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Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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Navigating Divorce for Psychotherapists

Dec 07, 2012 09:00am -
Dec 07, 2012 04:30pm

Event Description

Navigating Divorce for Psychotherapists: 

Managing Role and Relationship When a Client is in Turbulent Times

This program is sponsored by the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law and the Center for the Study of Psychology and Divorce at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Robin Deutsch, PhD and Sanford M. Portnoy, PhD, instructors

Given the high rate of parental separation in our society, it is not uncommon for psychotherapists to work with clients who are themselves going to court or have parents going to court. Often, parental separation and divorce arises in the midst of the treatment or prompts initiation of treatment. Although divorce is common, there are many cases where well-intentioned therapists inadvertently create harm to their clients and and/or families because they lack adequate understanding of the legal context and processes of divorce. This workshop will review potential roles for therapists working with families involved in divorce proceedings.  An overview is provided of the difficult issues that may arise in these families including: allegations of physical abuse or sexual abuse; poor parenting or challenges in co-parenting; situational and more chronic domestic violence; persistent high conflict between parents and/or between a parent and child; child resistance to contact with a parent; and parental absence. Recommendations are offered for adapting treatment methods and procedures when working with clients in the process of divorce with an emphasis on professional practice risk management strategies.

Upon completion of the program the student will be able to:

·         Increase knowledge about the legal context and procedures involved in divorce.

·         Adapt their treatment methods and procedures to minimize risk and optimize treatment effectiveness

·         Identify  available guidelines for best practices when working with court-involved families

·         Identify complex issues a therapist may encounter working with high conflict families.

·         Implement  strategies to resolve ethical dilemmas

Program Code: D650 
6 CE Credits
Location: at MSPP, Newton

Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, is a psychologist and the Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). She is the former director of Forensic Services of the Children and the Law Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital where she remains a consultant. She is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Deutsch is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from which she also received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology. As a therapist, consultant, custody evaluator, mediator, 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, including the first Massachusetts training. Dr. Deutsch 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 management of cases of Munchausen by Proxy. 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). She is past President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and the former president of the Massachusetts chapter of AFCC. Dr. Deutsch was a member of the AFCC Task Force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (2005), and the Massachusetts task force that wrote Planning for Shared Parenting: a Guide for Parents Living Apart, and she served on the American Psychological Association Task Force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (2011). 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.

Sanford M. Portnoy, PhD, has taught at MSPP since 1977 and teaches Clinical Seminar II. He is a partner of a private group practice in Needham, MA. His interests are in assessment and treatment of individual adults, adolescents, families and couples with specializations in couples therapy and divorce. He is a consultant on impasse resolution to divorcing individuals and consults to matrimonial attorneys on lawyer-client relationships during divorce. He was on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Psychological Association, from 1997-1999; was President of The Divorce Center, Inc. from 1993-1995 and served as the President of the Massachusetts Psychological Association from 1999 to 2000.

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:Forensic Psychology & Divorce
Early registration ends on Oct 14, 2012.
Regular registration starts on Oct 15, 2012 and ends on Nov 26, 2012.
Late registration starts on Nov 27, 2012.


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 Navigating Divorce for Psychotherapists (D650)
Member Fee: $135.00$135.00$135.00
Non-Member Fee: $135.00$135.00$135.00

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