I have been a practicing psychologist for 36 years in Birmingham, Alabama. For the past seven or eight years, my practice has focused exclusively on divorce, child custody, alienation, abuse, and parenting. I help children, teenagers, adults, couples, and families and have been involved in hundreds of legal cases related to divorce and child custody.
I will be providing both information and a clinical perspective in this blog. I look forward to your comments and I hope we can engage in lively give-and-take. I welcome your suggestions for topics to be addressed in this blog.
Divorce is an unhappy and stressful time for both parents and their children. Many down-to-earth and practical topics related to divorce will be discussed in this blog: addressing divorce issues with your children; research on healthy and dysfunctional families; hiring an attorney; the legal process; psychological issues in divorce; psychiatric disorders and divorce; and many more.
Mental health issues abound in divorce and child custody cases. This is where psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health professions play an important role. We will talk about these different professionals and how they can impact the divorce process.
Child custody is an important topic because children’s mental health is at stake when couples decide to divorce. Divorce can bring out the worst in parents. Anger, disappointment, fear, jealousy, and vindictiveness can come to the forefront. All of these emotions impact a child. We need to make sure that children’s well-being is our primary concern. This is complicated when you have parents, attorneys, a judge, grandparents, teachers, and others involved in the case. Unfortunately, the process is almost always adversarial. I hope this blog can help explain and navigate many issues related to child custody.
Trying to avoid an adversarial divorce is really important. I will provide some tips in this area.
Alleged physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse comes up in my clinical work in divorce cases. Abuse does occur, but the allegation of abuse can also be used by one parent to try to gain leverage against the other parent in court. Allegations of abuse can turn the whole divorce process upside down. Attorneys and judges are not well-equipped to deal with such allegations. As such, these allegations of abuse can take on a life of their own very quickly. We will discuss many issues related to allegations of abuse.
Alienation is another phenomenon that I encounter frequently in divorce cases. It is defined as one parent trying to sabotage the other parent’s relationship with the child. Alienation is a behavior that can be overt or covert. Sometimes it is difficult to detect. Almost always the alienating parent denies it. So who gets hurt most in cases of alienation? The child. The child gets hurt in many ways that can be long-lasting. Alienation is a topic we will explore at length.
I will also address many topics related to parenting. These topics will include healthy boundaries, discipline, narcissism, stepfamilies, and many more. We all strive to be good parents. We will discuss what children need from us, and how we can meet their needs.
I look forward to sharing this blog with you. I hope we can tackle many topics together in a way that is both informative and helpful.
Please share your comments below. I will try to respond to your questions, comments, and requests.