Keeping Kids Out of the Middle: Assessing and addressing the needs of the triangulated child

alt Course: Keeping Kids Out of the Middle: Assessing and addressing the needs of the triangulated child

alt Instructor: Benjamin D. Garber, Ph.D.

alt Approved for 2.0 Hours of CE Credit

alt Fulfills Requirements for Psycholgists, MFTs, LCSWs, and Licensed Professional Counselors.

alt This course is designed for Full and Part-Time Private Practitioners, and Full and Part-Time Agency Employees

alt High Resolution Online Streaming Video Format Available

benjamin garber

This keynote presentation introduces viewers to the basics of family functioning, the dynamics that can nurture a child toward healthy autonomy, and the ways in which co-parental conflict, separation and divorce can do harm. As a developmentalist, Dr. Garber asserts that family is defined by the caregivers who jointly “hold” the child. Anxiety grows when caregiver conflict compromises the child’s security. Dr. Garber catalogues the relationship dynamics that can leave a child triangulated into the adult conflict from most benign to most insidious, including the child’s incidental preferences and aversions, the child’s chameleon-like adaptation to disparate caregiving environments, role corruption, polarization, and alienation. Custody evaluators, child and family therapists, family law professionals and the courts are urged to understand each child’s unique needs in terms of relationship “fit.” Specific evaluation tools and processes are recommended in support of this goal.


Course Goal and Objectives

  • Develop practical means of conceptualizing family functioning in terms of the caregivers' ability to "hold" the child.
  • Identify at least four family system dynamics that can inhibit the child's movement toward healthy autonomy
  • Better understand how family conflict fuels children's anxiety and, conversely, how structure reduces anxiety
  • List specific strategies that create structure and can thereby help to reduce children's anxiety
  • Identify how the child's need for acceptance and affection can cause some children to become "chameleon-like" in the context of family conflict
  • Move beyond a pathology-focused model of child-custody in favor of a focus on the "fit" among the specific family members.


Registration Information

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Online Video Version


CE Approval Information

This course fulfills 2.0 hours Continuing Education credit for licensed mental health professionals in most states.

  • The Steve Frankel Group, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists. The Steve Frankel Group, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course meets the qualifications for 2 hours of CE credit for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs.
  • The course outline or agenda for this training has been approved as corresponding to subject areas specified in California Rules of Court, rules5.225(d)(1), 5.225(d)(2) and 5.225(d)(3). [continue, as below, with the last sentence]: The views expressed in this training are those of the trainer and do not necessarily represent the official positions or policies of the Judicial Council of California.


Your access to the course material extends for 3-years from the date of purchase. This includes after passing the post-test, so you may continue to review its contents.

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