heard recently Yasmin and the kids were in Time Square celebrating Yasmin’s 50th birthday – they had moved into rented accommodation and were slowly putting back the pieces to their lives. We still do Working/ Not Working every 2 months during the transition then I do what I call “Wriggle Room” where they call me when they need me or get a bit stuck. It’s a powerful empowering process.