Children at the center of conflict are more vulnerable to emotional distress, educational and medical problems, reflecting a complex interplay of causes and service needs. Current controversies regarding family therapy, amplified by polarized arguments and political advocacy, challenge attempts at civility and increase the risk that children’s independent needs will be overlooked or distorted.  Conflict inhibits essential cooperation among the various professionals who may interact with a family. Conversely, an infusion of mental health resources and well trained therapists has made effective treatment more available. How do we craft effective orders, maximize use of resources, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, and keep effective services available to families and children? Our multidisciplinary panel will address recent legislative developments and practical approaches to address the impacts of both trauma and family dynamics that pose lifelong risks to children. Tools will be provided for crafting effective orders, recognizing problematic treatment, and intervening when problems arise.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to identify two areas in which mental health support has become more available to children.
  • Participants will be able to identify two examples of the interaction between children’s emotional distress and physical complaints or educational challenges.
  • Participants will be able to identify three critical elements of effective orders for family therapy.
  • Participants will be able to identify three steps to establishing treatment goals that are relevant and scientifically supportable.