- Custody/Access Assessments
of Family Court Evaluations
parents meet children’s needs,
Helping parents help themselves."
Custody/access evaluations (also called psychological parenting
evaluations) assist parents and courts in determining the best
plan for their children with respect to the division of parenting
time and parenting responsibilities. Sometimes parents jointly
agree to have an assessment, sometimes they are ordered to do
so by the courts. Comprehensive evaluations consist of several
parts. First as a parent, you will be interviewed in the psychologist's
office and will be asked to complete a number of psychological
tests. The tests include personality and parenting-related measures.
You will be observed in direct interaction with your children,
usually at least once in your home and once in the psychologist’s
office. The psychologist will ask you to provide a list of people
who you would like to be interviewed on your behalf, preferably
people who are familiar with your parenting practices. If there
is another adult living in the home who is involved in parenting
the children, that person will also be assessed. The psychologist
will interview your children, and depending on their age, might
ask them to complete some tests and questionnaires. Teachers,
therapists and other professionals who know your family may
also be contacted for information. Finally, you or your lawyer
will be asked to provide all necessary documents to be reviewed.
At the end of the process, the psychologist will produce a written
report which integrates all this information. Arrangements will
likely be made to meet with both sets of legal counsel to discuss
the overall report and recommendations. Once the report is released,
the onus is back on the parents to work toward some sort of
workable settlement keeping in mind the findings of the evaluation.
If no agreement can be reached at this stage, one or both parents
may then take the matter forward to court, where a judge will
review all the information presented through a trial before
making a final decision. Regardless of how settlement is reached,
it is important for parents to protect their children from unnecessary
involvement in the process, for example, by refraining from
discussion of the outcome until a final agreement is actually
Often parents who have gone through a custody evaluation find
they have learned a great deal about their individual strengths
and weaknesses and that they have an increased understanding
of the social and emotional needs of their children. They may
better understand how they got stuck when they were going through
the separation process. Most importantly, with the assistance
of their legal advisors, they may be able to work toward creating
a parenting plan with a clearer sense of both their children’s
needs and their own commitments.
For a comprehensive discussion about an evaluation, see A Parent's
Guide to Custody and Access Family Assessment. This pamphlet
by Dr. Arthur Leonoff, a Psychologist based in Ottawa, Ontario,
provides a more detailed overview of what you might expect from
an open bilateral custody evaluation. While individual assessors
will vary in their approach and format compared to Dr. Leonoff,
a good general overview is provided. This pamphlet is originally
from the Guide to Custody and Access Assessments by Arthur Leonoff
and Robert Montague, published 1996 by Carswell, and may be
printed off for your personal use.
At the Centre for Family and Health Psychology, both Dr.
Joanne Seitz and Dr. Graeme T. Clark specialize in
Psychological Parenting Evaluations for custody/access and child
protection issues. More detailed information about their respective
professional backgrounds is also provided below.
Generally, we try to complete custody assessments within two
or three months of the start date. A custody assessment for
a family with two parents and two children requires, on average,
40 hours to completion. Time depends on the complexity of the
case and the number of individuals involved. Complexity increases
in situations where abuse, domestic violence, alienation processes
and the like are alleged.
Fees for assessments vary from between $175.00 to $200.00 per
hour. Please note that both Dr. Clark and Dr. Seitz are affiliated
with the Custody Mediation Program and their services can be
partially covered by government subsidy where warranted.
Both Dr. Clark and Dr. Seitz are also available for Practice
Note 7 evaluations, including Parental Conflict Interventions,
for liaison consultation with lawyers, and for Work Product
Reviews critiquing evaluations completed by other colleagues.
Depending on circumstances, we also occasionally do one-sided
evaluations (from a strictly independent position) and targeted
The following pamphlet by Dr. Arthur Leonoff,
a Psychologist based in Ottawa, Ontario, provides a more detailed
overview of what you might expect from an open bilateral custody
evaluation. While individual assessors will likely vary in their
approach and format compared to Dr. Leonoff, a good general
overview is provided. This pamphlet may be printed off for your
Parent’s Guide to Custody and Access Family Assessment
Reprinted with permission from Dr. Arthur Leonoff, Psychologist.
Originally from Arthur Leonoff and Robert J. Montague, Guide
to Custody and Access Assessments (Published by Carswell Publishing,
Scarborough, Ontario, 1996)
This booklet is intended as an introduction and guide for separating
or divorcing parents who are facing an assessment to determine
custody and access provisions for their children.
An assessment involves a study of the family. These family studies
are commonly requested by the lawyers representing the parents
or ordered by the court to provide an impartial basis of evidence
upon which to make these vital and sensitive decisions. The
assessments are only conducted when court ordered or when mutual
consent of both parents and their lawyers has been attained.
The assessor providing the evaluation is a mental health professional
with special training in personality and human development who
lends his or her expertise to assist you in making these decisions
with the least stress and trauma to your children and to yourselves.
If you are now in the position where an assessment has been
recommended or ordered, it is very important that you are familiar
with some of the basic principles and procedures that the assessor
will use in evaluating yourself and other family members or
significant others. This is the intention of this booklet. Hopefully,
with this overview, you will feel more informed about the assessment,
more comfortable with the process, and more aware of what it
The Assessment and the Assessor
Divorcing parents, in conflict over the proper route for themselves
and their children, face many losses and disruptions. No loss
is more feared, however, than that of children. We all experience
our children as part of ourselves and we may be concerned that
the other parent may not appreciate how precious a bond they
represent to us. In this burdened atmosphere, custody and access
assessments can feel like the edge of a slippery slope. How
will the assessor view the process and what should you, as a
participant, know in order to further the aims and progress
of the evaluation?
1. The Assessor
The assessor is trained to be "therapeutic" and he
or she will try to be so in your case. Although the legal system
works within a conflict model, mental health assessors do not.
Rather, the assessor will look at what each parent can bring
to the new family system, the strengths and weaknesses along
side special needs and capacities of the children, in order
to propose a post-separation arrangement that will best fit
your children’s emotional and social requirements. This
framework will include specific recommendations as to residence,
legal responsibilities, and visitation schedules. The assessor
will be interested in whom you are as people as well as the
personality, needs and attributes of your children. Having collected
much information from the evaluation, the assessor will then
harmonize and integrate what has been learned in order to tailor
make a parenting formula that will be most relevant and useful
not simply in the present but for the years to follow.
The assessor will look at strengthening bonds, avoiding further
losses, healing emotional wounds, and finding ways to avoid
creating new ones. Of course, the assessor is being asked to
make judgments and this is unavoidable for the reality of the
divorce conflict or concerns demand this. Yet, all research
shows that it is chronic unresolved conflict between parents
that is most harmful to children in divorce no matter what arrangement
is in place, and the assessor is most interested in helping
you prevent this.
When a divorcing family is referred for a custody and access
assessment, there has often been a great deal of prior conflict
and negative feelings likely prevail. Understandably, parents
may feel misunderstood and even blamed by the other parent for
what has happened to their relationship and they are anxious
that the assessor understand their point of view and work with
their concerns and worries. Because marital breakdown and divorce
result in a very stressful time, it is natural for self esteem
to suffer and for people to be drawn into a fighting stance.
Having lawyers to represent you in this conflict and to provide
access to the courts is one way to help resolve disputes. Family
assessments are another because they can get beyond combat and
look at the longer term interests of the children and their
parents. The atmosphere and aims of an assessment are best seen
as an objective study and not as a battle. It is important to
remember that you will have many years to parent together long
after these urgent matters are settled.
3. "Best Interests of the Children"
During litigation, the courts often ask the assessor to consider
what custody and access provisions will be in the best interests
of the children. This determination is never easy to make and,
although it is made after much thought and study, it remains
an opinion. The assessor is asked to assist your lawyers and
the courts but is not there to replace them. The assessor is
not a judge but his or her expertise in human behaviour should
allow a special insight into what will likely work best for
all concerned in the future. In the case of a trial, judges
will generally rely on the results of the evaluation in reaching
4. On What Basis Does the Assessor Decide Upon Recommendations?
It is difficult to list all the factors that are considered
when such an assessment is done. Each family situation is unique
and requires a special investigation of the merits and issues
that divide the parents and impede resolution. The following,
however, are some of the important factors that are well described
in the psychological literature:
a. The relative strength and health of relationship between
each parent and
b. The personality of the parents and what each can bring to
the benefit of
their children during the growing up
c. The developmental stage and needs of each child both now
and in the future.
d. The extent to which each parent knows their child and can
be sensitive to
their child’s developmental needs
while separating these needs from their
e. The capacity of each parent to facilitate the children’s
links to the other
parent and to acknowledge the other’s
parenting role in the lives of the
f. The willingness and ability of each parent to cooperate
and resolve issues
concerning the children.
g. The potential of each parent’s life style to provide
socially and emotionally
for their children on a consistent and
5. Common Anxieties and Concerns During Custody Assessments
Because these assessments are done at a time of conflict, disruption
and uncertainty in the life of the parent, anxieties may run
high, especially when one has to face the scrutiny of such an
The following are common concerns often raised by parents during
these family studies:
a. "Can I question the assessor and raise my concerns or
will the assessor hold it against me?"
By all means tell the assessor or otherwise you may not feel
confident to be open, and the assessment will suffer as a result.
When you do speak of these concerns, it is up to the assessor
to deal effectively with your concerns and to allay your anxieties.
Because assessors are often trained in psychotherapy, they are
generally very used to being questioned and consider this a
natural part of any healthy relationship. Psychologists are
also aware that this is of vital importance to you and that
you must be assured that the process is an objective and reasonable
b. "Should I discuss these concerns with my lawyer?"
Absolutely, for your lawyer’s role is to protect your
rights even as regards the assessment. It is very important,
thought, that you discuss fears, doubts, and criticisms first
with the assessor who is the proper person to address these
matters. If the assessor fails to allay your concerns then you
have every right to request that your lawyer communicate with
the assessor on your behalf. In almost all cases, this will
suffice to resolve your concerns so that the assessment can
proceed normally to its conclusion.
c. "Why do I feel that the assessor does not accept what
I am saying?"
This is a very natural feeling and almost everybody seems to
experience it, especially at the outset of an assessment. Naturally,
you are anxious to be well received and to have your views acknowledged;
likewise, the assessor is motivated to know you as well as possible
in the time available. Towards this end, the assessor will ask
questions and perhaps question you further on a certain issue.
This probing might leave the impression that you are being disbelieved
when, in fact, the assessor is simply trying to deepen an understanding
and know you better.
d. "Can I be open and honest or should I be strategic and
on guard with what I
say or don’t say?"
Naturally, parents want to put their best foot forward and not
to tarnish their image in the assessor’s eyes. The assessor,
on the other hand, can only do the job best if he or she can
develop a rapport and strong working alliance with each parent.
It is in each person’s best interest to be open, especially
for the sake of the children. There is no better strategy, then,
than to be yourself in all your dimensions and not be concerned
that this will condemn you in the assessor’s eyes. It
is in fact the opposite. Parents who remain closed, defensive
and overly guarded limit the evaluation from being as meaningful
and healthy as it might be and are rarely satisfied with the
e. "If I have personal problems or have needed therapeutic
help in the past,
will that be against me?"
Having undergone psychotherapy, psychiatric treatment, or help
for addictions and other personal problems does not preclude
anyone from having an important role in the life of their child.
Assessors, in their everyday practice, work with people with
emotional and behavioural problems and know this to be a very
common occurrence. Because of their work and training, assessors
are highly respectful of people who seek mental health treatment
and are likely to see this as an asset and not a liability.
It takes definite courage and self responsibility to face one’s
problems and get to the bottom of what troubles us.
f. "Will the assessor morally judge my past conduct and
None of us are absolutely free of moral judgments and neither
are assessors. Yet, assessors are trained to go beyond these
simple notions and to try and understand people in their depths.
As it is our chosen work, we are very motivated to put forth
recommendations that will further the health and adjustment
of the family at this most difficult time. Alleviating tension
is an assessor’s first responsibility as we know that
it is this factor that can lead to psychological symptoms in
children and adults. Hence, what the assessor does is totally
opposite to judging, blaming or accusing. This type of behavior
may, however, occur between ex-spouses during divorce and participants
may worry that the assessor will act in kind.
g. "Will the assessor ask my children with whom they would
There is substantial research evidence to support the conclusion
that children have a wish to love and be with both of their
parents, and it is unnatural for them not to express such a
desire. Many years after separation, children will still harbor
wishes that their parents will someday reconcile and live together
as one family. It would never be appropriate, therefore, for
an examiner to place such an ill suited choice on a child’s
shoulders and such questions will not be asked. Yet, older children,
especially of adolescent years, will sometimes take sides and
act in a very judgmental way. They may want someone to take
the blame for this harsh imposition on their lives. Occasionally,
though, for reasons specific to the family, a child of sufficient
age may offer some opinion as to the type of arrangement they
desire. This may include the notion of living with one parent
or the wish that the parents would share the same time and responsibilities.
Even when a child spontaneously expresses a preference, however,
the assessor will always explore the underlying reasons behind
this preference to determine it’s meaning and motivation.
h. "How should I explain the assessment to the children?"
Naturally, this will vary somewhat with that age and maturity
of the particular child. Generally, however, it is important
to explain that mother and father have asked an assessor to
help decide where the children should live and how the family
should function now that there is a separation. It is also useful
to explain that the assessor will be meeting with all concerned
including them. Children are most often very willing to participate
in these evaluations and seem to weather the process quite well.
The assessor is very sensitive to children’s fears of
being placed in the middle between their parents and will design
the activities and questions to avoid unnecessary stress.
Younger children may have tendencies to blame themselves for
the marriage breakdown and it is worthwhile for both parents
to reassure their children on several occasions that this is
not so. Older children and adolescents may want to lay blame
and side with one parent against the other. They are at an age
where moral judgments are important and are often made in very
concrete terms such as "all good" or "all bad".
Although it may be soothing in the short term to gain alliance
with a child especially when we are angry with the other parent,
in the long run this will only further a harmful split. Parents
should support each other’s legitimacy and encourage children
to express their negative feelings of anger, betrayal, or shame
while not cutting off relationships.
6 . How Will the Assessment Proceed and What is Involved?
The assessment will consist of several different activities
and procedures, each designed to provide a certain part of the
overall picture. The assessor works by gathering as many observations
and insights as possible concerning the parents and children
through each of these means. Conclusions and recommendations,
then, emerge from the analysis of all that has been learned.
Each assessor will tend to emphasize certain procedures over
others depending on their particular training and approach.
The following represent the procedures most commonly used in
completing an assessment:
a. Interviews with the parents
b. Interviews with the children
c. Interviews of each parent together with their children
d. Interviews with additional significant adults such as new
and grandparents when necessary
e. Home visits where appropriate
f. Psychological testing of the adults and children
g. Consultation with teachers, physicians and others who may
important reliable information to offer
h. A careful reading of all documentation provided by the lawyers
in support of the parent’s position.
7. Protecting Children During this Transition
Separation and divorce are hard on children and they may have
problems adjusting to it. The most stressful period seems to
occur in the first 18 months after separation but problems can
continue especially if there is a high level of conflict between
the adults. What can parents do to offset these strains and
tensions and allow children to make the best and quickest adjustment
a. It is important to maintain parental control by trying to
parent as you did prior to the separation. Because it is an
upsetting and disruptive time, you may feel less able to parent
and less patient to meet children’s complex needs. Yet,
it will pay dividends for parents as well as children to try
and keep the familiar routines, rituals and style of discipline
of which you and the children are most accustomed. Children
need to feel that the parents can still provide for them and
support their development despite the separation.
b. Resist involving the children in the conflict with the other
parent. Children can least cope with the stress of divorce when
they feel in the middle between their disputing parents. Make
it clear to your children that these conflicts are for the adults
to solve and that they should feel free to love and be loved
by both their parents. Do not ask the children to pass angry
notes or otherwise convey messages that are likely to upset
the other parent. This will serve to create unwanted guilt and
anxiety. It is vital to remember that children need more support
and nurturing during separation and divorce than they do during
c. Ask children of sufficient age to take some household responsibilities
which will allow them to feel useful and part of the re-adjustment
process. Separation leads to the formation of new households
which can be a challenge to all concerned. Children respond
to being useful and responsible and this enhances their self
control and self esteem.
d. If you cannot easily talk to the ex-partner, use a note book
to communicate details regarding the children’s lives
and any concerns that you may have.
e. Notify the school that there has been a separation and ask
them to contact the custodial parent(s) if the need arises.
Ask the school if they have a program to help children from
separated families and whether your child may benefit from it.
f. Remember that transitions from one home to another, particularly
at the outset of a separation, are difficult especially for
younger children. They are likely to miss the parent they are
leaving and may be reluctant to part. This calls for reassurance
and support rather than in assuming that this as an expression
of their real preference.
9. The Ingredients of a Good Assessment
This is a very important issue and one that is difficult to
quantify. One measure that should not be applied, though, is
that the family assessment recommends exactly what was wanted.
This may or may not occur which is why one must keep in mind
that the goal is to provide as secure and enabling and environment
as possible for your children despite what has occurred between
the parents. Maintaining this frame of reference will help to
absorb the conclusions and suggestions of the examination and
will facilitate working with your lawyer towards finalizing
this part of the settlement.
Having been through an array of interviews and evaluation techniques,
you should definitely feel that there has been a serious attempt
on the part of the examining assessor to understand you and
to address your issues, concerns and the needs of your children.
What this means is that the assessor has explored with you aspects
of your personality, background, the history of the marriage
or relationship, your understanding of your children, your aspirations
and plans for them in the future, your concerns regarding the
other parent, along with other issues that may be important
in you particular situation.
You should also feel that the assessor has given you the opportunity
to express yourself and to relate matters and concerns that
are of relevance to you. Of course, there is a limit as to how
long the assessment can be extended and at some point it must
end. Nevertheless, each parent should feel that they have more
than adequate opportunity to express themselves and that their
concerns and issues have been well communicated and understood.
It is common for parents to request one more meeting, more to
be sure that they have been heard than to convey new information.
This is a natural experience and the assessor will help you
determine whether there is need or not for additional meetings.
The assessor will also be willing to discuss the conclusions
with you before the results are conveyed to your lawyers. This
is an important ingredient to a good assessment and often provides
a last occasion to fine tune the specifics of recommendations
so that they will be most applicable.
As the family study is completed, you should also have the impression
that the examiner has considered your children carefully and
taken steps to review their personalities, progress and any
special concerns that they may have.
Finally, everyone involved recognizes that divorce has consequences
that none of us can entirely defer. The assessor is very aware,
as you are, that both parents cannot always be pleased for this
is the sad reality and limitation with which we must all contend.
Yet, a good assessment paves the way to accepting a result that
may not be at all favoured or may not provide for all that we
had hoped. In the end, though, we all share a common goal which
is to provide for offspring who must keep pace with our changes
and who must adapt to changing circumstances that are stressful
and not of their own choosing.
Children’s Bill of Rights
I The right to be treated as an interested and affected
person and not as a
pawn, possession or chattel of either or
II The right to grow to maturity in that home environment
which will best
guarantee an opportunity for the child to
grow to mature and responsible citizenship.
III The right to the day by day love, care, discipline
and protection of the
parent having custody of the child.
IV The right to know the non-custodial parents and to
have the benefit of such
parent’s love and guidance through
V The right to a positive and constructive relationship
with both parents, with
neither parent to be permitted to degrade
or down-grade the other in the
mind of the child.
VI The right to have moral and ethical values developed
by precept and
practices and have limits set for behaviour
so that the child early in life
may develop self-discipline and
VII The right to the most adequate level of economic support
that can be
provided by the best efforts of
VIII The right to the same opportunities for education that
the child would have
had if the family unit had not
IX The right to periodic review of custodial arrangements
and child support
orders as the circumstances of the
parents and the benefit of the child
X The right to recognition that children involved
in a divorce are always
disadvantaged parties and that the
law must take affirmative steps to
protect their welfare, including, where
indicated, a social investigation to
determine, and the appointment of a
guardian ad litem to protect their
Joanne Seitz, R. Psych., Clinical Psychologist
Recommended Reading for Divorcing Families
Parenting After Divorce, by Phillip Stahl (published
2002 by Impact Publishers)
An easy read at a difficult time, with a focus on minimizing
conflict between parents while strengthening your relationship
with your children. Highly recommended reading for all parents.
Good Parenting Through Your Divorce, by Mary Ellen Hannibal
(published 2002 by Marlowe & Company)
This wise and practical book is about doing divorce well, when
our children are involved. It is about reorganizing the family,
rather than losing the family, so we can meet the needs of our
children and carry on the task of effective parenting. In the
long run, how we as parents handle our divorce will be more
important for our children than the fact of divorce itself.
Making Divorce Easier on Your Child, by Nicholas Long
and Rex Forehand (published 2002 by Contemporary Books)
Caught in the Middle: Protecting the Children of High-Conflict
Divorce, by Carla Garrity & Mitchell Baris (published
1994, available from Jossey-Bass Publishers)
Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends (2nd Edition),
by Bruce Fisher (published 2003 by Impact Publishers)
The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, by Judith Wallerstein,
Julia Lewis & Sandra Blakeslee (published 2000 by Hyperion)
Creative Divorce, by Mel Kranztler
Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive
Ex, by Richard Warshak (published 2001, HarperCollins Publishers)
There are also a number of children’s books available
to assist parents on the "how to talk with your children"
Dr. Graeme T. Clark, Registered Psychologist
(#1199 College of Alberta Psychologists)
draw on 30 years of diverse professional and personal experience,
as well as extensive post-degree professional development, in
all areas of my work as below:
Parenting Evaluations for matters related to
family court (parenting time and responsibilities, access, and
Life Coaching for Professionals undergoing
transitions, work challenges, relationship changes, mid-life
questions, retirement planning, and the like
Psychotherapy for relationship and life transition
issues (e.g., separation & divorce; bereavement, loss, trauma
and health challenges; depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues)
Litigation Support for Family Lawyers
I have also done extensive TEACHING through the Centre and with
St. Stephen’s College on the University of Alberta campus.
At St. Stephen’s, I utilize my background in Qualitative
Research (Hermeneutics, Phenomenology & Narrative) in Thesis
supervision with both the Doctor of Ministry and the Master
of Arts in Pastoral Psychology & Counselling programs. As
well, I teach two Master’s level courses, Grief and Loss,
and Men’s Issues in Counselling, with the latter program.
Through the Centre I have done many WORKSHOPS on Stress Management;
Grief, Bereavement & Traumatic Loss; Living with the Stress
of Chronic Illness; Performance Coaching for Golfers; Life Transitions,
and the like.
In addition to my private practice in Edmonton and area since
1991, I have worked at the Cross Cancer Institute, the University
of Alberta Hospital, University Student Counselling Services,
the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Athabasca
University, and Adult Probation Services for the Alberta Government.
Beyond basic training in counselling, clinical assessment and
research, my professional and personal development has included
areas such as family therapy, custody evaluation, hypnosis,
play therapy, bioenergetics, psychodrama, cognitive therapy,
personality assessment, bereavement counselling, and treatment
of trauma, among others.
I completed my Ph.D. (Counselling) from the University of Alberta,
Edmonton, in 1993. My dissertation, Personal Meanings of Grief
and Bereavement, was a study of complicated and traumatic bereavement.
The majority of my doctoral studies focused on clinical psychology
and assessment, counselling methods and psycho-educational assessment.
I completed my doctoral internship in clinical psychology at
the Misericordia Hospital. For my M.Ed. in Counselling (1981),
also from the University of Alberta, I completed a thesis on
Patterns of Family Interaction in the Context of Chronic Illness.
In addition to maintaining my credentials as a Registered Psychologist
with the College of Alberta Psychologists (#1199), I am a Member
in good standing with the Psychologists’ Association of
Alberta, the American Psychological Association, the Association
of Family & Conciliation Courts (AFCC), the Alberta Roundtable
on Family Law and the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers
in Psychology (#04750).
As a co-founder of the Centre for Family & Health Psychology,
I practice in association with a number of independent colleagues
who offer counselling and consulting to promote physical, emotional
and spiritual well-being. We work as a community of therapists,
making team management decisions, providing collegial support,
and organizing professional development opportunities. Our former
on-site Massage Therapist, Pat Cherewick, continues to work
therapeutically with some clients engaged in long-term psychotherapy
at her independent office. Our Child Psychologists, Diane Priebe
and Sherilyn Connor, are available for play therapy and Theraplay
with children and parents, and several other therapists work
extensively with adolescents, couples and families. Overall,
the Centre provides a caring and stimulating home base from
which to engage in my professional activities.
I have a strong commitment to ongoing personal and professional
development. Each year, I attend one or two major workshops
or conferences in current areas of interest. I learn a great
deal from my colleagues at the Centre, all of whom are keen
lifelong learners in their professional and personal lives.
And of course my own life, with the losses and difficulties
I have experienced over the years, has always been my strongest
source of learning and understanding. In recent years, the challenges
of family life, with my wife and I raising a son and daughter
as older parents, have been rich sources of frustration, discovery
My full CV and a sample of my standard Retainer Agreement (for
Custody/Access and related issues) are available to legal counsel
upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have qualified as an expert witness in both Alberta Provincial
Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
(#2243 College of Alberta Psychologists)
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS: Custody, Parenting, Forensic Release/Risk,
Competency, Neuropsychological screenings, Personality; Qualified
as an expert witness in both Alberta Provincial Court and the
Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
THERAPY / COUNSELLING for Adults, Couples, Adolescents: Relationship
Issues, Mental Health Concerns, Addictions, and Life Changes
Member in Good Standing
College of Alberta Psychologists
Psychologists’ Association of Alberta
Alberta Roundtable on Family Law
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
American Psychological Association
Provincial Health Ethics Network
Professional Practice Advisor to psychologists (P.A.A.), current
Board Member Psychologists’ Association of Alberta, (1999-2002)
Clinical Research Ethics Committee Member, (1996-2002)
Teaching/Supervision in C.P.A./A.P.A. accredited Predoctoral
Internship Program (1997-2002)
Teaching other professionals (Ethics, Personal Directives, Diagnostics)
Private Practice since 1995
Clinical Psychologist in adult psychiatry at Alberta Hospital
Research Associate, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton
Doctoral Intern, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (1993-94)
Clinical Psychologist, Adult Rehabilitation, Valley Mental Health,
Kentville, Nova Scotia
Doctor of Philosophy, Clinical Psychology, Dalhousie University,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1995
Master of Science, Clinical Psychology, Acadia University, Wolfville,
Nova Scotia, 1988
CV and a sample of my standard Retainer Agreement (for Custody/Access
and related issues) are available to legal counsel upon request.