Family law cases involving child custody usually have any number of therapists playing different roles in the case. One can be a therapist to the child, another can see each parent, a third can see both parents. One of the important features of using therapists is that it can provide opportunities for normal, well-adjusted people to examine their situation differently. The problems, however, that arise or staggering if the therapist is not equipped to understand what is really happening.
For example, in one case, a therapist was appointed as a “reunification therapist”. Such services are provided when a child is estranged from the parent. In the case of an alienated child, the conventional wisdom is that if the child and parent are brought together, it can help. The problem is that normally the child goes home with the alienating parent, so any work that is done is instantly reversed with the normal tactics of an alienating parent. This is an example of how the conventional wisdom is ultimately harmful, and the court and therapists act as enablers rather than engaging in a productive process.