Dr. Kim Costello Psy.D., LMHC, FAPA, DAPA, BCPC, CEDS and her colleagues from The Costello Center in St. Petersburg have witnessed the pain and trauma children of divorce endure and have made it their mission to work with divorcing parents to help provide the best resources to support children during this difficult time. “We can’t stop divorce, but we can figure out a method of parenting kids in divorce,” Costello said.
Recently, Dr. Costello and her daughter, Ashlee B. Orozco, PH.D. rewrote the mandatory Florida Department of Children and Families four hour Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course, which parents are required to take prior to dissolution of marriage.
What’s unique about The Costello Center’s course is it captures the true emotional effects on parents and especially children of divorce. Their course also includes a new component concerning the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) based on a seminar recently held by the Sixth Judicial Circuit Family Law Division and USF Family Study Center addressing the trauma, toxic stress and its effect on children. “The family court system closed down for a day, which is unheard of, to host this seminar about ACEs. They recognized the problem facing Pinellas County and have been instrumental in reaching out to professionals involved with divorce cases to make a difference in the lives of children of divorce.” said Costello.
ACEs are serious childhood traumas that include abuse, neglect, violence, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, and divorce in addition to other childhood traumas. These traumas contribute to toxic stress harming a child’s brain and can result in long-term health problems. ACEs increase the risk of adolescent pregnancy, alcoholism, heart disease, depression, and even suicide attempts among other adverse outcomes.
Research shows resiliency produced through loving relationships with parents, neighbors, friends, and family can trump the effects of ACEs. The information presented in the course will drive home the idea positive co-parenting and focusing wholeheartedly on the well-being of one’s children during the divorce process can help prevent the negative effects of the ACE of divorce. According to Costello “Divorce will still leave children as unfortunate victims, but it is the hope of all counselors at The Costello Center that parents can learn the keys to ensuring the well-being and enduring strength of their children.”
Classes are held at the Costello Center located at 8081 38th Avenue N., St. Pete. For more information call 727.345.2667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The course is held on selected Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and select nights during the week from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Seating is limited to 12 students per class. You can also go to their website www.conflictresolutioncounseling.com.
About the Costello Center:
Kim E. Costello, Psy.D., LMHC, FAPA, DAPA, BCPC, CEDS, and her husband Franco Costello founded The Costello Center in May 2006, in St. Petersburg, FL. It is a full-service counseling and academic services facility empowering people by providing a holistic approach and offering services to heal the mind, body, and spirit. The Costello Center is committed to delivering services in an atmosphere of caring and compassion with an unwavering commitment to client confidentiality, ethical behavior, and the highest standards of counseling practice.