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Making contact happen in chronic litigation cases: a mentalising approach

Sep 29, 2018, 21:34 PM
Contact, chronic litigation, family law, Anna Freud Centre, private law, residence, dispute resolution
This paper describes an innovative approach to assist the outcome of entrenched private law contact and residence disputes where dependent children are caught up in their parents' 'chronic' acrimonious relationship. In these high conflict cases, children frequently side with their resident parent and refuse to have direct or indirect contact with the other parent.
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Date : Apr 11, 2016, 07:23 AM
Article ID : 115542
Eia Asen and Emma Morris, The Anna Freud Centre

This paper describes an innovative approach to assist the outcome of entrenched private law contact and residence disputes where dependent children are caught up in their parents' 'chronic' acrimonious relationship. In these high conflict cases, children frequently side with their resident parent and refuse to have direct or indirect contact with the other parent.

Sometimes the children's response to contact, or even the prospect of contact, is so extreme it can resemble what one might call a 'parent phobia'. Court-appointed experts are often asked to provide opinions about contact for such families.

Here, we outline the first of a two-phase 'therapeutic assessment model' developed by a specialist team at the Anna Freud Centre in London. The model is designed to facilitate contact in such cases by enhancing all family members' ability to mentalise themselves and others, whilst simultaneously assessing the parents' and children's capacity to change.

The full version of this article appears in the April 2016 issue of Family Law. 

For details on how you can subscribe to Family Law or any other titles, please contact a member of our sales team: Tel 0117 917 5100, or email: editor@jordanpublishing.co.uk     
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