Instructors: Jane Appell, PhD; John Baker, PhD; Carol Becker, PhD; and Rebecca Cohan, LICSW
Location: Watertown Center for Healing Arts, Watertown, MA
Credits: 12 CEs
therapists. To do this work, clinicians need to understand legal issues, working with lawyers,
parent coordinators, Guardians ad litem, and the court system. Most child and family therapists see symptoms related to problematic divorce in our offices. Without specialized knowledge,
individual and family therapists can inadvertently fuel the conflict between parents and within parent child relationships. With a cautious and knowledgeable method, work with these children and families can be productive, improving the well-being of countless children.
Conflicted and/or litigating families are often tricky because there is an exaggerated tendency for family members to blame one another for problems and not recognize their own contribution to the difficulty. In some cases, there are parents and children who don’t get along easily, and the divorce exacerbates these tensions. In many families, children get caught up in the rift between their divorced parents. Often parents can blame one another rather than listen to their child’s perspective. Some families experience unresolved grief, hidden by intensely express anger. In extreme high conflict families, children may favor one parent and refuse to see the other.
This two-day workshop will support clinician’s abilities to help parents learn constructive communication skills for speaking and listening to their ex-spouse, and for listening to their
children’s perspective. The goal is to support parents to learn how to keep their children out of the middle of adult conflict. Ways to help parents see the importance the child’s interests foremost, listen to the child’s voice, value the child’s relationships with both parents, and coach parents about how to support their child’s development will be taught. With this training, therapists will be well equipped to work with these families and the kids who live in them. Each section of the training will have unique information and overlapping themes.
There are four parts to this workshop:
A. Principles of working with high conflict divorce
B. Understanding the legal system and how to work with it
C. Practices in setting up therapy with a divorced family and the larger system
D. Family dynamics and family therapy with disrupted relationships between parents and children.
Basic Principles of Divorce Work
- Participants will be able to describe divorce as a process and assess each family member’s adjustment to the divorce transition.
- Participants will be able to understand the variety of systemic factors that impact the divorce process and how best to assist with these factors.
- Participants will be able to describe seven basic principles for working with divorcing families and their importance.
Understanding the Legal System and How to Work with It
system. The court process as well as the nature and characteristics of lawyers, court personnel and judges, will be described. Finding productive ways to work with court involved families, while avoiding the traps that are set by some of them and without stepping into common legal traps, will be the focus of this session.
- Participants will be able to define ways the therapist can be helpful to a family with court involvement, differentiating them from situations in which therapist involvement is unproductive and contraindicated.
- Participants will be able to describe how conflicted divorcing families utilize therapy early in the separation process, and how they utilize therapy once they have become involved in high-conflict litigation.
Setting up and Collaborating in Work with High Conflict Divorced Families with Child-Parent Contact Problems
- Participants will learn a model for doing family therapy with high conflict families in which a child refuses contact with a parent, despite the shared parenting schedule that assigns parenting time to each parent.
- Participants will learn a model for professional collaboration when working with high conflict divorced families in which there are individual therapists, a parenting coordinator, a family therapist and court involvement, all working with members of the family.
Family Work with Disrupted Relationships Between Parents and Children
- Participants will learn ways to work with the challenging polarizations in divorcing/divorced family systems.
- Participants will learn a stance and practices that will assist in working with disrupted relationships between parents and children after divorce and maintain positive relationships with parents and other providers.
Group Registration: $290 per person for groups of two or more, $270 per person early registration for groups of two or more, received by 4/15/18.
PLEASE NOTE: Groups must register and pay together to receive the discount. Registration includes breakfast, coffee and tea and snack. Lunch is on your own.
Contact us for discounted fee of $270 for members of Clinicians United.
You may register by snail mail by downloading the registration form and sending it with your check. Group registrants must register together online or mail multiple checks in the same envelope to get the discount. Your space is not secured for an event until we receive payment.
Twelve continuing education credits for Center for Self Leadership certification renewal have been approved.