Keeping Whole When Parents Split: Helping Children Survive the Custody War

Presenter: Margaret Pope MSS LCSW

Saturday March 28, 2015 | Time: 10 am to 1:00 pm (3 CEs)
(Please arrive at 9:30 am for light breakfast and registration.)

Location: Millersville, PA 17551

Program Description:


When an intimate relationship ends, one or both of the parties involved can suffer a devastating narcissistic injury. In order to make the break and to survive the injury, partners often regress temporarily to an early developmental level where they are unable to perceive their ex as containing both good and bad elements. When individuals remain stuck at this level, their children become trapped between feuding parents who cannot recognize the impact of their distortions on the children. In this program, we will examine the dynamics of high conflict custody situations from an object relations perspective, consider how these dynamics affect child development, and discuss intervention strategies to help children caught in the middle of their parents' custody battles.


Clinical Objectives:


  1. Assess levels of conflict and apply a psychodynamic framework to differentiate between normal and problematic separation processes.
  2. Identify the impact of parental conflict on a child's development.
  3. Describe intervention strategies and factors which influence the choice of interventions.
  4. Discuss therapist discomfort with high conflict custody cases, identify personal blocks, and generate ideas for working through the discomfort.


About the Presenter:


Margaret Pope, MSS, LCSW, will begin her new role as Counseling Program Director at Family Service of Chester County in January.  Meg teaches the mandatory Children in the Middle Parenting Class which educates parents filing custody petitions in Chester County on how to lessen the impact of divorce and separation on their children.  She works with custody cases using a variety of modalities including individual and family counseling for children affected by divorce and volatile custody disputes, court mandated co-parent counseling, and parenting groups which help sensitize parents to their children's perspectives and needs. Meg is currently serving as Vice President of PSCSW.


Cost: No charge for PSCSW Members to attend; $20 for Non Members to attend. There is a $10 fee for anyone wishing a CE certificate.

Cancellation Policy:


PSCSW Members: There is a $5 non refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program.
Non Members: There is a $10 non refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program.


No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours notice is given for this program.


This program is presented and hosted by PSCSW members. Both the presenter and host put a lot of time and preparation to make sure that attendees are receiving a wonderful program and feel welcome at the program. Just as in your professional life when someone cancels last minute, it has an impact on you. Please be cognizant of this when you register for this program.


Continuing Education Credits: 


For Pennsylvania Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).


For New Jersey Social Workers:  This program is approved for credits.  Programs or courses approved by boards that license social work practice in other states are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)10).

PSCSW Members: Be sure to login to see discounted member pricing for this event.

  • March 28, 2015
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm