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  • Consulting Psychologist with a Focus on Children and Divorce

    My experience in my own family taught me that it’s the quality of relationships that matters more than whether parents live together or apart in terms of kids’ emotional well-being. My parents were devoted to their kids, but avoided their own conflicts, finally divorcing in their 70’s. My dad, ever the pragmatist, said he didn’t “believe” in psychology, but he was proud of me at UCLA and then through grad school at Cal State Long Beach and Arizona State University. When I became a licensed psychologist, he liked introducing me as “Dr. Polly” even though talking about feelings made him uncomfortable.  Families are tough nuts to crack, even for psychologists!

    My intern days in Portland focused on providing and evaluating interventions with kids whose parents were in the early stages of divorce.  Later, while head of the largest children’s mental health center in Hawaii, I worked closely with the presiding judge of the Family Court in Honolulu to direct a court-sponsored family education program for parents deciding to divorce.  My practice in Southern California specialized in treating parent-child contact problems, therapy with children from high-conflict families, and co-parenting after divorce. I also served as a court-appointed child custody evaluator to assist the court with custody and time-share decisions for high-conflict families – such as those struggling with complex issues like alienation, abuse, relocation and special needs. I am trained in Collaborative Divorce when families prefer not to go to court.  

    Over many years, I have provided training to minor’s counsel, mediators, judicial officers and licensed therapists, and was appointed to the Task Force for Children that grew out of the 2013 Orange County Grand Jury’s report on children’s best interests. I volunteered as a member of the Disaster Response Team with the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross, typically responding to traumatizing events involving children.

    Through all of these roles, I have felt deeply honored by the trust placed in me by colleagues, legal professionals, and most especially children and parents.

    For a formal c.v., please make a request by email.