If you’re being assessed by CAFCASS, we’d love to hear what it’s like for you.
The DAPP is run for CAFCASS by independent providers (see the Directory of Providers). It aims to help people who have been abusive towards their partners or ex-partners to change their behaviour and develop respectful, non-abusive relationships. CAFCASS says that a DAPP can make an important difference to the lives of those involved, including the children but it can be challenging. The court’s decisions about contact will be based on the progress made in the programme.
Manipulation is controlling someone or something to your own advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly. It’s an emotionally unhealthy strategy used by people who are incapable of asking for what they want and need in a direct way. Someone who tries to manipulate you is trying to control you. Manipulative behaviour involves the three key features of fear, obligation and guilt. So, if you feel guilty or under pressure due to a sense of obligation towards someone and fearful of failing them, take heed, it might be that you’re being manipulated.
Parents who are in conflict with their exes over the arrangements for their children often find that they have been drawn into a repeated pattern of damaging emotional reactions and behaviour. Their ex is able to manipulate them, deliberately provoking them and knowing what will cause a reaction. To prevent this you must distance yourself from the adult but not from the child. Distancing yourself means having no conversation and no meetings. If that is impossible without help here is an adapted version of the 12 steps which could be a guide to achieving the necessary balance
The best advice for men and women is not to ignore a midlife crisis but to take responsibility for the shared situation. Remember divorce is a major and traumatic event with long term costs and consequences and will certainly affect your living arrangements, your children’s arrangements, your income and expenditure and the emotional wellbeing of everyone affected in a bad way.