Many mental health professionals these days are forced to act in a particular role. That role may be as a parent facilitator, parent coordinator, what have you. The mental health professional is to work together with an attorney who has his own identified role, and so it goes.
Judge’s looking for solutions to family law disputes must find themselves feeling like the band director at a sixth grade band class. When the court appoints mental health professionals and begins to elicit testimony from their “expert” NOISE can be the word of the day, not BEAUTIFUL music the court wanted to hear.
So how do we make this better? Mental health professionals need to be able to work OUTSIDE of the statutory defined roles so they can do the work they were trained to do. Mental health professionals can be CREATIVE and can get parents to FOCUS in a way that attorney’s can not.
So we rewrite the music sheets, or perhaps add to their repertoire. Mental health professionals can have their roles defined not only by statute BUT by court order. Restructuring court orders will be just the thing to expand the mental health professional’s role in cases and truly be able to join in full force on a team based approach to resolving family law conflict.
We will be addressing this topic in our upcoming seminar on September 25th, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. We will be talking about using mental health professionals as ad litem’s in custody cases. We will also be talking about using amicus’ to work with mental health professionals to help parent’s problem solve their way through custody/visitation issues.
Please join us to join in the discussion.