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Upcoming & Recent Events

Below is a list of upcoming and recent publications, presentations, and TV appearances by Dr. Warshak, and coverage of Dr. Warshak's work in newspapers and magazines.


April 2018

Night Shifts: Revisiting Blanket Restrictions on Children’s Overnights With Separated Parents was published in the Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. This article is a comprehensive overview of the scientific status of restrictions on a young child’s overnights with a parent (usually the father).

Professional opinions have shifted regarding the value of young children receiving overnight care from each parent. This article shows that contemporary proposals of blanket restrictions are contradictory and rest on faulty interpretations of a narrow bandwidth of scholarship. No coherent theory or research confirms speculations that fathers’ overnight care poses greater risks to their young children than daytime care, or that overnights are contraindicated if opposed by the mother.

The article demonstrates that theory, research, and practical considerations support the benefits of overnights. It violates logic and common sense to welcome father–child contact around bedtime and morning rituals when parents live together, but eschew overnight contact when parents separate. Includes citations to141 references. This article is included as a bonus gift in the Parenting Plan Bundle. The final manuscript is available as an instant download from the Warshak e-LIBE.

January 2018

Stemming the Tide of Misinformation: International Consensus on Shared Parenting and Overnighting was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The paper discusses gaps between scientific evidence and professional opinions and testimony that advocate for restrictions on children’s overnight contact with their fathers. The paper summarizes international expert consensus recommendations and responds to mischaracterizations of the consensus report and attempts to diminish and distract from the meaning and value of the 110 endorsements.


September 25, 2017

On Aug. 8, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion in Bisbing v. Bisbing, which set a new standard for interstate relocation disputes. The decision cited Dr. Warshak’s work among other contributions from social scientists. A month following the decision, the New Jersey Law Journal published an analysis of the case coauthored by Dr. Warshak and Matheu Nunn, the lawyer who argued the cause for the parent who opposed relocation and prevailed in the Supreme Court decision. To access the article, click on its title: 'Bisbing' Evens the Playing Field in Child Relocation Cases.

May 29, 2017

Dr. Warshak speaks at the International Conference on Shared Parenting. The conference theme is Shared Parenting Research: A Watershed in Understanding Children's Best Interest? The faculty includes scholars from 18 countries. Dr. Warshak's presentation is titled: Complicated Delivery: The Untold Story and Aftermath of the International Consensus Report on Parenting Plans for Young Children. The conference takes place May 29-30, 2017 in Boston, MA.

May 26, 2017

Dr. Warshak’s opinion piece on shared parenting research, originally published at statnews.com was picked up by businessinsider.com. Click here.

April 6, 2017

Dr. Warshak was the guest speaker at the annual meeting and seminar of the New Jersey chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. The topic: Parenting Plans for Young Children: The Consensus Opinion of 110 Scientists.

January 2017

Dr. Warshak has posted brief essays on his Facebook page. Some of the topics covered:

  • A BBC television clip that shows the damage associated with parental alienation.
  • Whether alienated parents should cling to reconciliation hopes.
  • Why estranged children can rapidly recover their love for a parent whom they have long rejected.
  • Strategies for overcoming alienation and for coping until reconciliation occurs.
  • The UN Convention on Children's Rights and parental alienation.
  • Is parental alienation a gender issue?
  • The most common behaviors that can distort children's perception, beliefs, and memories about a parent.

To read and comment on these posts, click here.


October 26, 2016

Dr. Warshak speaks on the topic of Parenting Plans for Young Children at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. New York, NY


October 20, 2015

The audiobook edition of Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family From Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing is released today. Daniel Penz, who has won two Emmy awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards, and Ten Telly awards, narrates the book. Video gamers will recognize Penz as the voice of the character Hunter Hellquist in the hit video game Borderlands 2, his voices on Age of Empires, and the original voice of the character, Max Payne.

The audiobook is available in three versions: a downloadable audiobook, an mp3-CD, or an audio CD. The downloadable audiobook is free with an Audible trial and can be listened to on Kindle or with the free Audible app on Apple (iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac), Android, and Windows devices.

To purchase the download, click here.

To purchase the mp3-CD, click here.

The audio CD can be purchased from the publisher:

October 2015

Risks to Professionals Who Work With Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships passed a peer review process and was accepted for publication in The American Journal of Family Therapy. The article analyzes how the dynamics that drive false allegations about the rejected parent extend to professionals who participate in a process to reunify children with that parent. It also presents recommendations to reduce risks of false accusations, character assassination, harassment, and violence, and suggestions for organizations charged with investigating complaints. Agencies that do an inadequate job of handling such complaints may harm the public by driving innovators from the field and reducing the availability of programs that have helped many families.

October 2015

Parental Alienation: Overview, Intervention, and Practice Tips, accepted in November 2014 for publication, appears this month in the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This paper expands on Dr. Warshak’s previous work and presents a wealth of new material directly relevant to litigation of cases that raise parental alienation issues. It provides the first comprehensive analysis of how and why temporary suspension of children’s contact with their favored parent can serve ten aims consistent with children’s best interests. The discussion explains how a no-contact order between children and alienating parents can make it easier for the children to heal their damaged relationships with their rejected parents. Among the highlights of this paper are detailed practice tips for lawyers and judges. For a more detailed description of the paper, click here.

June 2015

Ten Parental Alienation Fallacies That Compromise Decisions in Court and in Therapy passed a peer review process and was published online this month by the American Psychological Association in the journal Professional Psychology: Research & Practice. This article identifies 10 prevalent and strongly held assumptions and myths about parental alienation found in reports by therapists, custody evaluators, and child representatives (such as guardians ad litem), in case law, and in professional articles. These false beliefs lead therapists and lawyers to give bad advice to their clients, evaluators to give inadequate recommendations to courts, and judges to reach injudicious decisions.

Drawing on research and experience, the paper sheds light on the arguments and assumptions one often encounters from mental health professionals, lawyers, and judges in cases where professionals' decisions fail to help children overcome unreasonable rejection of a parent. Awareness of the evidence exposing these false beliefs should guide decision makers and those who assist them to avoid biases that result in poor outcomes for alienated children. The result will be a better understanding of the needs of alienated children and decisions that are more likely to get needed relief to families who experience this problem.

To read the Abstract with the list of the ten fallacies, and to access the link to purchase the article directly from the publisher, click here.

January 2015

Securing Children’s Best Interests While Resisting the Lure of Simple Solutions, accepted in October 2014 for publication, appears this month in the Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. This paper is based on Dr. Warshak’s presentation at the University of Haifa to a multidisciplinary group of judges, members of Knesset, lawyers, child development researchers, and child custody evaluators. The best-interest-of-the-child standard for child custody policy and decisions has benefits and hazards, the latter related to the exercise of judicial discretion in custody disputes. This paper examines alternatives to the best-interest-of-the-child standard for child custody policy and decisions. The alternatives that Dr. Warshak analyzes include the primary parent presumption, the approximation rule, shared parenting, an exact even split of custodial time, sole custody for couples labeled in high conflict or those with young children, the friendly parent presumption, and decisions that defer to children’s stated preferences. Each alternative promises simpler paths to securing children’s welfare, but some have more support than others in the social science literature.

January 28, 2015

At the Inaugural Family Justice Conference of theTexas Center for the Judiciary Dr. Warshak addressed a large group of family law judges on: Judicial Management of Parental Alienation Issues. San Antonio, TX.


October 2014

Poisoning Parent-Child Relationships Through the Manipulation of Names is published in The American Journal of Family Therapy. Dr. Warshak’s paper describes how some parents manipulate names to change the way children relate to and identify with their other parent. These practices include using pejorative labels to refer to the target of alienation, encouraging children to refer to a parent by first name, and referring to the children by new names that mask their relationship to the other parent. Dr. Warshak describes how such practices influence children to align with one parent against the other, how parents’ responses mediate the harmful impact of such practices, and how professionals can assist parents to help prevent name manipulation from contributing to the entrenchment of parental alienation.

September 18, 2014

Dr. Warshak addresses the Chicago Forensic Forum on: Parental Alienation: Overview, Intervention, and Practice Tips; Practice Tips and Ethical Considerations. Following his address he participates with four esteemed judges on a panel moderated by Gemma Allen, Esq. Dr. Warshak describes the characteristics of children who are severely and irrationally alienated from a parent, factors that help determine the extent to which the alienation is justified or unjustified, and interventions that help alleviate current and future impairments. He exposes common misunderstandings about parental alienation cases that lead to mismanagement by legal and mental health professionals, including the top five errors that therapists make in dealing with alienated children. Dr. Warshak presents practice tips for 1) lawyers representing a parent who is alienated or at risk for becoming alienated, 2) lawyers representing a parent who is alleged to be alienating the children, and 3) judges with a case that raises parental alienation issues. The conference is open to judges, lawyers, and mental health professionals and provides CLE and CE credits for lawyers and psychologists. Details: 1:00-4:15 pm, Thompson Center, Chicago, IL.

June 12, 2014

Dr. Warshak is pleased to participate on a half-day panel titled: You Don’t Own Me— Alienation and Reunification, moderated by attorney Diana S. Friedman. The half-day presentation is at the conference on Innovations-Breaking Boundaries in Custody Litigation co-sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers - Texas Chapter, Addison, TX. Dr. Warshak's remarks are titled: Parental Alienation: Overview, Intervention, and Practice Tips. The conference is open to judges, lawyers, and mental health professionals and provides CLE, CE, and CPE credits for continuing education.

May 6, 2014

Two of Dr. Warshak's essays appeared on this date. Huffington Post published Lifting Blanket Restrictions, an article about changes in child custody policy triggered by the international consensus report on parenting plans for young children authored by Dr. Warshak, endorsed by 110 top researchers and practitioners from 15 countries, and published by the American Psychological Association in its scientific journal, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. (See the entry under February 2014 below.)

The second article is an essay on Batman's Traumatic Origins. It was published by The Atlantic.

February 2014

The American Psychological Association's Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, publishes an important journal article: Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report. The paper is the culmination of a two year project reviewing and analyzing the settled and accepted scientific literature relevant to decisions about residential arrangements for young children whose parents separate or divorce. For this consensus report, Dr. Warshak assembled an international group of 110 top experts in early child development, parent-child relationships, and divorce. The experts gave valuable feedback for the article and then endorsed its conclusions and recommendations. They are united in their concern that flawed science is leading to parenting plans and custody decisions that harm children and their parents. To maximize children’s chances of having long lasting relationships and secure attachments to each parent, this consensus report encourages both parents after their separation to maximize the time they spend with their children, including sharing overnight parenting time. Dr. Warshak expects this report to provide strong direction for policy guidelines and decision-making.


December 2013

The Journal of Child Custody publishes Dr. Warshak's article: In a Land Far, Far Away: Assessing Children's Best Interests in International Relocation Cases. This article describes why requests to move a child to a foreign country away from one parent cannot be handled like domestic relocation cases. International custody cases require special expertise and consideration of factors that do not arise in domestic relocation, such as the chall. For instance, Dr. Warshak explains why the court must give heighten scrutiny to the reasons for the proposed move and the extent to which the moving parent will sufficiently co-parent and support the child's relationship with the left-behind parent. Parents who fail to support their children's need for healthy relationships with two parents, or who attempt to alienate their children from the other parent, raise special concerns about the impact of an international relocation. International relocation cases heighten the need for the court to address issues related to possible abduction of the child or interference with the other parent’s court-ordered access to the child.This article is most relevant to cases in which the potential exists for one parent to move a child to a foreign country against the wishes of the other parent.


May 29, 2013

Dr. Warshak is privileged to join Leslie Ellen Shear and Elaine Tumonis to teach a day-long institute on Introduction to International Child Custody for Lawyers, Evaluators and Judges, at the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Los Angeles, CA. In September 2012 Dr. Warshak testified in a high profile international child custody relocation case. Leslie Ellen Click to view poster.Shear is a prominent specialist in family law and appellate law. Elaine Tumonis is the Statewide Child Abduction Coordinator for the California Attorney General's Office and chair of the California Child Abduction Task Force. Details: 9:00 am-4:30 pm, JW Marriott Los Angeles L. A. LIVE.

May 2013

Dr. Warshak is quoted extensively in Dallas Child magazine's article on parental alienation.

April 25, 2013

Dr. Warshak speaks at the Parental Alienation Awareness Day celebration at Central Park in The Shops of Southlake, 1221 E. Southlake Blvd, Southlake, Texas 76092 at 11:00 AM.

February 20, 2013

Dr. Warshak will film several segments for guest Click to visit Family Matters website.appearances on the Canadian TV show Family Matters with Justice Harvey Brownstone.


January 24-26, 2013

Dr. Warshak is honored to be invited to participate in the shared parenting think tank, Closing the Gap: Research, Practice, Policy and Shared Parenting, sponsored by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Center for Excellence in Family Court Practice. The ambitious assignment of this small interdisciplinary group is to examine the research and controversies regarding shared parenting with the goal of issuing a report that can inform practice and public policy.

January 2013

This month we add to the catalog a new article by Dr. Warshak: Managing Severe Cases of Alienation. This extensive article was prepared for, and is a chapter in the materials for, the State Bar of Texas Advanced Family Law Course. The article discusses characteristics, prevention,and consequences of severe parental alienation, rationale for interventions with families with severely alienated children, alternative options for the disposition of severe alienation cases, the role of mental health evidence in cases involving allegations of parental alienation, risks of interventions versus risks of maintaining the status quo, Family Bridges workshopfor severe cases of parental alienation, and severe parental alienation among young adults. This article includes much never-before-published material previously available only through Dr. Warshak's trial testimony. The article is useful to attorneys representing parents who are either alienated from their children or accused of parental alienation, to judges hearing cases with allegations of parental alienation, and to child custody evaluators, therapists, mediators, and parents involved in such difficult cases. Dr. Warshak regards this as his most useful and important article on parental alienation.


October 5, 2012

Dr. Warshak is a guest speaker at a training workshop for parenting facilitators who work with high-conflict families. The program is sponsored by the Cooperative Parenting Institute.

August 9, 2012

Dr. Warshak appears on a panel with The Honorable Judge Jerry Buckner at the Advanced Family Law Course of the State Bar of Texas. Moderator: Houston attorney Lynn Kamin. Topic: Plutoed Parents: Preventing & Overcoming Parental Alienation. Details: 10:15 AM-12:00 Noon, Hilton Americas Hotel, Houston, Texas.

May 13, 2012

Dr. Warshak delivers the opening keynote speech at the University of Haifa Center for the Study of Child Development conference: Parenting In Practice and Law: Terminology, Rhetoric, and Research. Topic: Securing Children's Best Interests While Resisting the Lure of Simple Solutions. Details: 9:15 AM, Hecht Museum Auditorium, University of Haifa, Israel.

April 25, 2012

Dr. Warshak speaks at the Parental Alienation Awareness Day celebration at Central Park in The Shops of Southlake, 1221 E. Southlake Blvd, Southlake, Texas 76092 at 11:00 AM.

February 24, 2012

Dr. Warshak is a guest speaker at a training workshop for parenting coordinators and parenting facilitators who work with high-conflict families. The program is sponsored by Children In The Middle and the National Association of Social Workers (Texoma branch).

January 2012

Should the best-interest-of-the-child standard be replaced by a presumption that divides a child's time between homes equally or according to the proportion of care provided by each parent in the past? This and other questions are examined in an article just published in the University of Baltimore Law Review: Parenting by the Clock: The Best-Interest-of-the-Child Standard, Judicial Discretion, and the American Law Institute's "Approximation Rule."

This 81-page article, documented with 414 footnotes, answers questions such as:

  • What do scientific studies report about the relationship between children's welfare and the amount of involvement of both parents?
  • Does more time with Dad take away from the quality of the mother-child relationship?
  • Are the benefits of greater father involvement found in families with high inter-parental conflict?
  • Are courts biased in favor of mothers or in favor of fathers?
  • Should custody decisions favor the parent who supports the child's relationship with the other parent, or do "friendly parent" provisions discourage parents from protecting children from abuse?
  • Is there an epidemic of judges who award custody of children to violent fathers?
  • Do judges rely too heavily on the recommendations of child custody evaluators?

As one of approximately seven articles published annually by this law review, Dr. Warshak expects this article to influence legislation and case law regarding child custody.


September 2011

The American Journal of Family Therapy publishes an article co-authored by Aaron J. Hands and Richard A. Warshak on Parental Alienation Among College Students. The results of this survey of college students support the ideas that parental alienating behaviors, and the phenomenon of a child becoming alienated from a parent after divorce, are departures from the norm and worthy of attention and concern. The findings also suggest that evaluators, therapists, and counselors should exercise caution about postponing interventions for alienated children. Given the incidence of reported alienated parent-child relationships among this sample of college students, it may not be realistic to expect that such damaged relationships will likely heal with the passage of time.

September 2011

This month's issue of the State Bar of Texas Section Report: Family Law includes Dr. Warshak's article: The Approximation Rule Survey: The American Law Institute's Proposed Reform Misses the Target. This article is the fourth is a series analyzing the ALI's proposed reform replacing the best interests standard with a presumption that in contested physical custody cases the court should allocate to each parent a proportion of the child's time that approximates the proportion of time each spent performing caretaking functions in the past. This article presents the first empirical research study about the proposal.

ALI assumes that the approximation rule provides a determinate custody criterion that will improve the tenor of settlement negotiations, increase the likelihood of pre-trial settlements, and reduce judicial discretion by restricting the scope of fact-finding to one factor: the proportion of time each parent took care of the children prior to the separation. The attorneys and child custody evaluators who responded to this survey disagree. Asked to rate the likely impact of the approximation rule on their last custody case that proceeded to a full trial, most respondents report that it would not have reduced strategic and manipulative bargaining and that the litigants would have disputed their relative past caretaking contributions and would have raised one or more exceptions to the rule, thus triggering a wider best-interests judicial inquiry.

This article, along with its three predecessors, and a fifth major article to appear in December 2011, will be added to our catalog at the end of 2011.

September 14, 2011

Dr. Warshak speaks on Preventing and Overcoming Parental Alienation at the Dallas Forensic Group. The meeting, for legal and mental health professionals, students, and interns, is held at the SMU Law School and begins at 7:00 pm.

August 16, 2011

Dr. Warshak's 8th article for the Huffington Post is published today. Title: Divorce Court: Mopping Up the Mess.

June 17, 2011

Dr. Warshak presents "Plutoed Parents: Preventing and Overcoming Parental Alienation" at the University of Texas School of Law 2011 Family Law on the Front Lines Conference. The conference is held in Austin, Texas at the AT&T Education and Conference Center. For more information, click here.

April 15, 2011

Dr. Warshak is the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Massachusetts chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. The conference title is: Parental Alienation: Not Just Another Custody Case, and is held at Regis College, in Weston, MA. Learn more >.

March 20, 2011

Dr. Warshak speaks at the Moorestown, NJ Library as part of their Beyond Parenting 101 series. Topic: When Children and Teen Reject Parents: What's Normal, What's Not. This event is open to the public and begins at 2 p.m. To register phone 856-234-033. The library is located at 111 West Second Street.

March 4, 2011

Dr. Warshak is a guest speaker at a training workshop for parenting coordinators and parenting facilitators who work with high-conflict families. The program is sponsored by Children In The Middle and the National Association of Social Workers (Texoma branch).

February 25, 2011

Dr. Warshak will conduct an all-day continuing education workshop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, at the request of The Psychologists' Association of Alberta (PAA). Topic: "Welcome Back, Pluto: The Psychology of Families with Alienated and Estranged Children and the Principles, Procedures, and Ethical Considerations of Effective Help." PAA's mission is to advance the science-based profession of psychology and to promote the well-being and potential of all Albertans. For more information, click here.

February 24, 2011

Dr. Warshak speaks to the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization at the Blackfoot Inn, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This lecture and discussion session is open to the general public and begins at 7:00 pm.

February 11, 2011

Dr. Warshak is the keynote speaker at the Dallas Bar Association's Family Law Bench-Bar Conference. Topic: "Welcome Back, Pluto: Tips for Preventing and Overcoming Parental Alienation." The conference will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Addison, Texas.


November 8, 2010

The Huffington Post invited Dr. Warshak to participate as a regular commentator in their new section on Divorce. Dr. Warshak's first contribution, Stop Divorce Poison, appeared today when the section was launched.

September 17, 2010

Dr. Warshak speaks to doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. His lecture topic, part of the Didactics Series, is: Consultations with Divorcing Families. The cauldron of emotions that accompanies divorce often interferes with good-enough parenting. In this lecture Dr. Warshak shows how psychologists can assist families during, and after, divorce. He discusses—and illustrates with clinical examples—goals, structure, and strategies of effective interventions with this population.

June 24, 2010

Dr. Warshak was invited to participate in the Families Matter Symposium, co-sponsored by the American Bar Association Family Law Section and the University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Families, Children and the Courts. A select group of leaders in the field were invited to develop recommendations for family law process reform to make the system less destructive to families. The two-day symposium will be held at the University of Baltimore.

June 3, 2010

Dr. Warshak will participate in a plenary panel at the annual conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Denver, Colorado. The topic of the panel is: "Helping Families with Children Who Reject Parents: Consensus, Controversies and Future Directions."

Also at AFCC, Dr. Warshak and his colleagues will present a 1.5 hour workshop on "Family Bridges: Principles, Procedures, and Ethical Considerations In Reconnecting Severely Alienated Children With Their Parents."

AFCC is an interdisciplinary, international association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict. Watch this site for information about registering for this conference.

May 17, 2010 (online edition May 18, 2010)

Canada's Law Times published Dr. Warshak's commentary explaining the scientific basis for Family Bridges: A Workshop for Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships.

February 19, 2010

Dr. Warshak's extended interview airs on PBS channel KNME in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Watch.

February 12, 2010

Dr. Warshak was honored with an invitation to participate in a demonstration for attorneys on trials of cases with allegations of parental alienation. This event is part of the annual Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists Trial Institute, to be held in Santa Fe.

February 9, 2010

The Toronto Star featured an extensive interview with Dr. Warshak regarding his work, the newly released revised edition of Divorce Poison, and Family Bridges.

February 3, 2010

Toronto Tower.Dr. Warshak will speak at the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Topic: "Court to Children: You Can’t Always Get What You Say You Want, But You Might Get What You Need."

NJI fosters a high standard of judicial performance in Canada by offering educational programs for all federal, provincial and territorial judges.

January 19, 2010

A revised and updated edition of Divorce Poison will be released on this date. In addition to a new subtitle – How To Protect Your Family From Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing – there is a new "Note to the Reader" and a new "Afterword" in the Revised Edition of Divorce Poison.

January 19, 2010

Dr. Warshak is interviewed by Barbara Dooley on WGAU radio in Athens, Georgia.

January 17, 2010

The Asbury Park Press published Dr. Warshak's Op-ed column on the hazards of relying on children's stated preferences in child custody disputes.

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January 14, 2010

Dr. Warshak will conduct an in-service training at Jewish Family Services, Dallas, Texas. Topic: "Therapeutic Management of Alienated Children."

January 2010

Dr. Warshak’s groundbreaking article, "Family Bridges: Using Insights from Social Science to Reconnect Parents and Alienated Children," appears in Family Court Review. Family Court Review is sponsored by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, in cooperation with Hofstra University School of Law, and published by Blackwell Publishing. The article is the first in a refereed journal on the program for severely alienated children that is making headlines. The program is Family Bridges: A Workshop for Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships™. The article passed a rigorous peer review process and provides the first detailed account and followup study of Family Bridges™. This means that expert reviewers and the editors judged the manuscript to have sufficient merit to warrant publication. Furthermore, the article’s acceptance spearheaded the editor’s decision to devote the entire issue of the journal to the topic of alienation. Known as a Special Issue, the topic of the journal is: "Alienated Children in Divorce and Separation: Emerging Approaches for Families and Courts," guest edited by psychologist Barbara Fidler, Ph.D., and attorney Nicholas Bala.

Dr. Warshak’s article describes an innovative educational and experiential program, Family Bridges: A Workshop for Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships™, that draws on social science research to help severely and unreasonably alienated children and adolescents adjust to court orders that place them with a parent they claim to hate or fear. The article examines the benefits and drawbacks of available options for helping alienated children and controversies and ethical issues regarding coercion of children by parents and courts. The program’s goals, principles, structure, procedures, syllabus, limitations, and outcomes are presented. At the workshop’s conclusion, 22 of 23 children, all of whom had failed experiences with counseling prior to enrollment, restored a positive relationship with the rejected parent. At follow-up, 18 of the 22 children maintained their gains; those who relapsed had premature contact with the alienating parent.

Advance copies of the manuscript of what is being called the “Bridges” article have been requested by more than 100 legal and mental health professionals throughout the world. The “Bridges” article is one of three articles written by Dr. Warshak that will be published in the January 2010 issue of Family Court Review. However, with the exception of the Bridges article, all the other articles in this issue, including Dr. Warshak’s two other articles, described below, were invited articles and were not subjected to the rigorous peer review process that the “Bridges” article went through and passed. One of the invited articles is a response to the Bridge’s article written by the eminent authority on divorce, Dr. Joan Kelly.

January 2010

"Helping Alienated Children With Family Bridges: Practice, Research, and the Pursuit of Humbition," an article co-authored by Dr. Warshak and Dr. Mark Otis, appears in Family Court Review. The article briefly summarizes and responds to feedback offered by Dr. Joan Kelly regarding Family Bridges: A Workshop for Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships.™ The article emphasize principles that promote an educational atmosphere as opposed to a therapeutic one, and the court’s role in contributing to successful interventions with severely alienated children. Among the considerations discussed are: working with favored parents, economic comparisons of Family Bridges™ with counseling approaches, modifying the program for use in prevention and with milder cases of alienation, and issues related to training additional team leaders and conducting outcome research.

January 2010

"Alienating Audiences from Innovation: The Perils of Polemics, Ideology, and Innuendo" is the third article written by Dr. Warshak and appearing in Family Court Review’s Special Issue on "Alienated Children in Divorce and Separation: Emerging Approaches for Families and Courts."

This article discusses the importance of balancing careful scrutiny with openness to new ideas when judging innovative programs like Family Bridges. Judicial responses to children who reject a parent are best governed by a multi-factor individualized approach. A presumption that allows children and one parent to regulate the other parent’s access to the children is unsupported by research. A custody decision based solely on the severity of alienation leaves children vulnerable to intensification of efforts to poison their affections toward a parent. Concern with possible short-term distress for some children who are required to repair a damaged relationship should not blind us to the long-term trauma of doing nothing. Professionals are urged to minimize the infusion of polemics, rigid ideology, and rumors when offering opinions with inadequate information, particularly public statements that risk harming children.

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December 18, 2009

Dr. Warshak will appear on ABC 20/20 in an hour-long segment on an international abduction case.

October 29, 2009

Dr. Warshak was quoted in a U. S. News and World Report article posted online (page 2) titled: "Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis?" The article reports on efforts to add and to oppose parental alienation as a diagnosis in the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Dr. Warshak discusses the importance of shielding children from harmful communications.

September 20, 2009

Dr. Warshak appeared on Fox & Friends with host Alisyn Camerota and Michael McCarty, the father of a child taken to Italy by his mother after she lost custody in a NY court. Dr. Warshak discussed the psychology of abducted children. He emphasized that a child's expressions of hatred toward a parent could reflect, not the child's genuine feelings, but a script written by others. Dr. Warshak discussed strategies for successfully reuniting abducted children and parents.

September 2009

Rome, Italy's main newspaper, Il Giornale, mentions Dr. Warshak and Family Bridges, a program for reuniting alienated abducted children with the parents from whom they were taken.

February 3, 2009

The Toronto Star discussed Dr. Warshak's work helping alienated children by offering them a face-saving way to reconnect with their parents.

February 2, 2009

Canada's law newspaper, Law Times, interviewed Dr. Warshak for an article on the growing recognition of parental alienation.

February 2, 2009

Dr. Warshak is the featured speaker at the Ontario Bar Association's annual Family Law Institute in Toronto. Time: 9:00am-10:30am. Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, 222 Bremner Blvd. Topic: "Legal and Therapeutic Management of Alienated Children."

January 13, 2009

Due to the continued strong sales of Divorce Poison, HarperCollins is releasing an E-Book edition on this date.

January 2009

Semana, the leading news magazine in Columbia, South America, quoted Dr. Warshak in an article on parents who are kept from contact with their children.

See earlier Events in Archives.


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