Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Simple Communications Model to Use

Cathy Heenan, Ed.D. recently posted an article in her blog that introduces a model you can use with your spouse when emotions are running high and you need to be able to solve a dispute.

Here's what you need to do:
  • If you can agree with what is being said, simply say..."I agree."
  • If you agree with part of what is being said, begin with, "I agree with [the part you in fact agree with].  I do have trouble with [the part you don't agree with]."
Try out this model and see if it helps you to reach some agreement at a time when it is so important to do so.

Monday, March 24, 2014

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - A Persisitent Threat to Women in the USA

 In a recent New York Times OP-ED Nicholas Kristof informs us that in the United States, domestic violence claims the life of an American Woman every six hours and strikes 25% of all American women in their lifetimes.  Such shocking statistics clearly demonstrate that this is a huge problem which deserves very serious attention. 

Mr. Kristof identifies 3 steps that are needed to fight this plague:
First, we must end the silence. victims must be encouraged to report violent episodes and then given support once they have done so.
Second, we must ensure the law enforcement takes the issue seriously before a victim becomes a corpse.
Third, offenders should be required to attend mandated classes designed to enable the offender to confront his behavior with brutal honesty and in doing do, to learn how to moderate his expectations and beliefs so that he can become a recovering abuser.

In Durham County, victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Durham Crisis Response Center as follows:


(919) 403-6562 (English)
(919) 519-3735 (EspaƱola)

In Orange County, victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Compass Center as follows:


(919) 929-7122

In Wake County, victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact InterAct of Wake County as follows:


(919) 828-7740 or toll free (866) 291-0855

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What is the role of the custody evaluator?

I just finished reading an excellent article  by Gary Direnfield, MSW, RSW entitled Unraveling Custody/Access Assessments/Evaluations.  In this article Gary provides his reader with a succinct explanation of the role and responsibility of the evaluator as well as explaining when and how custody evaluations come about.  The important take away is that parental action or sometimes, inaction lies at the base of the need to call in a custody evaluator and that always it is best for parents to come to their own parenting decisions rather than place the burden on the Court.  Further, the evaluator is not the decision-maker, that is the role for the judge.  Instead, the role of the evaluator is to gather facts and then make recommendations to the court regarding the parents' relative parenting strengths and weaknesses in light of the specific emotional, developmental and other such needs of their children.