Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection, and Alienation

ISBN : 9780190235208

Abigail M. Judge; Robin M. Deutsch
352 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Dec 2016
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In recent years there has been heightened interest in the clinical and legal management of families in which children resist contact with one parent and become aligned with the other following divorce. Families affected by these dynamics require disproportionate resources and time from mental health and legal professionals, and cases require a specialized clinical approach. Traditional models of individual and family therapy are not designed to address these issues, and strategies and resources for mental health and legal professionals have been extremely limited. Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems describes interventions for families experiencing a high conflict divorce impasse where a child is resisting contact with a parent. It examines in detail one such intervention, the Overcoming Barriers approach, involving the entire family and combining psycho-education and clinical intervention. The book is divided into two parts: Part I presents an overview of parental alienation, including clinical approaches and a critical analysis of the many challenges associated with traditional outpatient family-based interventions. Part II presents the Overcoming Barriers approach, describing core aspects of the intervention and ways to adapt its clinical techniques to outpatient practice. Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems is geared toward mental health clinicians and legal professionals who work with families in high conflict and where a child resists visitation with a parent.


1. Introduction
Leslie Drozd and Nicholas Bala

Part I: Family-based Interventions: Indicators, models and clinical challenges
2: Clinical decision making in parent-child contact problem cases: Tailoring the intervention to the family's needs
Barbara Fidler and Peggie Ward
3: The current status of outpatient approaches to parent-child contact problems
Shely Polak and Jack Moran
4: More than words: The use of experiential therapies in the treatment of families with parent-child contact problems and parental alienation
Abigail Judge and Rebecca Bailey
5: The perfect storm: High conflict family dynamics, complex therapist reactions and suggestions for clinical management
Abigail Judge and Peggie Ward

Part II: The Overcoming Barriers Approach
6: Overview of the Overcoming Barriers approach
Peggie Ward, Robin Deutsch, and Matt Sullivan
7: Management of the camp experience: The integration of the milieu and the clinical team
Carole Blane, Tyler Sullivan, Daniel Wolfson and Abigail Judge
8: East Group: Group work with favored parents
Peggie Ward
9: West Group: Group interventions for rejected parents
Matthew J. Sullivan
10: Common Ground: The Children's Group
Robin Deutsch, Abigail Judge, and Barbara Fidler
11: Co-parenting, parenting and child-focused interventions
Matt Sullivan, Robin Deutsch, and Peggie Ward
12: Translating the Overcoming Barriers approach to outpatient settings
Barbara Fidler, Peggie Ward, and Robin Deutsch
13: Program evaluation, training and dissemination
Michael Saini and Robin Deutsch
14: Conclusion
Janet Johnston

About the author: 

Abigail M. Judge, PhD, is a clinical and child and family forensic psychologist. Dr. Judge maintains a private practice in Cambridge, MA, is a Forensic Consultant at the Law and Psychiatry Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, and holds an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Judge provides psychotherapy, consultation, forensic evaluation, expert witness testimony, and reunification intervention.; Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D., ABPP, is a child and family forensic psychologist, board certified in couples and family practice. She is Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at William James College in Newton, MA, where she developed the Certificate in Child and Family Forensic Issues and the Child and Family Evaluation Service. She is a founding Board member of Overcoming Barriers, was formerly an Associate Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School, and was Director of Training and Forensic Services at the Children and the Law program at Massachusetts General Hospital for over 20 years. She provides mediation, consultation, reunification intervention, expert witness testimony, and parenting coordination services, as well as training for mental health professionals, lawyers, and judges on child custody evaluation, issues related to high-conflict divorce, and parenting coordination.

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