New Ways for Families is a method for helping families in separation and divorce. It is intended to inoculate families from becoming high-conflict in the court process, and can also help families after court with difficult co-parenting issues.
This Basic Training video is a 6-hour course taught by Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., Co-Founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute, who developed the method. It includes:
How Does New Ways for Families Work?
New Ways for Families is a structured parenting skills method designed to reduce the impact of conflict on children in potentially high-conflict cases. This training is for professionals to understand how the method works.
In practice, New Ways for Families can be used whenever a parent or the court believes one parent needs restricted parenting (supervised, no contact, limited time), at the start of a case or any time a parent requests restricted parenting including after the divorce or separation. This method emphasizes strengthening skills for positive future behavior (new ways), rather than focusing on past negative behavior while still acknowledging it.
Once parents are referred by the court, each parent meets with a trained New Ways for Families counselor individually for six weeks working through the New Ways for Families Parent Workbook; then each parent and the child(ren) meet with a counselor to work through the Parent-Child section of the Workbook. One parent/children on the first week; the other parent/children on the second week; alternating for three weeks. The goal is for both parents and the children to meet together with the counselor on the final week after which the mediation or any negotiations to establish a parenting plan or work out parenting issues can take place more peacefully.
1. Identify the research basis, goals and practical implications of New Ways for Families in reducing conflict in family law cases.
2. Identify the four steps of New Ways and use an understanding of these steps to improve service delivery to family law clients.
3. Apply skills to focus clients on learning conflict-reducing skills rather than blaming others.
4. Apply cognitive-behavior therapy methods with clients using the Parent Workbooks.
5. Apply family therapy methods with clients in structuring the Parent-Child Counseling.
6. Identify the important structuring role of judicial officers with high-conflict parents and use this understanding to facilitate client’s participation in New Ways.
7. Apply methods of dealing with resistance of high-conflict parents for counselors.
8. Identify the lawyer’s role of guiding clients in making proposals, responding to proposals and making their own lasting decisions in family law matters and use this understanding to create a supportive interdisciplinary approach to service delivery.
9. Apply methods of managing parent decision-making in the alternative dispute resolution processes of mediation, parenting facilitation, collaborative practice and as Guardians ad litem.
10. Recognize the importance of all professionals reinforcing client skills in managing future problems and discuss practical implications of such.