Pub. Date:
Springer Publishing Company
In the Name of the Child: A Developmental Approach to Understanding and Helping Children of Conflicted and Violent Divorce / Edition 2

In the Name of the Child: A Developmental Approach to Understanding and Helping Children of Conflicted and Violent Divorce / Edition 2

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Johnston, Roseby, and Kuehnle take you behind the child's eyes, into their heads...[they] flesh out the familial context, and bring it all back into the larger social world....When you are done reading, you know who these families are, what the children need, and — as a clinician — how you can help them.

—Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, MSL
Maconda Brown O'Connor Professor
Smith College School for Social Work

This book addresses problems that arise for children of conflicted and violent divorce....It provides a good base for beginning to treat children in this situation as well as good information for understanding the legal and community services available."


The fully updated and revised edition of In the Name of the Child examines both the immediate and long-term effects of high-conflict divorce on children. By combining three decades of research with clinical experience, the authors trace the developmental problems affecting very young children through adolescence and adulthood, paying special attention to the impact of family violence and the dynamics of parental alienation.

The authors present clinical interventions that have proven to be most effective in their own clinical work with families. With a new emphasis on the need for prevention and early intervention, this edition examines how defensive strategies and symptoms of distress in children can consolidate into immutable, long-standing psychopathology in their adult lives. This book contains the policies and procedures that can preempt these high-conflict outcomes in divorcing families.

Key Features:

• Contains a new chapter examining the effects of violent divorce on a sample of young adults, tracking their developmental changes from adolescence through adulthood
• Discusses the developmental threats to both boys and girls of different ages and stages, along with therapeutic interventions and guidelines for parenting plans
• Proposes principles and criteria for decision-making about custody, visitation, and parenting plans based on individual assessment of the developing child within his or her family

Mental health professionals, educators, family lawyers, judges, and court administrators will find this book to be an essential read, with all the knowledge and insight needed to understand the short- and long-term effects of violent divorce on children."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826111272
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/06/2009
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 486
Sales rank: 907,988
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Janet R. Johnston, PhD, is a sociologist with a doctorate from Stanford University and a clinical social worker with a master's from the University of Michigan. For three decades she has specialized in research and clinical interventions with high conflict and violent divorcing families, parental alienation and family abduction of children at the Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition. As professor in justice studies at San Jose State University for the past decade, her focus has been on social policies in family and juvenile courts within the context of their communities. She has been the honored recipient of multiple prestigious awards for her numerous publications and keynote presentations at scientific and professional meetings to mental health and legal professionals throughout the USA and abroad. She is the first co-author of Impasses of Divorce: The Dynamics and Resolution of Family Conflict (1988); and Through Children's Eyes: Healing Stories for Children of Divorce (1997).

Vivienne Roseby, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and consulting psychologist to Families First Residential Treatment Center in Davis, California where she has pioneered a developmental treatment model for children and adolescents with histories of acute and chronic trauma. She earned her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has a double major in human development and school psychology and a double minor in clinical psychology and clinical social work.. She has also been a clinical consultant at the Child and Family Study Center at UC Davis and currently consults and teaches widely on developmental psychopathology as it pertains to the diagnosis and treatment of children, adolescents and adults. She is the first co-author of A Safe Place to Grow: A Group Treatment Manual for Children in Conflicted, Violent and Separating Homes (2005).

Kathryn Kuehnle, PhD, is a widely recognized expert in the assessment and treatment of sexually abused children. A licensed psychologist with a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, she specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents and adults who have been victims of sexual abuse in her independent practice in Tampa, Florida. She also provides consultation to attorneys, courts, health care professionals, parents, community agencies and the media regarding child sexual abuse, parenting, and related topics. She is the author of Assessing Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse (1996) and the co-editor of The Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: A Comprehensive Guide to Assessment and Testimony (in press).

Read an Excerpt


Table of Contents




1. The Family Crucible of High-Conflict and Violent Divorce

2. The Prism and Prison of the Child


3. Infants and Toddlers: Problems in Separation-Individuation

4. Preschoolers: Separation, Gender, and Sexualized Anxiety

5. School-Age Children: the Struggle to Feel Lovable,
Good, and Competent

6. Adolescents: Toward Resolution or Stalemate

7. Young Adults: Struggling with the Legacy


8. Building Multidisciplinary Partnerships between the Family Court and Community

9. Co-Parenting Counseling and Parenting Coordination

10. Treatment of Children in Conflicted and Violent Families


11. Domestic Violence: Differential Assessment and Parenting Plans

12. Parental Abduction: Risk Factors and Preventive Interventions

13. Parental Alignments and Alienation: Differential Assessment and Therapeutic Intervention

14. Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody Disputes




What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The risk of long lasting emotional damage that parents who divorce with high conflict and violence expose their children is one of the principal problems that faces family courts today. In this book, three of the very best social scientist researchers and clinicians in the field bring together the available research and mental health and legal practices that can help the legal system address the problem. Their call for individualized, sensitive treatment for the children of high conflict and violent divorce by courts and professionals and multi disciplinary partnerships between family courts and community resources makes this book required reading for family court judges, divorce lawyers, legislators and concerned citizens. It is a major contribution to helping family courts protect the best interests of these children at risk."

--Andrew Schepard

Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Children,

Families and the Law, Hofstra University School

"A towering work of scholarship that stands alone in its wisdom and compassion for the suffering of children and their parents who are locked into seemingly unending divorce related bitter conflict with each other. Based on many years of research and painstaking reflection, the authors, who bring outstanding professional reputations to the task, offer new ways of understanding these tormented families along with new paradigms for intervention. Their proposals are firmly anchored in sophisticated clinical knowledge. They are also practicable, having been developed over many years of successful programs which have drawn on the cooperative efforts of the courts, the legal profession, and mental health practitioners."

--Judith Wallerstein, PhD

Author, What About the Kids? Raising Your Children Before , During and After Divorce

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