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High Conflict Intervention and Coparenting
Program

Hi, I’m Dr. Deena Stacer. I teach the
High Conflict Intervention and
Coparenting Program in San Diego.
I’ve been teaching this as a live program in
San Diego since 1997. And now, I have
translated this class online for you to
participate without leaving your home.

I was in a high conflict breakup myself (for seven
years) and have three grown children who were
part of my custody fight.
©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
My Credentials
I have teaching credentials
ranging from Kindergarten
through College. I have a
Bachelors of Science in
Child Development, a
Masters in Counseling and
Leadership and a Ph.D. in
Psychology.
I have worked with over 5000 high conflict parents and
many of their children. I have mediated over 850
divorces. I mostly mediate highly conflictual cases now.
©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
The High Conflict Intervention Program
Because of my experiences, I’ve learned a lot of great
strategies to help parents get out of conflict.
I teach parents how to
navigate through the court
system, how to disengage
from the fight with the other
parent and how to protect the
children from permanent
emotional damage that often
occurs from chronic conflict.
©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules to manage Contact and Communication to
Reduce Conflict
One of the most important concepts parents in conflict need to learn is
to reduce conflict you must eliminate or reduce contact and
communication. To do this you need new rules to control
communication in writing by email, text and telephone.

Conflict = Contact + Communication

The next few slides teach you helpful
tips to help you control your
communication with the other parent
in writing.
©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules for Note, Letters & Emails

Use the following criteria to determine whether you should
respond to anything the other parent writes:
Criteria
• Are there any issues that need an answer?
• Is there already a court order that resolves the issue?
•
•

Is it an emergency?
Is you’re the other parent just venting? (Passing
Gas?) If yes, then you don’t have to respond!

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
The High Conflict Intervention Program
Once you complete the class
you will receive a certificate of
completion by email, as well as
a copy of all of your answers.
These answers are part of the
report you file with the courts or
give to the professionals who
requested you participate in this
program.

©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules For Telephone Contact
If you have to talk to the other parent on the phone, follow
these rules:
•Keep your conversations very short.
•Stand on one foot;
•Listen from the opposite ear;
•Always have a good reason to get off the
phone, if it gets conflictual;
•Use the broken record technique.

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules for Note, Letters & Emails

Criteria
If you must respond, try any of these replies:
a.

Thank you for sharing!

b.

I’ll get right on it!

c.

No!

d.

Yes!

e.

I’ll look into it!

f.

Please, refer to the court order.

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Just the
m
ts ma’a
fac

Rules for Writing Emails & Notes

Writing and reading messages from the other
parent, or about the other parent will raise your
anxiety level.
1.

Write one topic per email or note.

2.

Use a memo format. Use 3 & 4 letter words
and 5-6 sentences. K.I.S.S. Rules “Keep it
Simple Sweetheart!”

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules for Writing Emails & Notes

3.

4.

Write “Just the Facts” and nothing but
the facts. Don’t communicate just to
communicate.

When you agree to anything verbally, follow it up
with a written note confirming the agreement.
Otherwise your verbal agreement is toast!

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules for Writing Emails & Notes
5.

6.

Use your email/memo for
information only, not to admonish
the other parent (or their new mate).

Write your letters, notes and emails for the judges
and professionals to read.

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules for Writing Emails & Notes
7.

Ask a friend or professional to read the emails or
notes. Your friend should not be emotionally upset by
the notes, if they are, find someone else to help you.

8.

Drop the other parent’s emails into a
special folder to be read later by your
friend. This way you won’t see them
when you are looking at emails.

9.

Write only when absolutely necessary.

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules for Writing Emails & Notes
10.

When you are too emotional, handwrite an “oops” letter
first, then have a friend strike out all of the “oops”
language until you have only the facts and specifics.

11.

Remember, emails are forever.
If you don’t want it to show up
in court, don’t write it! Write a
draft in a word document rather
than in email format, so you
don’t accidently hit “send”
rather than the “save” button.
Rules for Writing Emails & Notes
12.

Don’t write emails to teach the other parent a lesson,
to make a point or to prove something;

13.

Don’t try to snipe at the other
parent about the idea of “coparenting;”

14.

Write facts or don’t send it at all.

15.

Let someone else read emails, letters, or
correspondence first. If anything is important, it can
be relayed to you through them before your reply.

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
Rules for Writing Emails & Notes

17.

Let a friend or professional write your emails for you.

17.

If you get upset by emails, don’t ever read them.

19.

Quit thinking you have to
respond to everything
the other parent says.
This keeps you upset
and keeps the conflict
going.

© Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009

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Coparenting Strategies to Reduce Conflict over Custody-writing tips to eliminate conflict

  • 1. High Conflict Intervention and Coparenting Program Hi, I’m Dr. Deena Stacer. I teach the High Conflict Intervention and Coparenting Program in San Diego. I’ve been teaching this as a live program in San Diego since 1997. And now, I have translated this class online for you to participate without leaving your home. I was in a high conflict breakup myself (for seven years) and have three grown children who were part of my custody fight. ©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 2. My Credentials I have teaching credentials ranging from Kindergarten through College. I have a Bachelors of Science in Child Development, a Masters in Counseling and Leadership and a Ph.D. in Psychology. I have worked with over 5000 high conflict parents and many of their children. I have mediated over 850 divorces. I mostly mediate highly conflictual cases now. ©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 3. The High Conflict Intervention Program Because of my experiences, I’ve learned a lot of great strategies to help parents get out of conflict. I teach parents how to navigate through the court system, how to disengage from the fight with the other parent and how to protect the children from permanent emotional damage that often occurs from chronic conflict. ©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 4. Rules to manage Contact and Communication to Reduce Conflict One of the most important concepts parents in conflict need to learn is to reduce conflict you must eliminate or reduce contact and communication. To do this you need new rules to control communication in writing by email, text and telephone. Conflict = Contact + Communication The next few slides teach you helpful tips to help you control your communication with the other parent in writing. ©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 5. Rules for Note, Letters & Emails Use the following criteria to determine whether you should respond to anything the other parent writes: Criteria • Are there any issues that need an answer? • Is there already a court order that resolves the issue? • • Is it an emergency? Is you’re the other parent just venting? (Passing Gas?) If yes, then you don’t have to respond! © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 6. The High Conflict Intervention Program Once you complete the class you will receive a certificate of completion by email, as well as a copy of all of your answers. These answers are part of the report you file with the courts or give to the professionals who requested you participate in this program. ©Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 7. Rules For Telephone Contact If you have to talk to the other parent on the phone, follow these rules: •Keep your conversations very short. •Stand on one foot; •Listen from the opposite ear; •Always have a good reason to get off the phone, if it gets conflictual; •Use the broken record technique. © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 8. Rules for Note, Letters & Emails Criteria If you must respond, try any of these replies: a. Thank you for sharing! b. I’ll get right on it! c. No! d. Yes! e. I’ll look into it! f. Please, refer to the court order. © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 9. Just the m ts ma’a fac Rules for Writing Emails & Notes Writing and reading messages from the other parent, or about the other parent will raise your anxiety level. 1. Write one topic per email or note. 2. Use a memo format. Use 3 & 4 letter words and 5-6 sentences. K.I.S.S. Rules “Keep it Simple Sweetheart!” © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 10. Rules for Writing Emails & Notes 3. 4. Write “Just the Facts” and nothing but the facts. Don’t communicate just to communicate. When you agree to anything verbally, follow it up with a written note confirming the agreement. Otherwise your verbal agreement is toast! © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 11. Rules for Writing Emails & Notes 5. 6. Use your email/memo for information only, not to admonish the other parent (or their new mate). Write your letters, notes and emails for the judges and professionals to read. © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 12. Rules for Writing Emails & Notes 7. Ask a friend or professional to read the emails or notes. Your friend should not be emotionally upset by the notes, if they are, find someone else to help you. 8. Drop the other parent’s emails into a special folder to be read later by your friend. This way you won’t see them when you are looking at emails. 9. Write only when absolutely necessary. © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 13. Rules for Writing Emails & Notes 10. When you are too emotional, handwrite an “oops” letter first, then have a friend strike out all of the “oops” language until you have only the facts and specifics. 11. Remember, emails are forever. If you don’t want it to show up in court, don’t write it! Write a draft in a word document rather than in email format, so you don’t accidently hit “send” rather than the “save” button.
  • 14. Rules for Writing Emails & Notes 12. Don’t write emails to teach the other parent a lesson, to make a point or to prove something; 13. Don’t try to snipe at the other parent about the idea of “coparenting;” 14. Write facts or don’t send it at all. 15. Let someone else read emails, letters, or correspondence first. If anything is important, it can be relayed to you through them before your reply. © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009
  • 15. Rules for Writing Emails & Notes 17. Let a friend or professional write your emails for you. 17. If you get upset by emails, don’t ever read them. 19. Quit thinking you have to respond to everything the other parent says. This keeps you upset and keeps the conflict going. © Deena Stacer, Ph.D. All rights reserved. May 2009