High Conflict Coparenting: Interventions for Children's Alignment and Resistance 2020-2021


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Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D. ABPP

Robin M. Deutsch, PhD, is a psychologist and the Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the William James College. She is the former director of Forensic Services of the Children and the Law Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. As a therapist, consultant, mediator, expert witness and parenting coordinator, her work has focused on the application of child development research to children’s adjustment to divorce and parenting issues, the evaluation of families involved in family change and management of high conflict divorce. Dr. Deutsch frequently speaks to interdisciplinary groups on complex issues in child custody disputes. She has provided training for Parenting Coordination throughout the country, Canada and Sweden and has published articles on the effects of high conflict divorce, the evaluation of domestic violence, Parenting Coordination, developmentally appropriate parenting plans, attachment considerations, interventions for alienated children, ethical issues, and adolescent issues. She is the co-author of 7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You (and How to Talk About Them Anyway) (Ballantine, 2005 and 2011) and coeditor with Abigail Judge of Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection and Alienation (Oxford University Press, 2016). Dr. Deutsch is a founding member of Overcoming Barriers and is past President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). She served on the AFCC Task Force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (2005) and the American Psychological Association Task Force that developed Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (2011), and the AFCC Task Force that developed the Guidelines for Examining Intimate Partner Violence. Dr. Deutsch is the former Chair of the American Psychological Association Ethics Committee (2007) and she is a 2006 recipient of the American Psychological Association Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy.

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Barbara Jo Fidler, Ph.D., C.Psych

Barbara Jo Fidler, Ph.D., C.Psych., Acc.FM. is a clinical developmental psychologist in independent practice. She has worked with high conflict parenting in separating and divorcing families for over 33 years. Her practice includes clinical consultations, legal-litigation expert services (testimonial and non-testimonial), mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination and therapy (child, individual, marital, family, and multi-faceted family therapy (multi-day intensives and on an outpatient basis) with families experiencing parent-child contact problems. She has presented at numerous conferences and provides training to judges, lawyers and mental health professionals. She is co-author of four books: Child Custody Assessments (2008), Challenging Issues in Child Custody Disputes (2008), Best Practice Guide: Responding to Emotional Harm & Parent-Child Contact Problems in High Conflict Separation (2013), and Children Who Resist Post-Separation Parental Contact: A Differential Approach for Legal and Mental Health Professionals (2012), and contributor of three chapters in the recently published, Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection, and Alienation (2017). She is on the editorial board of the Family Court Review. Dr. Fidler has been actively involved in the development and training of parenting coordination services and was appointed to the AFCC Task Force charged with developing guidelines. She is co-founder of Family Solutions and Families Moving Forward. Dr. Fidler is Past-President of AFCC Ontario (2011-2012) and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Overcoming Barriers, a non-profit organization.

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John A. Moran, PhD

After earning his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, John A. (Jack) Moran, Ph.D., trained for two years Jay Haley and Cloe Madanes at the Family Therapy Institute of Washington, D.C. In 1984 he relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, to become the Associate Director of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation. In his independent practice in Phoenix, he provides evaluation, intervention and consultation services for individuals and families involved in family court. He leads the Family Turning Point team which provides multi-day interventions for family with disrupted parent-child relationships. He is on the Board of Directors of Overcoming Barriers, Inc. and has served as the clinical director of three OCB family camps. He coauthored the Overcoming Barriers publication: Overcoming the Coparenting Trap: Essential Skills When a Child Resists a Parent. He has contributed chapters to texts including Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection and Alienation, A.M Judge and R.M Deutsch (Eds.); Parenting Plan Evaluations: Applied research for the Family Court, K. Kuehnle & L. Drozd (Eds.) and its second edition, L. Drozd, M Saini, & N. Olesen (Eds.) He provides training to behavioral health professionals, attorneys and judges at local, regional, and national conferences. He is past president of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

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Matthew Sullivan, PhD

Matthew Sullivan, Ph.D, and OCB Founder, has been in private practice in Palo Alto for 20 years, specializing in Forensic Family psychology. He is a pioneer in the field of Parenting Coordination, which he helped develop in Santa Clara County more than 20 years ago, and has led the development of Parenting Coordination across the U.S. He is one of the most experienced Parenting Coordinators (called Special Master in California) in the country. Matt has written articles, presented and done trainings at numerous national and international venues on topics such as high-conflict divorce, Parenting Coordination, child alienation and mental health consultation in family law cases. He has served on the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Task Force on Parenting Coordination and the American Psychological and American Bar Association mulit-year working group on legal psychological interventions with children and families. Currently he is serving on the Association of Family and Conciliation Court’s Board of Directors for both the international parent organization and California Chapter. Dr. Sullivan won the 2012 Joseph Drown award from the California Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for “Outstanding services to children."

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Peggie Ward, PhD

Peggie Ward, PhD, is a clinical-forensic psychologist and OCB funder who has specialized in the areas of child sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, and parent alienation for 30 years. Her work is primarily with high conflict families pre and post separation and divorce where communication between parents has broken down and the children are struggling. She is co-founder of the Co-Parenting Assessment Center, with branches in Natick MA and Bradenton, FL. Her independent practice focuses on mediation, parenting coordination and reunification therapy, where a child resists contact with a parent. Dr. Ward has held appointments at Tufts Medical School and Harvard Medical School. Prior to establishing the Co-Parenting Assessment Center she was a Senior Clinician in the Children and the Law Program at Massachusetts General Hospital where she supervised post-doctoral fellows, taught in the training program and evaluated a variety of cases dealing with trauma from sexual and physical abuse. Dr. Ward’s primary practice is now located in Bradenton, Florida, where she is a Certified Supreme Court Family Mediator and a Certified Parenting Coordinator. Dr. Ward was appointed to several interdisciplinary committees in the state of Massachusetts, prior to her move to Florida, including the Committee to write the Guardian ad Litem Standards, the Committee to write the Parenting Plan Guidelines and the Committee to create the Model Parenting Plan Guidelines. She is an active member of AFCC in MA and in FL, served on the AFCC MA Board of Directors for 8 years and chaired the AFCC MA Conference committee for many years. In Florida, Dr. Ward serves on the Board of Directors of the Family Court Professional Collaborative for the 12th Circuit and maintains a private practice. She has published articles in the NH Bar Journal and in Family Court Review on the topic of parental alienation. Dr. Ward contributed portions of six chapters to Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection and Alienation (Oxford University Press, 2016).