The Narcissistic Parent: A Guidebook for Legal Professionals Working with Families in High-Conflict Divorce
Publish Date: 2016-06-02
Author: C. A. Childress Psy.D.
In divorce litigation, family law professionals can play a crucial role in supporting childrens healthy emotional and psychological development following the break-up of the intact family structure, and in helping the family transition into a new separated family structure. Children love their parents, both parents, and all children want the love of both parents in return. However, in the context of high inter-spousal conflict children are often compelled by the pathology of a narcissistic parent to choose sides in the spousal conflict against the other parent. In these circumstances of high-conflict divorce, minors counsel, guardians ad litem, and family law judiciary become crucial to helping resolve the childs triangulation into the spousal conflict and restoring the childs healthy developmental trajectory. Recognizing and helping to resolve the influence of the narcissistic parents pathology on the child is crucial to the role of the legal professional in supporting the familys successful transition to a new post-divorce separated-family structure of independent families and shared co-parenting. In The Narcissistic Parent, Dr. Childress provides a brief primer on the features of the narcissistic personality parent that impact the role of legal professionals working with children and families surrounding divorce and child custody issues.