The CCOPL Approach

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There is no established guidance for couples through the process of choosing to become parents or remain childfree. Our goal is to develop a model of working with these decisions that is empirically based which can be applied in a number of different ways.

CCOPL is a psycho-educational program designed to assist couples with making the decision to become parents or not.  The assumption underlying CCOPL is that to be effective parents who raise happy, healthy children in a functional familial environment, couples must choose a lifestyle centered around parenting rather than simply trying to fit children in to their current lifestyle.  CCOPL guides couples through a number of assessments, individual exercises, couple exercises, and group exercises on a number of topics relevant to making these important decisions. In addition to discussions guided by a licensed therapist, movie clips and quotes are used to deepen the experience. Couples are provided with cutting edge research, resources, and suggestions for further reflection.  Couples also benefit from being supported by other couples facing the same decisions.

The fundamental goal of CCOPL is to help couples to realistically assess their motivations for both having children and remaining childfree. Couples are guided through assessing the personal, emotional, relational, and financial costs associated with both choosing the parenting lifestyle and choosing the childfree lifestyle.  CCOPL seeks to help couples think through this important decision prior to becoming parents.  In addition to seeking to reduce the overall incidence of child maltreatment, CCOPL seeks to increase the quality of life for both childbearing couples and childfree couples by giving the couple permission to explore goodness of fit and congruence of parenting with their personalities and their lifestyle.

CCOPL is theoretically grounded in attachment theory, theories of family structure (including the critical role of marital quality, parenting style, and Structural Family Therapy), the importance of parental role identification and its relationship to parental satisfaction, and finally, the decision-making process of choosing to become parents or not.