Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems

Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems

Add To Cart

Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection, and Alienation

  • Emphasizes a whole-family approach to the problem of parent-child contact problems as well as interventions that do not require custody reversal
  • Presents previously unpublished outcome data on program efficacy and a proposed heuristic for the evaluation of other intensive programs
  • Avoids the pitfalls of polemical and polarized thinking that often characterize discussions about this complex and controversial topic
  • Includes intervention tools, resources for intake, sample agreements, and court orders

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.


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.

Rebecca Bailey, Ph.D.
Clinical Director, Transitioning Families, Glen Ellen, California
Consultant, Stable Paths, Miami, FLA

Nicholas Bala, J.D., LL.M.
Faculty of Law
Queen's University
Kingston, Canada

Carole Blane
Program Director, Overcoming Barriers, Inc.
New York, New York

Robin Deutsch, Ph.D., ABPP
Independent Practice, Wellesley, MA
William James College, Newton, MA

Leslie M. Drozd, Ph.D.
Independent Practice
Newport Beach, California

Barbara J. Fidler, Ph.D., Acc.FM. 
Independent Practice
Toronto, ON, Canada

Janet R. Johnston, Ph.D. 
Emeritus Faculty, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Abigail M. Judge, Ph.D.
Independent Practice, Cambridge, MA
Forensic Consultant, Law & Psychiatry Service, Massachusetts General Hospital

John A. Moran, Ph.D.
Independent Practice
Phoenix, Arizona

Shely Polak ,MSW, RSW, Acc.FM.
Doctoral Candidate, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

Michael Saini, Ph.D.
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

M. Tyler Sullivan
Operations Director, Overcoming Barriers Inc. 
Juris Doctor Candidate, Golden Gate University School of Law
San Francisco, California

Matthew Sullivan, Ph.D.
Independent Practice , Palo Alto, California

Peggie Ward, Ph.D.
Co-Parenting Assessment Center, Natick, Massachusetts

Daniel M. Wolfson, M.A.
Doctoral Candidate, William James College PsyD Program
Newton, Massachusetts

Book Details

Publication date:  2016
Binding:  paperback