How to Talk with Children in High Conflict Divorce and Separation Cases

How to Talk with Children in High Conflict Divorce and Separation Cases

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How to Talk with Children in High Conflict Divorce and Separation Cases

The aim of the training would be to consider how to talk with children in high conflict divorce and separation cases. The course will look at the developmental stages in childhood and what is needed from their parents and significant others when going through the process of separation and divorce.  One in four children experiences the separation and/or divorce of their parents by the time they reach 16 years old. I will discuss the psychological issues children will face when in these situations. I will explore the application of child focused techniques in order to help mediators engage with children and adolescents. In addition I will explain systemic theory and skills to help participants engage parents who are struggling to keep in mind their children’s mental state.  Specific techniques such as genograms and the use of play materials will be practised on the day.  Concepts from Narrative therapy will be draw upon to help mediators develop more positive stories about the future life for children and parents post separation and divorce.  The theory of mentalization will be explored which can be applied to high conflict situations. Mentalization is the ability to understand the mental state of oneself or others. Mediators will learn skills to help children and parents mentalize more effectively. Different teaching styles will be used on the day which will include a combination of lecturing, video material, role play and case studies.

Trainer: Simon Shattock Independent Trainer and Family & Systemic Psychotherapist


I am a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Family Therapy. I have significant clinical experience in working with children who have experienced self-harm, eating disorders, conduct disorders, bereavement, trauma and interpersonal issues. I work with children and families coping with the adjustment of divorce and separation and have experience working across different cultures and religions. I have research interest into the impact of separated fathers. I have over 19 years’ experience of working in social care and mental health settings with both children and adults and worked for many years in the NHS in Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. I currently also work as a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist in a Tier 4 adolescent unit in Hertfordshire CAMHS as well as in private practice in Wimpole Street, London.  I have lectured on a number of different mental health courses at City University, Highgate Counselling Centre and the Tavistock Centre. I am currently completing a supervision training of other systemic family therapist and other professionals.

Please click here to watch/listen to a short introduction to the course from Simon.

Scheduled dates