Effects of a high-conflict divorce on children

Katherine Sellwood, PsyD Child Psychologist, explains how a conflict divorce between parents damages child's character and personality over time and the skills it prevents them from developing
Effects of High-Conflict Divorce on Children
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Effects of a high-conflict divorce on children

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A conflict divorce is the most damaging to a child’s character and personality over time. In high conflict dynamics, the child doesn’t learn how to problem solve, how to communicate effectively, how to elicit support from others, how to use their gifts and talents to serve them well. They’re so focused on self-preservation and just getting through their day to day, just getting through each day whether they’re with their mom, their dad, their friends. I’m reminded of this story of a girl who was graduating from high school and was winning an award and she was telling me that as she was at the podium getting her award, and that she had to give a speech. And instead of focusing on her speech, what she was most worried about is, “My mom is over there and my dad is over there. When I get off this stage, who do I go to to hug first?” And the embarrassment that this caused her. And she also said that her parents were the only one in this whole auditorium who were on separate sides of the school.

Katherine Sellwood, PsyD Child Psychologist, explains how a conflict divorce between parents damages child's character and personality over time and the skills it prevents them from developing

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Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

Psychologist

Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

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