Separation and Divorce

Module 7: Separation and Divorce (graded) Carla: Variables which may impact a child’s ability to cope with parental separation and divorce are: the child’s age, the quality of the parent/child relationship to the point of separation and divorce (and beyond), the general tone of the household prior to and during the separation/divorce (the degree of hostility that may be present during the process of separation), and the willingness on the part of both parents to effectively co-parent following separation.  Five actions that parents can take in order to aid their children in the adjustment to a post-separation/divorce family are:         1. Allowing children to be children. By not expecting children to be versed in solving the problems associated with separation and shielding them from negative cross talk about the spouse, parents are able to protect children from the insecurity associated with such a change in family circumstance.         2. Supporting the role of the other parent in the lives of children. Parental estrangement is detrimental and harmful to children and should not play a role in separation or divorce unless there is threatened or actual violence. Each parent should be encouraged and able to have agreed upon access and input into the lives of their children.        3. Maintain open lines of age/developmentally appropriate communication. Continuing to talk to and listen to children to gauge their reaction and understanding of the process of separation will help children (and parents) understand how they can best be supported.       4. Practice emotional presence and continuity of routine. Parents who continue to provide consistency in social activities and routines for their children are able to help their children cope with the changes that separation and divorce bring. It is important to remember that the steps leading to separation may be ones that have built over time for the parents, but to the children involved, they may feel and appear to be sudden. Being a constant presence in the daily lives of children will aid them in reliance on their own parents as sources of effective coping and understanding.       5. Maintain civility. Parents would do well to recall that the dissolution of a marriage does not dissolve the loyalty that a child may feel for the opposite parent. (assuming that there is no harm or threatened harm present). Successful co-parenting for children of separated and divorced parents must be based in civility and courtesy in order to help children continue to feel safe and secure.  As a social worker, aiding a family in the throes of separation or divorce may present challenges if the separation is a contentious one. Ensuring that there is absolute neutrality and mutual respect for each adult mitigates the risk of corrupting the relationship between family and social worker. It is essential that the needs of the children involved take priority and that the adults are able to process their own sentiments and actions in a manner that centers their children’s best interests.   Afifi, T. (2018, January 25). The best possible thing you can do to help your child through divorce. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from McGhee, C. (2018, September 25). Divorce & Children. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from  (Links to an external site.) What Makes for Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce? (2014, November 10). Retrieved August 18, 2020, from Module 7: Anxiety Disorders (graded) Donna: Hi Class and Dr. Matthews, What is the difference between social anxiety disorder and a panic disorder? *Social anxiety disorder is the fear of meeting new people or of embarrassing oneself in social situations. An example might be avoiding going to a friend’s birthday party because you are too nervous to meet new people, and don’t want to embarrass yourself or think you are not “cool enough” to fit in. *A panic disorder is unpredictable and repeated panic attacks, often marked by hyperventilating and increased heart rate. An example of this might be when you are in a room, and the walls are closing in on you. Resulting in shortness of breath, Closter phobia, the reason some people don’t like taking elevators. Unable to get negative things out of your mind, and it results in an anxiety attack. ** The main difference between a social anxiety disorder and a panic disorder is that the panic disorder is very unpredictable. Usually, it seems the social anxiety disorder is a very predictable occurrence since the person already has a known fear of meeting people and embarrassing themselves.   *Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a generalized panic or anxiety due to witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Three symptoms of PTSD may include trouble sleeping, nightmares, and severe headaches. As a social worker assisting a client with PTSD, one would have to look at the bigger picture surrounding the client. Is the theory or knowledge used appropriate for the person? Is the client a man or woman and is the help more biased towards a man or have the proper treatments also been thought out for a woman? Does the client have physical ailments, along with mental health issues? And as a social worker are you providing the most up-to-date treatments available to the client? Regarding the bigger, broader picture as the social worker, are things like unemployment, drug use, societal contributions, having an effect on the client, and contributing to the PTSD? *My brother did two tours in Iraq, and it has left a lasting impression on him. He has been diagnosed with PTSD, and I am thankful that he is not afraid to talk about it. My brother will ask for help if he needs it. My brother was and is, experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, anger flare-ups, etc. My brother has received many hours of counseling for his PTSD. And now he helps others experiencing the same thing. Some examples of therapies for PTSD: Cognitive-behavioral therapy. The patient works with a therapist to understand how their thoughts affect their symptoms. Exposure therapy. The patient is “exposed” to their traumatic event by discussing it repeatedly with a therapist to desensitize them from the event. EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). This relatively new type of therapy may affect how the patient reacts to their traumatic event by utilizing eye movement while viewing distractions. Individual therapy. The patient meets with a therapist in a one-on-one setting. Group therapy. The patient works with a therapist and a group of people whose goal(s) are the same as the patients in treatment. Family therapy. The patient works with a therapist and the patient’s family so they may all express their feelings in a safe setting (Stinson, 2015). Classmates – Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with PTSD?   Donna References: Rogers, A. T. (2019). Human behavior in the social environment: Perspectives on development and the life course (5th ed.). Routledge. Stinson, L. L. (2015). Post-traumatic stress disorder. In Gale (Ed.), The Gale encyclopedia of senior health: a guide for seniors and their caregivers (2nd ed.). Gale. Credo Reference: Module 7: Social Justice for LGBTQIA+ (graded) Jerry: If ruth and Janice were married both of them would face economical hardships, this is why many people get divorced when they know they have to use Medicaid. This is known as a Medicaid divorce, if the two did not then all the assets they have saved up IE retirement and savings would be drained and both would be left penniless and If they had children they would be left with possible debt. This divorce is only on paper but not a true divorce, trusts and inheritance contracts will make sure that any assets are given to the proper person.   (Should You Consider a Medicaid Divorce When One Spouse Requires Care and One Does Not? N.D) Not all states allow a Medicaid divorce because they go back 5 years of what you had in assist joint or individual to be eligible for coverage. If anything, being single and setting up a trust would be more beneficial for both Ruth and Janice, this is due to the burden of medical costs. The only policy change I could think of is removing the 5-year asset check for the individual applying for Medicaid and allowing Medicaid divorce in all states, so the spouse’s savings and income isn’t drained so they can afford other costs for their loved ones.     Should You Consider a Medicaid Divorce When One Spouse Requires Care and One Does Not? Module 7: Transgender Right to Care (graded) Joseph: Currently, one of the biggest issues would be medical coverage relating to transition services. Not only does transition surgery have an impact on the physical health of the person but it also plays a crucial role in their mental health as well. One of the main areas that this comes up in is through gender dysphoria and needing the reassignment surgery to combat that. Iowa recently had a case go to the state Supreme Court arguing that Medicaid funds should be able to be used for reassignment surgery as its purpose was for a medical/psychological need. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that these funds could be used for this purpose as they can be used to assist in other psychological purposes such as in cases of scaring. Ultimately, although not new, this topic is gaining traction on a national level and more decisions need to be made concerning policies and how to address these issues. One way this can be done is by approaching these conversations with open minds and allowing conversation and discussions to take place.

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