The Handover Book Session
The Handover Book session is a one off meeting between the practitioner and separated parents. The meeting lasts for approximately 1.5 – 2 hours and depending on the situation, parents may wish to have a second session. An experienced practitioner guides parents through the process of implementing The Handover Book. It is a working tool, which when used correctly will improve parental communication, reduce conflict and create a robust co-parenting relationship post-separation.
Parents can either attend separately or together. This session will guide them through the fundamental principles of the book. It emphasizes’ positive exchanges of communication and sharing of information regarding all aspects of their child’s lives in line with their joint parental responsibilities.
The Handover Book creates the opportunity for a child to see their parents working co-operatively and diminishes the child’s sense of divided loyalty. Furthermore, it increases their ability to develop their emotional permission to have a loving relationship with both parents.
At The Handover Book session, the practitioner will navigate parents through each section of the book in relation to what information needs to be shared as well as the practicalities of using the book so that their child can transition from one home to the other as smoothly as possible thus reducing the likelihood of fraught and stressful handovers.
Because The Handover Book emphasizes’ the inclusion of the importance of the child’s participation in the sharing of everyday information, it includes a section for the child to write about their experiences of being with either parent as well as their wishes and feelings which they would like their parents to be mindful of.
Children who experience their parent’s relationship as highly conflicted often compartmentalize their lives and feel as though they cannot talk and share about the time that they spend in either home.
Included in The Handover Book is a section that provides parents with a number of therapeutic (communication) tools, they can use these to encourage their child to talk to them about how they are feeling and develop their child’s emotional literacy skills. It’s important that a child feels able and equipped to do this when in the care of either parent. When children feel unable to talk about how they are feeling with one parent they often present as: anxious or reluctant to have contact with that parent or they return to the other parent following contact as upset. This can lead to the parents feeling anxious about their child’s experience of contact and blaming of one another.
The Handover Book session will teach parents how to get the most out of these communication tools in a way that ensures they are used correctly and safely, which will optimize the parent’s ability to develop an open and loving relationship with their child.
The separated parents will be supported by an experienced practitioner who has undergone specific training for delivering The Handover Book session. This practitioner will understand the philosophy of this book, how to use it and the importance of parents beginning to build a parental alliance.