FAQ – English version2019-01-29T20:04:48+01:00


What is the Refare Program?2019-01-29T19:46:45+01:00

The REFARE – Reconnecting Family Relationships Program is a private psychological treatment, ad hoc invented and realized for Parental Alienation cases, and its objective is to reconnect the relationship between the rejected parent and the child, after a civil dispute marital breakdown. The Refare Program can only be realizable after the Court provision, therefore it is exclusively clinic, not judicial.
The Program does not include coercive and threatening methods, but it takes into account the will of the child on the basis of his/her age and degree of maturity.

Refare Program a private or public treatment?2019-01-29T19:47:39+01:00

It is a completely private psychological treatment. There are no government or private entities subsidies.

How much does the treatment cost?2019-01-29T19:48:34+01:00

Every case is peculiar, therefore it is not possible to establish a fixed cost. In any case, after receiving the request, examining the Court provision, having the first interview with the parent, a quote will be submitted.
In any case, the cost of the Program is totally at the expense of the custodial parent.

Is it possible to start the Refare Program during the separation phases?2019-01-29T19:49:19+01:00

No, it is not. We only start after the Court provision. Especially because the alienating parent will be definitely involved during the separation phases with the risk to make the treatment derail.

Is it possible to start the Refare after the civil action is completed, but there is an outstanding criminal charge?2019-01-29T19:49:59+01:00

No, it is not. The program is exclusively dedicated to the rejected parent who does not have criminal charges (violations against the child). Briefly, it is not possible to take into consideration the request of the rejected parent after the civil action is completed, but with the criminal proceeding is still in progress in case of violation against the child (ex art. 609-bis p.c., 572 p.c. et similia).

Why is the sole custody a prerequisite?2019-01-29T19:50:42+01:00

Because it is the ideal type of custody in the cases of Parental Alienation. If the Court might provide the involvement of the alienating parent (sole/joint custody), he/she may have the possibility to continue exerting the psychological pressure on the child, such as to cause further damages to his/her health.

Why is the alienating parent excluded from the program?2019-01-29T19:51:31+01:00

First of all for protecting the child. The alienating parent uses the symbiotic relationship with his/her child for personal needs. Contrary to what one could think, the relationship between the alienating parent and the child is not sincere, but specious. The child must be distanced from the dysfuncional source. The Refare does not include the involvement of the alienating parent. His/her exclusion must not be considered a “punishment”, especially because if he/she continues having his/her deviant behavior, it would cause a self-exclusion from the child’s life, it is just a matter of time. This precondition has the objective to preserve the efficacy of the Program because the alienating parent does not have the slightest motivation to change. Furthermore, excluding the alienating parent from the Program, would finally send a clear and decisive message to the child. For many years the child has received ambiguous messages from his/her parents, family and legal practitioner. The Program represents a new phase in which the child’s needs are in the foreground, through a total support in which he/she is involved (based on age) in the whole decisional process of the Program. Including the involvement of the alienating parent might mean continue transmitting ambiguous messages to the child and it will not allow him/her to understand (with good reasons) the sense of the treatment: on the one hand you distance me from a parent that you judged irresponsible, on the other hand you allow me meet him/her: what do you want me to do? A child has a completely different point of view from adults. The last critical issue if you want to include the alienating parent: he/she would exert psychological pressure on the child with phrases like: “they distanced each others, but we will come back together”, “make sure you do not betray me, we will live together again”, “your classmates always ask for you…”. An irresponsible behavior that would undermine the child first of all (“sooner or later I will come back to him/her”) and, successively, the whole treatment.

What are the provisions that a Court should order?2019-01-29T19:52:08+01:00

The following judicial provisions are necessary to start the Program:

– sole custody for the rejected parent;
– distance of the alienating parent from the child and his/her environment;
– temporary exclusion of the alienating parent from the child’s life (or for the whole duration of the treatment).

Would it be possible to start the program if one of the team members was an expert witness during the civil action?2019-01-29T19:52:43+01:00

No, it would not. There must not be any conflict of interests (ex art. 26 Psychologists Code of Conduct) in the Program. If one of the Team members was an expert witness during the civil action, it is not possible to start the Program. The team members must not have had any direct role in the civil action and, in case, not even in the criminal proceeding in which the child and his/her parents were involved.

In summary:
– If an evaluation was carried out at the offices of the Program, in any case, it would not be possible to start the Program;
– If one of the team members was an expert witness previously, there would be the possibility to substitute him/her with another member. If it was not possible, the Program could not start.

Who can request the Program?2019-01-29T19:53:22+01:00

Only the custodial parent. The Court, lawyers, expert witnesses, Social Services, experts, cannot request the Program on behalf of third parties. The Refare is a health service that, just like all the others, has the professional secrecy.

Will the sessions be video-recorded?2019-01-29T19:53:56+01:00

Yes, they will. All the meetings concerning the Refare Program are video-recorded. If the parent did not accept this condition, it would not be possible to start the Program. The videotapes, upon request, can also be given only to the parent who requested the Program at the end of it.

Is it possible to request a report at the end of the Program?2019-01-29T19:54:36+01:00

Yes, it is. Just like every health service. The report will be given directly to the parent. The team cannot send/give the report to other people.

How long does the Refare Program last?2019-01-29T19:55:42+01:00

Actually it depends on many factors, but we generally expect a duration of around 3 months, excluding the follow-up phase. The treatment must have a limited duration with clear and co-constructed objectives together with the parent and, if possible, the child. If the Program did not give any result, the team might decide to take into consideration the interruption of the service (Art. 27 Psychologists Code of Conduct).

Is there any publication regarding the Refare?2019-01-29T19:56:16+01:00

Pingitore M. (2019), Ed., Nodi e snodi nell’alienazione parentale. Nuovi strumenti psicoforensi per la tutela dei diritti dei figli, FrancoAngeli – CHAPTER 5

May the grandparents and other relatives be involved in the Program?2019-01-29T19:56:49+01:00

Yes, they can. The custodial parent’s relatives can be involved in the Program. They can be involved in the Stabilization phase.

What if the children are more than two?2019-01-29T19:57:45+01:00

It is possible to start the Program. We implement a method suitable for the presence of more than one child.

What if the Court ordered the temporary transfer of the child in a Children’s Protection Center?2019-01-29T19:58:23+01:00

The program can start anyway. But the team members cannot accompany the child.

Does the Program establish external interventions?2019-01-29T19:59:00+01:00

If you mean meetings in parks or malls for example, no, they are not necessary. The Program is carried out exclusively at the Center.

The Court only ordered the sole custody and the supervised visitations with the other parent, what can we do?2019-01-29T19:59:39+01:00

It would not be possible to start the Refare.

Is there any clinical supervision for the Refare Team?2019-01-29T20:00:13+01:00

Yes, the Team is subjected to an external clinical supervision by a psychologist-therapist. All the Team members are psychologists.

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