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Help to get it right for children in divorce proceedings

Prof. Philip D. Jaffé, Directeur Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch

The child between meaningful participant and new family warrior: how forensic psychologists can help to get it right for children in separtation and divorce proceedings
This presentation focuses on how forensic mental health specialists are required to perform a complex balancing act while assessing high conflict families and seeking solutions to propose to the judicial authorities. In particular, while it may be an easy conceptual position to adopt, simply stating that the child’s best interest and his/her right to participate meaningfully (Art. 12 CRC) are at the center of the evaluation is misguided. Teasing out parental competencies in the midst of destructive and spiteful attitudes, harnessing the child’s own “agenda” -to a point- to move parental positions, lowering expectations and managing disappointment for all, etc., represent some of the less lofty tasks. Add to the mix a necessarily subjective involvement on the part of the professional makes it paramount that the forensic psychologist and/or psychiatrist be him/herself a well-balanced person and capable of mapping a clear ethical stance.

 Prof. Philip Jaffé, psychologist (University of Geneva and the Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch in Sion)

Prof. Philip Jaffé, psychologist (University of Geneva and the Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch in Sion)

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