HOW DO YOU MAKE SENSE OF THE GRIEF & ANGER THAT IS PATERNITY FRAUD?

Are you overwhelmed by a sea of conflicting emotions? Are you filled with a rage that knows no bounds? A grief that you don’t know how to bear? Betrayal trauma? A world turned upside down and what you thought you knew is no longer true? Maybe you are wondering if you will ever trust anyone again. Or the complications of your situation are more than you can cope with at the moment.

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Paternity fraud or paternity discrepancy brings it’s own unique grief and traumatic loss that many people cannot understand. The revelation that your child is not your child has most likely sent ripples through your entire life. It may be that the initial rage caused you to act out in ways that now come back to haunt you—trouble with the legal system or old addictions that have reared their troublesome heads.

Are there questions now as to who you are in the child’s life and what role you will have? Or perhaps your situation is such that you have lost all contact with the child. The loss of your child through paternity fraud or the question of your role as “father” or “dad” in your child’s life is an experience that many people cannot relate to. It can evoke a loss of identity and sense of self. Talking to a therapist who can hear your anger, frustration, and grief with compassion and empathy can bring enormous relief and the beginning of clarity.

THOUSANDS OF MEN ARE AFFECTED BY THE AFTERMATH OF PATERNITY FRAUD 

And so are their children, families, friends, and sometimes their communities. Finding out that you have been a victim of paternity fraud can affect your close relationships with your spouse or partner, with your other children, with your parents. Everyone around you feels the repercussions. How do you tell people what’s happened? Or deal with the humiliation?

The fallout of the revelation that you are not your child’s biological father may involve financial, and legal implications in addition to social, emotional, and psychological issues. Our society has not yet found satisfactory ways of responding to the men who suffer from the aftermath. If there are really any satisfactory ways at all!

It can simply feel unacceptable. The hopeful news is that navigating this territory with an empathic, skilled therapist can make the unbearable more bearable. Processing the terrible grief of paternity fraud can help you make sense of a life that no longer makes sense. 

“HEALING” FROM PATERNITY FRAUD AND PATERNITY DISCREPANCY 

Like all losses, “healing” is not an accurate word; we don’t heal from soul wounds. However, learning to build a healthy, vital, robust life around the grief is possible, even though it feels impossible at the moment.

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In the beginning of the therapy, we will explore your story and assess if there are pressing issues that must be addressed immediately. We will engage in grief therapy tailored especially for paternity fraud and responsive to your individual experiences. I will assess for symptoms of trauma, and if found, we will engage in trauma therapy also tailored especially for your circumstances. If paternity fraud has affected your intimate and familial relationships, then doing some couples or family therapy might be in order to regain stability and help those who love you know how to best support your during your journey.

We will also work to heal the shame and humiliation, the awful feeling of victimhood. Paternity fraud is a uniquely male wound, so we will explore in depth what this means for you. In my research, I have found few to none therapists who specifically work with the issue of paternity fraud. Nor is there a great deal of literature on this painful wounding for the father.  

As your therapist, I will serve as your compassionate companion and intrepid guide as we work towards your healing.

“YEAH, BUT IT’S COMPLICATED”—QUESTIONS REGARDING THE THERAPY

Will my insurance cover my therapy? There’s nothing in my policy that says anything about paternity fraud!

We will assess in our initial sessions what your presenting issues are, the “symptoms” you are experiencing. From that, we will determine what diagnosis you meet the criteria for. It may be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complicated Grief, an Adjustment Disorder, or some other diagnosis. All of these are billable for reimbursements.

I’m just angry and I don’t want to stop being angry. Why should I come into therapy?

If your anger is interfering with your work, your relationships, and your ability to move forward effectively with your daily life, then therapy is a reasonable consideration. You get to have your anger. You deserve your anger! But you also deserve to have healthy relationships and a well-functioning life. We will work together to help you find a way to have both.

You’re a woman. I don’t trust women right now. I don’t know that I can trust you enough for you to help me with this issue.

Having had personal experience with the devastation that paternity fraud brings, I understand that there is really no pain quite like it. I also know, thankfully, that there is life after loss. I can understand the distrust; I won’t take it personally. The therapy might very well include learning how to trust again, which is so necessary for healthy relationships.

THERE IS LIFE AFTER LOSS AND BETRAYAL 

If you are ready to begin or have more questions, I offer a 15 minute phone consultation or a 30 minute initial office consultation. Please call 425-238-2765, send an email to robinbarre@whidbey.com, or fill out the Contact Form. I respond to all inquiries and communications within 48 hours. Please see the menu on the right for links, postings, and information about paternity fraud.

 

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