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Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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High Conflict Coparenting: Interventions for Children’s Alignment and Resistance

Sep 11, 2017 12:00am -
Dec 03, 2017 12:00am

Event Description


We will be opening another class soon with a January 2018 start date.

Overcoming Barriers, Inc. in collaboration with William James College is pleased to offer a new online multi-module course entitled,

High Conflict Coparenting:

Interventions for Children’s Alignment and Resistance

Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, ABPP, Barbara Jo Fidler, PhD, C.Psych, John A. Moran, PhD, Matthew Sullivan, PhD and Peggie Ward, PhD, presenters

The course dates are: September 11 – December 3, 2017 with live Q & A session
with two of the presenters on December 6, 2017 from 7 - 9 pm (EST)

Mental health professionals face significant challenges trying to assist families when a child is resisting contact with a parent after separation/divorce.

This 28-hour multi-module training provides an exciting opportunity for those working in the field and encountering these complex situations.

Through online presentations utilizing video clips illustrating work with a “typical family”, combined with extensive readings and a live 2-hour Q & A webinar, trainees will learn the nuts and bolts of how to work with the whole family.  From intake and contracting, to the role of the court and aftercare planning, the expert team will share its knowledge and experience working with these families. Modules will address how to work with each individual family member, with parent-child and parent-parent dyads and with the whole family.

The 11 modules include the following topics:

  • Introduction to Therapy with Families Where Children Resist or Refuse Contact with a Parent
  • Initial Conceptualization and Action in Reunification Cases
  • Systemic Approach to Reunification
  • The Role of the Court in Clinical Interventions
  • Initial Call for Help: The A – Z of Managing the initial Call, Screening and Assignment to TX.
  • Beginning the Intervention: Setting the Structure/ Boundaries
  • Dynamic of the Family System and How to Develop Appropriate Treatment Plans
  • Parent - Child Work / Different Interventions for Different Situations
  • Overcoming the Coparenting Impasse
  • Determining Next Steps in Treatment
  • Cognitive Bias, Common Ethical Issues & Risk Management Practices

The Learning Objectives of the training are to educate participants to:

  • Encourage constructive coparent communication
  • Show parents how to use conflict de-escalation strategies.
  • Teach coparents to self-regulate thoughts and statements reflecting harsh, rigid, black and white thinking.
  • Effect the coparenting dynamic from one of blame to shared responsibility
  • Allow each parent to express regret to one another and to the child(ren)
  • Help coparents to reframe the divorce story into a new narrative

The training team is comprised of members of the Overcoming Barriers Board of Directors and Advisory Council including the three OCB founding clinicians. All are experienced clinical psychologists and educators with decades of experience working with high conflict parenting and present and publish nationally and internationally.

Course Code: HCC17

28 CE Credits

The 28-hour course fee is $750. 

Participants will be required to purchase the following text, which is available at Amazon.com

Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection and Alienation. (2016) Edited by Abigail M. Judge & Robin M. Deutsch. Oxford University Press.

Online Delivery Method:  Upon complete registration, students will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to access the online course page. The course page will be available beginning September 11, 2017.  The course is designed with 11 modules and students will be guided through the modules in chronological order. Modules include video recorded presentations and readings. Once a module is complete, students can move ahead to the next module at their own pace.  There is no live instruction or facilitation concurrent with the course offering.  There will be a live Q&A web conference, held on December 6th from 7-9 pm (EST).

Presenters’ Bios

Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, ABPP

Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, is a psychologist and the Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the William James College.  She is the former director of Forensic Services of the Children and the Law Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.  As a therapist, consultant, mediator, expert witness and parenting coordinator, her work has focused on the application of child development research to children’s adjustment to divorce and parenting issues, the evaluation of families involved in family change and management of high conflict divorce.  Dr. Deutsch frequently speaks to interdisciplinary groups on complex issues in child custody disputes.  She has provided training for Parenting Coordination throughout the country, Canada and Sweden and has published articles on the effects of high conflict divorce, the evaluation of domestic violence, Parenting Coordination, developmentally appropriate parenting plans, attachment considerations, interventions for alienated children, ethical issues, and adolescent issues.  She is the co-author of 7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You (and How to Talk About Them Anyway) (Ballantine, 2005 and 2011) and coeditor with Abigail Judge of Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection and Alienation (Oxford University Press, 2016).  Dr. Deutsch is a founding member of Overcoming Barriers and is past President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).  She served on the AFCC Task Force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (2005) and the American Psychological Association Task Force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (2011), and the AFCC Task Force that developed the Guidelines for Examining Intimate Partner Violence.  Dr. Deutsch is the former Chair of the American Psychological Association Ethics Committee (2007) and she is a 2006 recipient of the American Psychological Association Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy. Visit the Comprehensive Forensic Associates Website here www.comprehensiveforensicassoc.com

Barbara Jo Fidler, PhD, C.Psych

Barbara Jo Fidler, Ph.D., C.Psych., Acc.FM. is a clinical developmental psychologist in independent practice. She has worked with high conflict parenting in separating and divorcing families for over 33 years. Her practice includes clinical consultations, legal-litigation expert services (testimonial and non-testimonial), mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination and therapy (child, individual, marital, family, and multi-faceted family therapy (multi-day intensives and on an outpatient basis) with families experiencing parent-child contact problems. She has presented at numerous conferences and provides training to judges, lawyers and mental health professionals. She is co-author of four books: Child Custody Assessments (2008), Challenging Issues in Child Custody Disputes (2008), Best Practice Guide: Responding to Emotional Harm & Parent-Child Contact Problems in High Conflict Separation (2013), and Children Who Resist Post-Separation Parental Contact: A Differential Approach for Legal and Mental Health Professionals (2012), and contributor of three chapters in the recently published, Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection, and Alienation (2017). She is on the editorial board of the Family Court Review. Dr. Fidler has been actively involved in the development and training of parenting coordination services and was appointed to the AFCC Task Force charged with developing guidelines. She is co-founder of Family Solutions and Families Moving Forward. Dr. Fidler is Past-President of AFCC Ontario (2011-2012) and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Overcoming Barriers, a non-profit organization. Visit here www.familiesmovingforward.ca

John A. Moran, PhD

After earning his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, John A. (Jack) Moran, Ph.D., trained for two years with Jay Haley and Cloe Madanes at the Family Therapy Institute of Washington, D.C.  In 1984 he relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, to become the Associate Director of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation. In his independent practice in Phoenix, he provides evaluation, intervention and consultation services for individuals and families involved in family court. He leads the Family Turning Point team which provides multi-day interventions for family with disrupted parent-child relationships. He is on the Board of Directors of Overcoming Barriers, Inc. and has served as the clinical director of three OCB family camps. He coauthored the Overcoming Barriers publication: Overcoming the Coparenting Trap: Essential Skills When a Child Resists a Parent. He has contributed chapters to texts including Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection and Alienation, A.M Judge and R.M Deutsch (Eds.); Parenting Plan Evaluations: Applied research for the Family Court, K. Kuehnle & L. Drozd (Eds.) and its second edition, L. Drozd, M Saini, & N. Olesen (Eds.) He provides training to behavioral health professionals, attorneys and judges at local, regional, and national conferences. He is past president of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Matthew Sullivan, PhD

Matthew Sullivan, Ph.D, and OCB Founder, has been in private practice in Palo Alto for 20 years, specializing in Forensic Family psychology. He is a pioneer in the field of Parenting Coordination, which he helped develop in Santa Clara County more than 20 years ago, and has led the development of Parenting Coordination across the U.S. He is one of the most experienced Parenting Coordinators (called Special Master in California) in the country. Matt has written articles, presented and done trainings at numerous national and international venues on topics such as high-conflict divorce, Parenting Coordination, child alienation and mental health consultation in family law cases. He has served on the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Task Force on Parenting Coordination and the American Psychological and American Bar Association multi-year working group on legal psychological interventions with children and families. Currently he is serving on the Association of Family and Conciliation Court’s Board of Directors for both the international parent organization and California Chapter. Dr. Sullivan won the 2012 Joseph Drown award from the California Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for “Outstanding services to children”. Visit Matt’s home page here www.californiaparentingcoordinator.com

Peggie Ward, PhD

Peggie Ward, PhD, is a clinical-forensic psychologist and OCB funder who has specialized in the areas of child sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, and parent alienation for 30 years. Her work is primarily with high conflict families pre and post separation and divorce where communication between parents has broken down and the children are struggling. She is co-founder of the Co-Parenting Assessment Center, with branches in Natick MA and Bradenton, FL. Her independent practice focuses on mediation, parenting coordination and reunification therapy, where a child resists contact with a parent. Dr. Ward has held appointments at Tufts Medical School and Harvard Medical School. Prior to establishing the Co-Parenting Assessment Center she was a Senior Clinician in the Children and the Law Program at Massachusetts General Hospital where she supervised post-doctoral fellows, taught in the training program and evaluated a variety of cases dealing with trauma from sexual and physical abuse. Dr. Ward’s primary practice is now located in Bradenton, Florida, where she is a Certified Supreme Court Family Mediator and a Certified Parenting Coordinator.   Dr. Ward was appointed to several interdisciplinary committees in the state of Massachusetts, prior to her move to Florida, including the Committee to write the Guardian ad Litem Standards, the Committee to write the Parenting Plan Guidelines and the Committee to create the Model Parenting Plan Guidelines. She is an active member of AFCC in MA and in FL, served on the AFCC MA Board of Directors for 8 years and chaired the AFCC MA Conference committee for many years.  In Florida, Dr. Ward serves on the Board of Directors of the Family Court Professional Collaborative for the 12th Circuit and maintains a private practice. She has published articles in the NH Bar Journal and in Family Court Review on the topic of parental alienation. Dr. Ward contributed portions of six chapters to Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection and Alienation (Oxford University Press, 2016).

About Overcoming Barriers, Inc.

Our Mission

Overcoming Barriers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to promote healthy parenting and coparenting for children in high-conflict families.

Our Vision

To maintain a sustainable organization which develops and provides:

  • Effective and accessible family-centered programs, professional development and training utilizing research informed approaches
  • Education to advance the field of knowledge
  • Awareness of innovative approaches for these families

The Overcoming Barriers Approach:

  • Is a whole family approach that builds effective co-parenting structures which are in the child’s best interests
  • Offers an alternative to ongoing litigation
  • Includes psycho-education and a team of clinicians providing interventions in a safe supported environment outside the comfort zone of “home”
  • Creates recreational activities that foster positive connections between family members, from parallel activities to direct engagement activities
  • Provides for legal and therapeutic follow-up and aftercare as necessary components to success.

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:Forensic Psychology & Divorce
Early registration ends on Aug 03, 2017.
Regular registration starts on Aug 04, 2017 and ends on Aug 31, 2017.
Late registration starts on Sep 01, 2017.
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 High Conflict Coparenting: Interventions for Children’s Alignment
Member Fee: $750.00$750.00$750.00
Non-Member Fee: $750.00$750.00$750.00

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