Family law professionals of all disciplines attempt to help children and families at some of the most stressful times of their lives. Clients’ emotions and behaviors are frequently intense and uncontrolled, with the context of actual or potential litigation only adding to the tension. Research from other highly stressful fields has shown that exposure to such interpersonal stress, coupled with the scrutiny and demands of the legal process and the pressure of decision-making can contribute to psychological exhaustion or burnout, problematic professional behavior, as well as compromised judgement. This workshop will examine both predictable stressors, as well as those that arise more insidiously. We will discuss maintaining boundaries and forensic empathy with troubled and troubling clients as well as means by which professionals can identify, understand, and cope with problems and maintain sound mental health. We will also examine the similar and unique impact on professionals in different career phases.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe three problematic ways that family law professionals might engage with difficult clients who are displaying challenging behaviors.
  • Participants will be able to identify three ways that excessive stress might impact a professionals work in the family law system.
  • Participants will be able to demonstrate knowledge of three approaches to managing unanticipated stress and mitigate negative impact on a professional’s work.