High-conflict cases include high levels of family conflict, requiring both extra training for staff involved and extra time outside of session to coordinate care. Most of the time, these are families in which parents are separated or divorced and are not able to effectively coparent and make joint decisions related to the care of their shared child(ren).


We now offer high-conflict therapy services to families (parents) that have first attended a parenting course designed to transition the parenting style to a child-focused pattern of coparenting. These families are typically more effectively served by the Bridging Beyond Conflict program at The Bridging Center (provided by therapists from Ascend Family Institute and The Bridging Center). Registration for this program can be completed at http://www.thebridgingcenter.com/bridging-beyond-conflict.


Without this foundation of child-focused parenting assessed, Ascend will not agree to begin work with a new family.


Bridging Beyond Conflict offers a "pass/fail" certificate at the end of the course. Once the program has been completed and both parents receive a "pass" certification, Ascend Family Institute will agree to a consultation for your family for high-conflict family services to see how we would be able to assist you. The fee for this consultation meeting is $100. During this meeting, a provider will meet with both parents to answer questions related to the therapy and educational options available and help you determine next steps for your family.


When Ascend does open a high-conflict therapy case, we require a minimum $2,000 deposit (amount at discretion of therapy team) to begin working with the family. In some cases with particularly complex dynamics, we may need a higher deposit and reserve the right to discuss this on a case-by-case basis with new clients. We use this deposit to cover the services that insurance will not cover, including consultation between the therapists at Ascend who are assigned to the case (we frequently use a two-therapist model), consultation with other professionals like attorneys, guardians ad litem, custody evaluators, parenting consultants, etc., writing reports, reviewing emails sent by the parties between sessions, etc. In addition to this deposit, the parties are responsible to cover any charges for therapy sessions not paid by insurance.


For high-conflict cases, we offer the following kinds of therapy:

    • Therapy for children: We offer play therapy for younger children and talk therapy for older children to help them process the dynamics unfolding in their family. This is billable to insurance if the child has symptoms and/or behaviors that justify an approved diagnostic code.
    • Therapy for parents/spouses (adults): We offer therapy for parents who are caught up in overwhelming dynamics in their families and need help coping so those symptoms do not get in the way of their life functioning and parenting. These services are billable to insurance if the individual qualifies for an approved diagnostic code.
    • Joint family sessions: We also offer joint family therapy sessions to help heal and ease family dynamics.

*Often, cases require a combination of child, adult, and family sessions.


Our receptionists do not speak over the phone with potential clients for high-conflict services. To request a consultation with one of our providers to discuss your specific situation and questions, please fill out the contact form below. Someone will contact you, usually within 3 business days, to schedule your consultation session. You will be asked to pay the $100 fee for the session via credit card over the phone to secure the hour on a provider’s schedule.


Please note: After your consultation, you will be notified as to whether or not Ascend recommends therapy for your family and/or is willing to take your case. If your case is able to move forward, you can secure a spot on the waiting list. In that event, when an opening becomes available for your family, you will be required to submit your deposit, signed Services Agreement, and signed Safe Harbor Agreement within one week of notification. If one party is unable or unwilling to submit the deposit and the signed documents, we will move on to the next family that fits our current availability and you will be moved down on the wait list. Please be prepared to address any questions you have regarding these documents and/or the deposit during the consultation meeting.