VIC Attending Family Therapy - Threats from Family Therapist - What to Do?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


Active Member
29 August 2014
We are currently in family therapy. The children haven't seen their father for 12 months, history of domestic violence and the children are reporting that their father is physically hurting them.

During the last session the children refused to come into the room, they are 12 and 9, because they stated they were frightened. The therapist said to the children, and I quote, " You either come into the room with your father, me and your mother or I will take your mother away and leave you in a room with your father". She then took me and the father away and state to me " you either get on board with this process or I will report back to the court that you have been manipulating the children and recommend blocks of time with the father and even that the children can be removed from your care."

Is there anything I can do under family law?


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Legally? You could file a complaint with the firm and ask the court to appoint a new family therapist, but as a general observation, the court has often been known to take this as "The therapist doesn't favour me, I want a new one".

However, I want to point out that the only way children can have their voices heard by the court is through a family consultant/therapist. If their fear is genuine and they want the court to know this, their interests would be better served by firm encouragement to participate in these sessions. Not doing so leaves the therapist to assess just you and the father and your respective attitudes, which means they may well report you have been manipulating the children, because they don't have the children to rely on for confirmation of whether or not their fear of the father is genuine.

I hope this helps provide some perspective in some way. The court is growing increasingly confident about removing children from the care of a parent found to have discouraged the children from spending time with the other parent, and I would hate for that to happen to you. Thus, in my view, it will probably be more conducive to be firm with your children about participating in sessions with the therapist. Realistically, this is the only way the children will have their voices heard there's no threat to them of participating because they will be supervised at all times.