Overcoming Barriers Responds to Washington Post Article

The Washington Post article dated May 14th mentions Overcoming Barriers in an article on interventions for High Conflict families.  You can read the article here.

Overcoming Barriers Letter to the Editor follows:

May 17, 2017

Dear Washington Post Editor,

We here at Overcoming Barriers were happy to see that the Washington Post in Cara Tabachniks’ article (“They were taken from their mom to rebond with their dad.  It didn’t go well”)  is addressing the issue of High Conflict Divorce where a child(ren) is resisting contact with a parent.

This is an escalating public health issue as it now affects almost 10% of divorced families in this country.  Overcoming Barriers, a 501 c 3 non-profit organization, utilizing the experience of our esteemed Board and Advisory Council, has endeavored in this past decade to raise awareness of the issue, provide direct service to families and educate mental health and legal professionals about the issue and how to help.

To that end we have created a multi module course to train mental health professionals how to identify the issue early and to work with the entire family.  All Overcoming Barriers programs implement the OCB Approach which includes working with all members of the separated or divorced family in the intervention.  This online training will join the publications and other resources Overcoming Barriers has developed in an effort to address this complex issue.

While we opted not to run our family camp this year we have not shuttered our doors as Ms.Tabachnik notes. Based on the decades of experience of our Clinical Team and information from our independently administered program evaluation we decided to review all aspects of our program in order to offer an even more effective program for all attendees.  Family Camp will be offered again in Vermont in 2018.

Although the costs of these programs may seem exorbitant, the cost of litigation far surpasses that of the available evidence-informed interventions.  The hope of Overcoming Barriers, many attorneys, and judges is to move these struggling families out of the courts and into the therapeutic model where they can begin to de-escalate the intractable conflict in which they find themselves.

As a retired Family Court Commissioner and Overcoming Barriers’ Board President I find this work and our innovative approach essential to the future of an emerging societal problem.


Hon. Marjorie Slabach (ret.)

Overcoming Barriers Board President

On behalf of the Overcoming Barriers’ Board and Advisory Council

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