Counselling Dilemma: Child Welfare and Safety
John has been attending counselling sessions for several months seeking help with the difficulties he is finding in dealing with his relationship break-up. He and his partner were together for ten years and have two children, a boy aged 9 and a girl aged 7. John has access to them every other weekend and for part of each school holiday. This arrangement has been operating reasonably well for the past two years.
In John’s sessions with you, you become increasingly aware of building frustrations and stress regarding visitation and access to his children. His heightened display of frustration has raised a number of concerns for you about the stability of his mood and thought processes. Aware of recent reports about parents taking the lives of their children and themselves in similar circumstances, you begin to become apprehensive about the children’s welfare and safety.
As a counsellor, what would you do in this situation?