The Battle Between Abuse and Alienation:Assessment, Diagnosis and Interventions

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Association of Family and Conciliation Courts presents at
University of Baltimore, Maryland, The Battle Between Abuse and Alienation:Assessment, Diagnosis and Interventionson December 5-6, 2007. From the brochure description:

A two-day training for judges, lawyers, custody evaluators, mediators and other professionals who work with high-conflict families.
Frequently in complex child custody cases the sides line up with allegations of abuse in one corner and allegations of alienation in the other. Often people take sides and they find themselves lost in the battle and in so doing, they lose sight of the children, as it becomes a war between the two A’s – abuse and alienation. How do we know the Truth that is behind why a child rejects his or her parent? Once we know that, there is even more to know, and that is what to do about it and how to intervene. This workshop will address these issues, current research, and describe best practices for evaluating these families and the interventions that best serve them.
Participants in this two-day training will:
• Learn how to assess alienation and abuse and to make a distinction between the two;
• Learn where on the continuum of abuse and of alienation behaviors a particular family falls;
• Learn ways to assess for safety issues and how to put the child first;
• Learn ways to help facilitate a “child-centered” custody evaluation;
• Learn how to delineate a child’s vulnerabilities and strengths dependent upon his or her age and stage of development;
• Understand the research on abuse and alienation and what we know from it about children, parenting, and attachment issues;
• Learn how to apply the AFCC Model Standards, APA’s Guidelines for Evaluations of Parenting Responsibility, APA’s Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology and APA’s Ethics Code as well as state and local rules of court to cases with these complex issues; and
• Facilitate the creation of interventions in these cases that emphasize accountability, accountability, and even more accountability.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007, 8:30 am-4:00 pm
1. Context and Definitions: Why do children reject parents? The possible roots of rejection. What is abuse, estrangement, alienation?
2. Investigation, Assessment, and Evaluations: Safety first, the child’s perspective, best interests, and a Decision Tree approach while looking for strengths and vulnerabilities.
3. Resources and Research: what we know and how to use it.
Thursday, December 6, 2007, 8:30 am-4:00 pm
1. Application of professional ethics, guidelines and standards.
2. Application of What We Know: Creating interventions that work.
3. Practical Application to Cases – The How To’s: How to prevent a child rejecting a parent and how to fix it when they do.
Presented by Leslie M. Drozd, Ph.D., editor of Journal of Child Custody and a psychologist in
private practice. She has authored, co-authored, or co-edited numerous books and articles
including Psychological Testing in Child Custody Cases, Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Child Custody Cases, Relocation Issues in Child Custody, Self as the Mediator in the Psychopathology of Children of Alcoholics; Safety First: A Model for Understanding Domestic Violence in Child Custody and Access Disputes; Is It Abuse, Alienation, and/or Estrangement? Domestic Violence: True or False, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Bench Book for Family and Juvenile Court Judges on Navigating Domestic Violence in Child Custody Cases.

Registration and info (608)664-3750,,

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