Complex Issues in Custody Evaluations: Taking It to the Next Level

12 hours

INSTRUCTORS:  Nancy Olesen, Ph.D., S. Margaret Lee, PhD. , Robert Kaufman, PhD, ABPP, Sheryl Hausman, Ph.D, Steven Friedlander, Ph.D.

   January 20-21, 2017 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm)

    175 North Redwood Drive,

San Rafael, CA 94903 (Muir Woods Room)

          (20 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge )

FEE: $600 (Early Registration: $550 if by 12/08/16; $575 if paid by 12/22/2016)



Many clinicians who have completed the training mandated by the California Rules of Court still find that undertaking a child custody evaluation is both challenging and demanding. For example, how does an evaluator assess allegations of abuse in the midst of intense family conflict? How does one wade through conflicting reports when a child is refusing to spend time with a parent? How and when can an evaluator recommend a multi-step parenting plan to keep parents from returning to court every six months? And, how to manage and resolve the conflicting demands when fashioning a shared parenting plan for infants and toddlers?

Especially if you are relatively new to the field, this two-day workshop will enable you to work more confidently and effectively as a custody evaluator by building on your baseline training, expanding your knowledge and familiarizing you with current research and clinical approaches. Interactive teaching sessions will emphasize both theoretical approaches and practical applications.

This course brings together five highly knowledgeable and veteran forensic psychologists, each with more than 20 years of experience in child custody evaluation, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, forensic consultation and education.

About the Instructors:

Nancy W. Olesen, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, who works with children and families. She has conducted hundreds of parenting plan and dependency evaluations over the past 25 years for courts in California and provided expert testimony in divorce and family law cases in California and other states. Dr. Olesen has taught many courses for professionals in the best practices in child custody evaluation in California, throughout the US, in Europe and in Asia. These courses include the mandatory training required in California for court appointed evaluators. In addition, she has conducted courses for judges, attorneys, and mediators on child custody special issues such as child abuse, alienation, domestic violence, and attachment. She consults with attorneys and provides expert testimony on these subjects.

S. Margaret Lee, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist whose work focus is providing services to divorcing families and family law attorneys. Dr. Lee performs custody evaluations, consults with attorneys, provides expert witness testimony, is a mediator and provides co-parent counseling to parents. Dr. Lee has done research regarding psychological testing in child custody evaluations. Dr. Lee is a frequent presenter at national conferences in the area of psychology/family law. Recent peer reviewed articles have involved issues of attachment in child custody work and providing consultation to family law attorneys. Dr. Lee obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Alliance University in 1978.

Robert L. Kaufman PhD, ABPP is a psychologist in Oakland and San Rafael, CA who is board certified in forensic psychology and has worked in family law for over 20 years. In that arena, he performs child custody evaluations, does mediation and co-parent counseling, conducts psychological and neuropsychological assessments and also offers consultation to attorneys. For many years, he has presented workshops at professional conferences, including AFCC, the Society for Personality Assessment, American Trial Lawyers Association and local bar associations. Dr. Kaufman has authored several journal articles in family law and has taught at Bay Area graduate schools, including UC Berkeley, the Wright Institute and Alliant University. He has also served on the Board of the Family and Children’s Law Center in San Rafael, including three years as its president, and is currently on the Board of AFCC California Chapter. For almost 15 years, Dr. Kaufman has worked as a Senior Trial consultant for the firm of Bonora-Rountree, Trial Consulting & Research in San Francisco.

Sheryl B. Hausman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in Marin County specializing in the evaluation of complex custody cases and working with separating and divorcing families since 1987. She has served as a court-appointed child custody evaluator, Parent Coordinator, child custody mediator, co-parent counselor, and psychotherapist. Dr. Hausman taught psychological testing as an Adjunct Faculty member at the California School of Professional Psychology, and has been a Staff Affiliate in the Department of Psychiatry at California Pacific Medical Center. She has extensive experience developing parenting plans and helping separated and divorced parents learn to co-parent their children. Throughout her career, Dr. Hausman has had the opportunity to combine her knowledge of the divorce research literature with her clinical experience to help families through the transition of separation and divorce.

Steven Friedlander, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice with offices in Marin and San Francisco Counties. His practice includes psychotherapy and psychological testing with children, adolescent and adults; consultation to other professionals; parent consultation and co-parent counseling; mediation; child custody evaluations; and special master/parent coordination in high conflict post-divorce cases. He has a special interest and expertise in interventions when a child is resisting or refusing contact with a parent. He also conducts evaluations in civil cases and consults to attorneys and other professionals in child custody matters. Dr. Friedlander is Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco.

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