For over 30 years, Bob Buchicchio has been working with couples as a marriage and divorce counselor. In the 1970s and 1980s, even as the divorce rate soared and divorce counseling became a specialty of its own, no models existed for counseling couples in the specific issues surrounding separation and divorce. In his practice Bob saw an increasing number of individuals and couples who did not necessarily want to divorce but wanted,or knew they needed, to take space from each other. At the time, taking space was uncharted territory. How could an individual temporarily separate from their relationship or marriage, whether emotionally or physically, in the most productive and least hurtful way? Was this a viable alternative to the rush to divorce?
Around 1990 Bob began developing specific tools couples could use to manage both short- and long-term separations. Viewing temporary separations as a natural and viable option for many couples, he designed Separation Management, a problem-solving approach based on partners’ levels of investment and commitment to their relationship. This approach included a structured process to help them make appropriate decisions that respected the needs of both partners as well as the children. It would help them determine what kind of break they were looking for and why.
With these tools, many of his clients have been able to successfully negotiate a “break” and then return to the marriage with a renewed commitment to it. The tools have also proven useful to couples that decide to separate permanently. Using Separation Management, these couples are able to part more amicably and minimize the stresses on their children.
Robert Buchicchio has a BA in psychology from the University of Rhode Island and an MSW in clinical social work from Ohio State University. He holds a Diplomate from the National Association of Social Workers, of which he is the former president of the Vermont Chapter. He is a licensed clinical social worker in Vermont, where he has had a private mental health practice for the past 30 years, working with individuals and families and specializing in couples work.
Bob has conducted couples workshops throughout his professional career and has taught at Vermont College and Norwich University. As a professional associate with the American Humane Association (children’s division) and Action for Child Protection, Inc., he has trained social workers nationally and internationally on building therapeutic relationships in the casework process for child maltreatment situations. He was the executive director of the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic (a community mental health center), and the chief social worker (Captain) at the U.S. Army Hospital in Seoul. S. Korea, where he worked with individuals and families stationed overseas.