Assessments & Interventions: The Interection of Family Law and Psychology 2016 - Day 1


Course Date: March 10, 2016

Total: 6h 21min

Day 1: Thursday, March 10, 2016

Welcome and Introduction

John-Paul E. Boyd — Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary
Alyson Jones — Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver
Morag M.J. MacLeod — Barrister & Solicitor, Vancouver

Keynote Address: Understanding Children's Refusal to Visit

  • key concepts: estrangement, alignment, affinity, and alienation
  • role of gender: claims vs. outcomes
  • role of courts
  • role of mental health professionals
  • role of counsel: gladiator, healer, or it depends?

Professor Nicholas Bala — Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, Kingston

Fundamentals of Attachment

  • Adler’s basic theory and current thinking
  • children’s relationships with family and friends
  • children’s future relationships as adults
  • adults entering new relationships
  • enmeshment and inappropriate attachment

Nicole Aubé, PhD, RPsych — Vancouver

Networking Break

Relevant Childhood Developmental Factors in Making Parenting Arrangements

  • key developmental milestones from infancy through adolescence
  • the psychosocial needs of children
  • indicators of stressed or disrupted milestones
  • considerations in developing age-appropriate parenting plans, arrangements, and application for drafting orders

Jesse Elterman, MA, PhD Candidate — Vancouver

Networking Lunch +
Children's Experience of Parental Relationship Breakdown

  • children’s experience of parental conflict pre- and post-separation
  • children’s reactions to separation
  • risks associated with separation
  • impact of conflict on normal risks of separation
  • child and parent factors buffering children from conflict

John-Paul E. Boyd — Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary

Protecting Children From Conflict

  • potential short- and long-term effects of conflict on children
  • impact of conflict on children’s lives as adults
  • parental behaviours aggravating and mitigating conflict
  • role of counsel in minimizing conflict
  • designing parenting plans to mitigate conflict
  • judicial and therapeutic responses, including parenting coordination

Nikki Charlton — Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP, Vancouver
Alyson Jones — Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver

Children with Special Needs in Family Law Disputes

  • special needs of children with special needs
  • therapeutic responses
  • identifying need for expert evidence
  • special considerations in developing parenting plans

Nicole Aubé, PhD, RPsych — Vancouver

Alienation and Estrangement

  • Gardner’s theory, Johnston and Kelly’s reformulation; survey of current thinking
  • hallmarks of alienation, Darnall’s typology of alienators
  • distinguishing estrangement from alienation and co-occurrence of alienation and estrangement
  • rejected parents’ experience of attachment disruption
  • children’s short- and long-term experience of attachment disruption
  • assessing for urgency
  • red flags

John-Paul E. Boyd — Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary

Networking Break

Therapeutic Responses and Interventions

  • identifying the goals of intervention
  • types of intervention
  • assessing strengths and weaknesses of proposed interventions and intervenors
  • assessing credibility and standing, assessing intervention evaluations, identifying conflicts of interest
  • court involvement and identifying need for ongoing case management during intervention
  • managing parents and children who refuse to participate
  • red flags

Alyson Jones — Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver

Best Practices and Recommended Responses to Allegations of Alienation

  • speedy diagnosis, speedy intervention
  • scepticism, caution, and protection of children
  • early assessment of allegations and early restoration of contact
  • therapeutic interventions and role of courts
  • active judicial case management
  • role of counsel
  • deciding when and how to stop enforcement

Professor Nicholas Bala — Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, Kingston
Philip M. Stahl, PhD, ABPP (Forensic) — Parenting After Divorce, Queen Creek, Arizona

Closing Remarks

John-Paul E. Boyd — Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary
Alyson Jones — Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver
Morag M.J. MacLeod — Barrister & Solicitor, Vancouver

Reception

Day 2: Friday, March 11, 2016

Welcome and Introduction

John-Paul E. Boyd — Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary
Alyson Jones — Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver
Morag M.J. MacLeod — Barrister & Solicitor, Vancouver

Keynote Address: Evidentiary and Empirical Standards in Family Law Interventions and Assessments

  • role of the forensic psychologist in child custody litigation
  • forensic versus clinical approaches to custody assessments
  • bias; ethical issues
  • evidentiary standards

Philip M. Stahl, PhD, ABPP (Forensic) — Parenting After Divorce, Queen Creek, Arizona

Networking Break

Assessments in Family Law Disputes

  • when and why to seek assessment of parent and child
  • when assessment of child is inappropriate
  • adult assessments; parenting capacity, employability, mental health concerns, personality disorders, family violence
  • child assessments
  • assessing relevance; impact on case
  • evidentiary status of findings of fact, hearsay, and test results
  • recommendations on the ultimate issue; court’s discretion to reach alternative conclusions
  • red flags

Michael Elterman, PhD, MBA, RPsych — Vancouver
Eugene Raponi, QC — Waddell Raponi, Victoria

Networking Lunch

Why and How we Hear from Children

  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • court’s discretion to determine how children’s evidence is received
  • children’s letters and videos, testimony, and affidavits
  • evidence of parents and other adults
  • judicial interviews
  • custody assessments
  • children as parties
  • children’s counsel

Evaluative and Non-evaluative Views of the Child Reports

  • nature and content of each
  • differences in confidentiality and control of child over content
  • contraindications, limitations, and weaknesses
  • evidentiary concerns
  • selecting assessors/interviewers

David C. Dundee — Paul & Company, Kamloops
Mary Korpach, PhD, RPsych — Vancouver
SuzanneS. Williams — Brown Henderson Melbye, Victoria

Understanding Custody Assessments

  • understanding commonly used psychometric tools and diagnostic output
  • understanding ethnocultural weaknesses; limitations of psychometric tools
  • assessing and understanding strengths and weaknesses of report: process, choice of tool, analysis, choice of informants, vulnerabilities of informants
  • critically assessing report recommendations
  • rebuttal reports: best practices and recommendations of AFCC and the College of Psychologists
  • red flags

Rebecca St. Clere England, PhD, RPsych — Ward St. Clere Inc., Vancouver

View from the Bench Regarding Roles of Assessors and Experts in Parenting and Custody Cases

The Honourable Mr. Justice Patrice Abrioux — Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver

Networking Break

Assessment and Intervention Roundtable: Process and Procedure

Moderator: John-Paul E. Boyd — Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary
The Honourable Mr. Justice Patrice Abrioux — Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver
David Dundee — Paul & Company, Kamloops
Rebecca St. Clere England, PhD, RPsych — Ward St. Clere Inc., Vancouver
Mary Korpach, PhD, RPsych — Vancouver
Alyson Jones — Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver

Judicial Responses

  • judicial treatment of alienation claims in court
  • contempt, conduct orders, costs, and fines
  • removal of child, reversal of parenting schedule, and allocation of parenting responsibilities
  • extraordinary enforcement remedies
  • effectiveness of judicial responses

Morag M.J. MacLeod — Barrister & Solicitor, Vancouver

When Enough is Enough

  • knowing when to down tools
  • low-impact means of leaving the door to reconciliation open
  • impact on rejected parent
  • helping the rejected parent

Jesse L. Desilets — Schuman Daltrop Basran & Robin, Vancouver
Jonathan M. Lazar — Watson Goepel LLP, Vancouver

Closing Remarks

John-Paul E. Boyd — Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Calgary
Alyson Jones — Alyson Jones & Associates, West Vancouver
Morag M.J. MacLeod — Barrister & Solicitor, Vancouver