My twenty years of experience working with divorcing parents in high conflict over parenting has led me to be concerned about the effect of high conflict divorce on children. Our adversarial legal system creates barriers to diffusing high conflict parenting situations -- there must be a better way! In partnership with Medicine Hat Family Services and the legal communities in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, AB, I lead a study to evaluate a counselling intervention, New Ways for Families, designed to prevent conflictual parenting after separation. We want to learn whether the program leads to improved parenting satisfaction, conflict response style, and psychological symptoms, relative to a comparison sample of people in a similar situation not receiving intervention.
We are excited about this study, funded by the Palix Foundation, as it is one of the first to evaluate an intervention with divorcing parents with a comparison group. The findings have the potential to be directly helpful to relieve the suffering of children whose parents are divorcing. We are seeking to speak with parents who are engaged in high conflict co-parenting situations.
I am currently developing further research in sites across North America, and preparing to evaluate the on-line version of New Ways for Families.
Work-Related Paternal Absence: The Faraway Fathers Project