Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Working with Attorneys

A recurring issue that I see repeatedly is that of working in concert with Family attorneys. Like most professionals, attorneys are habituated in how they approach a family law dissolution case, just as a physician approaches a medical problem with an analogous strategy. We humans are all creatures of habit and it shows in our work; even psychologists are this way am told. The interesting thing about family law cases with parental alienation present is that many of those habituated responses will not likely be successful. This is because the elephant in the middle of the room is the overall theme of false allegations of poor parenting, abuse, neglect, and everything in between. These cases must be approached differently and this theme must be exposed early on.

In my consultative role, I have had the opportunity to work with literally hundreds of family lawyers over the years. Many are not initially too certain about my role as a consultant, some are immediately openly inviting and some are skeptical and even a bit put out by another pair of eyes looking in on their work. So what I try to do is to show that I can be a powerful resource for them that can make their job easier and increase the likelihood of success in these difficult cases. What I have found generally is that even the initially skeptical attorney can be brought around to see how I can be of help. As with all things human it is about the relationship that develops in working together.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Book Announcement

I am very pleased and excited to announce the publication of a book co-authored by myself and my friend and colleague, Robert Evans, PhD. This book, The Essentials of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS): Its Real, It’s Here and It Hurts, is derived from a continuing legal education course that Bob and I created about four years ago. The purpose of the course was to educate family lawyers about the phenomenon of parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome as well as how to best litigate this problem in family court. The course was well received and I believe that we were successful in giving these family lawyers what was essentially a “crash course” in the problem of parental alienation. Since the audience was exclusively attorneys, our focus was very practical and explanatory.

We did not spend too much time on theory or history so much as we did on the “how too’s” of dealing with this problem in the adversarial family court system. We spent a fair amount of time on the issue of dealing with false allegations of abuse, as this is one of the most vexing and challenging that attorney’s must deal with. We spent a good amount of time addressing the fact that the family court system must contain a bias to protect the children that it is asked to oversee. We explained the fact that it is precisely this bias to protect children that is exploited not only by the alienating parent and his or her counsel, but potentially the entire adversarial system of family law. There was significant interest is how to overcome this, and I believe that we did a good job on how to do that, as just one example.

Several months ago Bob Evans realized that this very practical, hands on course, has a wider audience than just the attorney’s in our original audience, and I believe that he was right. So he set about transcribing the course and then editing it so as to be suitable for a book. The result is The Essentials of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS): Its Real, It’s Here and It Hurts. We believe that this little book contains what are truly the essentials of dealing with this problem not only in the court, but outside of the court system as well.

We hope that you find it to be of assistance, and we always appreciate any feedback that you might have.