Current Family Programs

The Overcoming Barriers Approach

Courtesy of Common Ground Center

Since it’s inception in 2008, Overcoming Barriers has been developing and implementing the innovative High-Conflict Divorce Family Camp at Common Ground Center in Vermont.

In an effort to make such programs more accessible to families in need we have developed the Overcoming Barriers Family Intensive, akin to the original family camp, but shorter and for one family.

Please see the History and Past Programs Page to learn about the development of programs in more detail.

Overcoming Barriers’ clinicians offer a variety of programs for families with children at risk for losing contact with a parent. The choice by the Overcoming Barriers Board of Directors to offer a greater variety of programming reflects our belief that these interventions should be available to the greatest diversity of families possible.


  • Children become more free to feel and show connection with both parents
  • Children see parents working together in a safe way
  • Family members understand the roles that each play
  • Participants learn problem-solving skills to apply to difficult situations


All Overcoming Barriers programs will provide participants with an innovative mixture of psycho-education, recreational activities, parent-parent work, parent-child work, family work, multi-family work and aftercare.

What makes Overcoming Barriers’ programs special?

  • The process of divorce is often very hard on children. Advocating for children’s health and wellbeing is central to our mission of promoting healthy coparenting for children in high-conflict families.
  • OCB is committed to the idea that children do better when they have a safe and healthy relationship with both parents.
  • Overcoming Barriers Family Intensive and High-Conflict Divorce Camp are psycho-educational programs that include all the members of the family, including significant others and step-children.
  • All of OCB’s programming has been developed and continues to be implemented by it’s founding members. Drs. Peggie Ward, Robin Deutsch and Matt Sullivan are leading specialists, independently practicing clinicians and presenters in the fields of separation and divorce, child development, parenting consultation and Parenting Coordination.


Overcoming Barriers partnered with Common Ground Center to run programs in Vermont beginning in 2008.  With the support of Common Ground Center’s wealth of knowledge about family programs and key staff participation, Overcoming Barriers expanded to California in 2012 and to Arizona and New Jersey in 2015

Professional trainings and family programs run in an expanding number of locations. The high quality and unique nature of Overcoming Barriers’ programs for entrenched dynamics attract families from all across the United States and Canada.


Evaluation of programs is central to Overcoming Barriers’ mission.  Starting with the first pilot Family Camp program in 2008 we collected data through pre and post surveys of families and in 2013 we began a collaboration with Dr. Michael Saini of the University of Toronto to evaluate programs more thoroughly moving forward.  Please visit the evaluation page for more detail.


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