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Co-Parenting Counseling



When a coupling produces children, in many cases the exes are guaranteed a lifelong relationship. To preserve the health of that system, it requires both parties to be open, adaptable, and focused on the best interest of their child(ren). Just because the couple has ended their relationship doesn’t mean that family unit has also ended, it is changing. To a child, both parents are their family even in the face of uncoupling and divorce.


Parents are the keepers and teachers of family culture and traditions, the foundation of love, safety, and security, and the facilitator of interactions and relationships. Co-parents are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their child(ren)’s familial unit, in its ever-changing form, for the rest of their lives.


Even though the co-parents are moving on and possibly forming other family units, the shared child(ren)’s wellbeing depends on the health of the co-parenting relationship. To do this effectively, co-parents need to establish and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship, a vision defined by the individuals for each unique and complicated circumstance.  


Individuals often adopt linear perspectives that promote defensive strategies after the relationship has ended as protection from deeper vulnerable feelings about the relationship ending. Some experience deep hurt, fear, grief, devastation, abandonment, shame, feelings of failure, wronged, and many other complex feelings. As a result, coparents are often communicating to one another with high defenses raised. This can look like anger, aloofness, contempt, gatekeeping, criticism, and resentment.


Our goal is to unite the co-parents towards the common good of their child(ren), which asks the individuals to tap into a level of vulnerability that is helpful and open to the process. Exes do not need to perpetuate negative interactions. Exes can range from distant but respectful or fair-minded interactions to even deeply meaningful platonic relationships, as long as both individuals are committed to the integrity of a co-parenting relationship that focuses on the best interest of their child(ren). 

***Co-parenting counseling is not intended to be a replacement for mediation. While there will be times of dispute resolution and negotiation of issues related to co-parenting, but our role is your therapist, not mediator. In this process, we focus on the emotional exploration and growth contributing to conflict and conducting more structured communication to teach co-parents helpful communication skills to help in decision making and problem solving. 

We do facilitate co-parenting planning and provide unofficial documentation of what is agreed upon to both parties to then use and review with their legal providers. 

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Caitlin Yilmazer

In-Office: Cincinnati | Ft. Thomas Virtual: KY, OH I have specialties in gender/LGBTQ+ affirming therapy and couples counseling. I am also developing a specialty in co-parenting counseling. I have written a book and created two master’s level courses for Xavier University for gender therapy. I also have been a guest speaker and trainer about gender and LGBTQ+ therapy at several universities and local agencies. In 2013 I started my training in systemic couples counseling and have worked with high conflict and infidelity, and this has also expanded to working with queer and gender diverse couples, and is currently inspiring working with co-parents. I decided to start providing co-parenting counseling to help co-parents construct and repair a co-parenting relationship that prioritizes the needs of their child(ren) and functions the most effectively for the unit. Co-parenting counseling is different from mediation because the objective of the counseling process is more than just dispute resolution, it’s about strengthening the co-parent team in favor of the child(ren)’s best interest. The process is unique to each circumstance. Co-parents might want to improve communication or conflict resolution skills, work through specific barriers in their team, align and perform as a united front, or even process aspects of the familial changes together. My books and publications: A Clinician’s Guide to Gender Actualization: An Approach to Gender Affirming Therapy Addressing Gender Actualization in Relationship Therapy, essay/chapter provided for book (est. 2025).

Dave Brewer

In-Office: Ft. Thomas Virtual: KY, OH, AZ Families today come in all shapes and sizes. And although no family shape or size is bad in itself, dealing with changes or conflicting needs can be hard. Adults and kids in today's families face the challenges that past generations never had to deal with. We face divorce and step-family issues, kids who can't seem to get along with parents, brothers and sisters or other kids. Single parent families, gay and lesbian family members, grandparents raising grandchildren. Some kids just struggle to succeed, either at home or at school, despite tremendous efforts on everyone's part. I work with individuals or families to help them create attainable goals and plans to reach these goals successfully. My focus is on strengths and solutions.

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Dr. Allie Rhinehart

In-Office: Ft. Thomas Virtual: KY I work with children, adolescents, and adults on a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, adjustment, developmental and behavioral issues, parenting, family systems, relationship dynamics, identity development, career exploration, and wellness. ​I consider myself a specialist who uses play therapy with children and exploration of family dynamics/early childhood experiences with adolescents and adults to tackle the many challenges of life. The cornerstone of my approach lies in encouragement and empowerment. My goal is to join with clients as they work through troublesome thoughts, learn to manage their emotions, and take steps toward healing. I believe in my clients’ abilities to make intentional decisions about their behavior and the relationships they pursue. I am an Adlerian therapist, which means I see value in belonging and meaning making. I also integrate neuroscience while building relationships with my clients. This is especially useful when helping clients work through developmental issues, trauma, and grief. Situations and experiences do not define us. Instead, with insight and support, we have the opportunity to define who we are and what we might contribute to the world. I have also studied appropriate techniques for incorporating spirituality as a source of hope and connectedness to culture and community, for clients who wish to do so.

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Shelly Baxter

In-Office: Cincinnati | Ft. Thomas Virtual: KY, OH, FL As a systemic couples and family counselor, my interactive treatment approach is to provide support and practical feedback to assist clients as we resolve current problems and long-standing patterns. For over 20 years I have worked in an agency and community counseling setting with youth and their families allowing me to be productive with clients from many stages of life. I have also worked on the Clermont County crisis hotline for 10 years. I draw on a variety of styles and techniques to incorporate what will be most helpful for each client and family utilizing systemic family therapy. Specialty include depression, oppositional behavior as well as risk assessment and crisis intervention for youth and young adults. Each client (individual or family) is personally assisted as we work together to build on their strengths and identify a plan to achieve their life goals.

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