“Children in high-conflict families are like prisoners in a war zone. They will say and do whatever they think is necessary to survive.” (Eddy, 2012).
Research has shown that prolonged stress can trigger the release of cortisol in one’s brain and body. Over time, this can create damage, especially in the developing brain of a child, to the corpus callosum, which helps the left and right sides of the brain work together.
We also know that prolonged stress is often present in high-conflict divorce cases, especially those cases that spend a lot of time in and out of the family courts. Parents need to understand that continued conflict can create long-lasting, adverse consequences for their children, resulting in effects potentially as serious as child abuse. Whether the stress comes from emotional, physical, or sexual trauma, hormonal changes can occur in a child’s brain, creating permanent changes. While most parents would never intentionally abuse their children, many, unaware of the adverse consequences, expose their children to high-intensity separation and divorce drama that could permanently rewire their child’s brain. Adverse effects may include, but are not limited to, difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships, antisocial behavior, enmeshment, low self-esteem, depression, and substance abuse. Once these critical brain changes have occurred, there may be no going back.
The remedy to this problem is to ensure that children are not abused in the first place. The Denton County legal community and those who assist family court judicial officers are taking the issues that high-conflict families face seriously. In an effort to prevent families from becoming frequent visitors to the family courts, the Denton County Collaborative Law group is providing the New Ways for Families training on May 23-24, 2019. This full two-day advanced training is focused on resolution skills for mediators, lawyers, Judges, and mental health professionals working with high-conflict individuals and their families, especially those who require judicial management. The training is suggested for family law attorneys and judges and is required for mental health professionals providing the New Ways for Families method.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Conference Coordinator, Robin Watts, at 940-367-7253.