Working with children, tweens, and teens as they experience a spectrum of negative feelings about their non-custodial parent confirms my conclusions that when a divorce/separation is inevitable, the parents should be directed to receive parenting therapy/coaching, together, before the dysfunctional alignment ensues.
In high conflict situations, children have to survive. Survival often translates to supporting an angry custodial parent at the risk of the relationship with the other parent. Translations that take place in this manner leave a child focused on never forgiving the other parent for what they have experienced, both in reality and vicariously, through one or both parents.
Too many children have shared that if their parents could stop arguing then their lives would be less stressful. We continue to identify the children as needing the counseling when it would be more productive for the fractured family to be so ordered to participate. Treating the system with the goal of moving them to a parenting position that is at least tolerant of each parent is a more viable goal.