Foundations of Parenting Coordination 

  • Author: Debra K. Carter
  • For: Helping Professions
  • Study time: 21 hours
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Foundations of Parenting Coordination 
 - Online Edition-
Debra K. Carter
  • Video time: 180 days
  • Certification 
Lesson series


1 seminars of 4 hours.
Video lessons in original language
Debra K. Carter, Ph.D. is a clinical and forensic psychologist, a Certified Family Mediator and a Qualified Parenting Coordinator. She is also the Co-Founder and Training Director of the National Cooperative Parenting Center (NCPC) which offers services and professional training to the mental health and legal communities in North America and around the globe. Dr. Carter is a leading researcher on the efficacy of Parenting Coordination and the author of Parenting Coordination: A Practical Guide for Family Law Professionals, CoParenting After Divorce: A GPS for Healthy Kids, and a Parenting Coordination training video, Strategic Interventions, Structures, and Skills in addition to numerous chapters and articles on family law matters. Dr. Carter is affiliated with the University of South Florida (SP)- Family Study Center and recently chaired the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Parenting Coordination Guidelines Revision Task Force. She is Past President of the Florida Chapter of AFCC and has received numerous state and national awards for her valuable contribution to the field of psychology, family law, and parenting coordination.
Foundations of Parenting Coordination 
Parenting Coordination is a child-centered dispute resolution process for families with children who are separated or divorced and continue to have unresolved conflict. It is a process that includes coaching, education, consensus building, case management, and, when authorized, decision making. This course is for professionals who wish to become parenting coordinators (PCs) and work with high-conflict families. The Foundations course will introduce the functions and responsibilities of a PC as well as roles, benefits & risks, overview of research on parenting coordination effectiveness, and other relevant topics related to helping parents resolve disputes and build an effective and sustainable coparenting team. Each module will build on the prior module to provide a comprehensive training experience. Interactive exercises will also be included to enhance applied learning.

Module 1 – Introduction to Parenting Coordination 
This module covers the framework of parenting coordination, including role, functions, and responsibilities. The rationale for development of this hybrid psycho-legal process and research, to date, on effectiveness will be presented along with various models of parenting coordination and their utility.

Module 2 – Parenting Coordination Guidelines 
This module will present the relevant international standards and guidelines governing the ethical practice of parenting coordination as well as the core skill sets, training, and experience needed for an effective process.   

Module 3– Orientation & Screening 
This module introduces the sequential phases of parenting coordination and provides an in-depth overview of Phase I which includes referrals, intake, screening, relevant background and history information, session protocol, and identification of children and parents’ immediate needs. 

Module 4 – The Parenting Coordination Process 
This modules presents Phase II of the process including collaborative team building, establishing a communication protocol, setting up a structure to ensure court orders or agreements for time-sharing between children and each parent are honored, and educational interventions to help de-escalate conflict between parents. 

Module 5 – High-Conflict Coparenting Dynamics and Impact on Children 
This module presents tools and strategies to differentiate high conflict coparenting dynamics, structural interventions to mitigate risks to children, and protective factors to build into the parenting plan. Research on the impact of exposure to interparental conflict for children and the timeline for building a sustainable coparenting team will also be reviewed. The role of new partners will also be covered.

Module 6 – Intervention Strategies
This module presents additional intervention strategies and techniques (introduced in Module 4) to build consensus between parents and provides an overview of the arbitration component of the process, including dealing with noncompliance. Rationale for involvement of children (risks & benefits, reliability of children’s reports, developmentally informed interviewing protocols) and research on child development relative to the high conflict family population will also be covered.

Module 7 – Conflict Analysis and Containment 
This module introduces assessment tools and techniques for conflict analysis along with a review of interventions when intractable conflict is present. Structural techniques to help shield children from conflict and interventions when there has been a history of family violence will be reviewed. 
Module 8 – Strategies to Disengage from Conflict 
This module presents the clinical and psycho-education interventions to help parents manage anger and learn how to contain and resolve conflicts more constructively once they have moved beyond the initial volatile emotions and litigation has concluded (later part of Phase II of the PC process). Techniques to facilitate agreements and the essential elements of a good written agreement will be introduced.

Module 9 – Building an Effective and Sustainable Coparenting Plan
This module presents different Coparent models and techniques to determine the most effective model based on family dynamics. Techniques to heighten parent self-awareness and tools to sustain an effective coparenting team after the parenting coordination process has concluded will be covered. Strategies for modifying parenting plans as children’s and parents’ needs evolve will also be reviewed. 

Module 10 – Families with Extra Challenges 
This module covers the challenges and techniques needed when one or both parents have a mental disorder, including personality disorders, substance abuse, physical illness, or impairment. The protocol for managing children with special needs will be covered along with an overview of interventions when children resist or refuse contact with a parent.

Module 11 – Managing the Parenting Coordination Process
This module introduces Phase III (Maintenance & Termination) of the parenting coordination process, including enhanced communication tools and techniques for parents, assessing children’s recovery from trauma, and how to terminate the process to give parents a path forward sustaining focus on their children. 

Module 12 – Ethics, Risk Management, & Use of Technology 
This module covers ethical standards for the PC, multicultural awareness, the use of technology, impact of providing virtual services, professional risk management, and how to assess and manage burnout. The importance of building a professional support and community network will also be presented. 

Learning Objectives

  • Define and elaborate on mentalization as a theoretical and clinical concept
  • Understand the difficulties in mentalization in personality disorders
  • Recognize the process of mentalization and non-mentalization
  • Identify interventions to develop mentalization and useful techniques for daily practice
  • Outline declinations of MBT for Antisocial Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse Disorder, and Complex Trauma


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