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607 | The Gray Divorce: The Overlooked Impact on Their Adult Children

Pre-marital Counseling and Marriage Enrichment, Saturday 9/16 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Workshop Tracks


Kent Darcie, M.A.



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




Since 2010, the number of parents divorcing after 25, 35, or 45+ years has doubled and is expected to triple by 2030. Adult children of such parents are often presumed to have resilience. Sadly, parental divorce (Gray Divorce) is a significant stressor to adult children due to the increased needs and demands of aging parents, new and ongoing changes in family dynamics, and a corresponding lack of emotional support to handle the changes. As a result, emotional, spiritual, social, and attachment disruptions are missed or ignored in this population. This workshop will equip licensed mental health professionals and ministry leaders to identify and communicate the similarities and differences between parental divorce experienced in childhood versus parental divorce experienced during adulthood. Attendees will also be equipped to identify adult clients’ trauma-related impact from their parents’ gray divorce, convey informed empathy, and provide psychological and spiritual help to assist with the initial and life-long changes Christian clients may experience.

Learning Objectives

1. Differentiate between the psychological and spiritual impact on adult clients who experience parental divorce in childhood versus parental gray divorce in adulthood
2. Formulate ways to identify healthy cognitive and emotional responses necessary to identify and implement emotional and relational boundaries with divorced parents
3. Identify common areas of spiritual discord in Christian clients experiencing parental gray divorce and create treatment plan objectives to address them
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