20. Psychologists in Dispute Resolution: Being Part of a Revolution!
- Chris E. Stout
Published Online: 24 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Getting Better at Private Practice
How to Cite
Robinson, A. L. (2012) Psychologists in Dispute Resolution: Being Part of a Revolution!, in Getting Better at Private Practice (ed C. E. Stout), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. doi: 10.1002/9781118089972.ch20
- Published Online: 24 SEP 2012
- Published Print: 27 JUL 2012
Print ISBN: 9780470903988
Online ISBN: 9781118089972
- dispute resolution;
- collaborative coach;
- child specialist;
- parenting coordination;
- psychologists participating in the legal system
Psychologists and other mental health professionals are increasingly participating in the legal system in new and different roles. Psychologists are facilitating the resolution of civil disputes, family legal disputes, and divorces as mediators or collaborative coaches. Psychologists are also receiving referrals from family courts as parenting coordinators in high-conflict divorces or operating on collaborative teams as coaches and child specialists. These roles require many skills already in the repertoire of most psychologists, as well as specialized training on mediation (generally a 40-hour training) and collaborative practice (14 hours), plus hours on divorce, high-conflict divorce, the impact of divorce on children, parenting coordination, and the like.
These expanded roles are extensions of skills often already in our repertoire. However, some of us are not comfortable in battle, whereas our counterparts in the legal system are. Our challenge is to lead, sometimes the team, and definitely our clients, in a paradigm shift: from win-lose to everyone wins some. We must respect the knowledge base of our teammates and insist and demonstrate that we, too, have a significant contribution to make. We must model collaborative dispute resolution. The peril in this line of work is being too demure or too combative; the goal is to consistently be on the high road: to observe, understand, and respond, with emotional and issue resolution being the end goal.