2012 was both an interesting and personally difficult year for me. A serious illness in my family placed severe limitations on the time I could devote to my writing and research. As a result, Plutoverse saw few new posts, and I cut back on my contributions to the Huffington Post.
Nevertheless, the year saw significant developments both for the Building Family Bridges community and for greater awareness and understanding of parental alienation throughout the world. I was also privileged to provide professional services in two high profile celebrity cases, one behind the scenes and one as an expert testifying about factors relevant to children’s best interests when one parent wants to relocate with the child to another country.
Video, Book, & Website News
Welcome Back, Pluto continues to sell on six continents (still waiting for our first order from Antarctica), now helped along with a version that can be instantly downloaded. (As technical things go, a switch in platforms by our website host resulted in the disruption of the download last month. We are working to correct the problem and hope to have it back up shortly.) Also this year we dropped the price by 20%, making this revolutionary video accessible to a wider audience. Some judges require parents who bring their custody dispute to court to view Pluto and write a report about it.
2012 saw the publication of a beautiful hardcover edition of Divorce Poison in Japan.
Mid-year we launched an entirely new look for warshak.com and streamlined the site to make it easier to find what you need. We hope you like the facelift.
Judges, Lawyers, and Parental Alienation Cases
In 2012 I continued my pro bono presentations to groups of judges, lawyers, and parenting coordinators interested in learning more about how to manage difficult parental alienation cases. In addition to requests from legal groups throughout the U. S. and Canada, I was privileged to be invited to give a keynote lecture at the University of Haifa, Israel to an audience of judges, legislators, and mental health professionals. Following my lecture I sat on a panel with prominent Israeli judges, law professors, and custody experts. The goal of the conference was to translate social science research into proposals for nation-wide family law reform.
This coming year I expect to devote more time to my research and writing, including an article on international relocation cases. I will be accepting just a few speaking engagements, and you can keep up with these on the Events page of the website.
Each time we conduct our four-day workshop with children and teens who frustrated all prior attempts to help them overcome their estrangement, and whom the professionals were ready to write off, the judge, lawyers, custody evaluator, and therapists, who were naturally skeptical at first, very soon call us on the next case of a teen who irrationally rejects the mother or father. Word of our success where other approaches failed is spreading and the result is a sharp increase in the number of people inquiring about Family Bridges. Unfortunately by the time families get to our workshop, much damage has been done, many important life events have been marred by the absence of a parent, and much money and heartache has been spent trying to remedy a child’s severe alienation. This is why it is so important that, while working to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of remedies, we must also focus on how best to prevent these problems from developing in the first place and from deteriorating into the tragic cases I hear about on a daily basis from readers of Divorce Poison.
Within the next few days I will be announcing a new article, published by the State Bar of Texas, that addresses why and how lawyers and courts can help prevent children from becoming severely alienated from a parent, and how best to help families for whom preventative efforts are too late.
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Much remains to be learned about the nature of parental alienation and about what can be done to help severely alienated children and teens. These cases frustrate the best efforts of therapists and judges. I will be continuing my studies and presenting new knowledge to the judges, lawyers, and parents who need it. One book chapter for an international handbook is in press that I expect to be released some time within the first quarter of 2013, and I will be traveling internationally to testify in child custody cases. 2013 holds much promise. Stay tuned.