About Us

Specialized Family Therapy Court Ordered: Reconciliation and Co Parenting Counseling is a proprietary model of treatment for family therapists. It has been proven successful throughout its use in thousands of cases across the country spanning more than 20 years.

The program is operated under a federal copyright, having moved the initial concept to a full model of family treatment and a full training regimen for therapists to master these techniques. It is now being offered in-person through select cities and programs, and online to therapists across the country. In many situations, continuing education credits are available for taking this course.

To find out more about what you can learn in our course, visit the Court-ordered Reconciliation and Co-Parenting Counseling instructional page.

If you’d like to start learning right away – please visit the Specialized Family Therapy Course Start Page.  (Questions: 412-965-0061)

 

The Evolution of Specialized Family Therapy

In the late 1980’s, having been a child and family therapist for ten years, I was distressed that so many children of divorced or separated parents were experiencing emotional turmoil and behavioral problems. They were often diagnosed as ADHD, oppositional defiant and/or conduct disordered.

The parents and the school systems were unable to help the children’s learning and social adjustment problems, so I would typically receive a referral for treatment at that point. The children had been injured by their parents’ intensely hostile relationship which had only intensified after the separation as the parents fought about custody and parenting. These children sometimes had been
forced to take sides, or, just as stressful, were caught in the middle and felt that each parent was disappointed in them. The children might also harbor the belief that they had caused their parents’ separation and/or their parents’ current unhappiness.

The Training Regimen Takes Shape

I finally felt compelled to create an option for these families before the damage to the child/ren became serious. In the early 1990’s, I approached the Allegheny Family Court of the County that encompasses Pittsburgh and 40 surrounding municipalities. At their monthly meeting of Judges, Custody Evaluators, Family Law attorneys and court administrators, I suggested that formal custody education classes were necessary to help these families understand the risks to their children if the parents remained hostile towards each other. For those families who did not resolve their impasses through custody education and court proceedings, I developed a therapy model for alternative custody dispute resolution to improve co-parenting relationships. Over a fifteen-year period I treated roughly 400 families, 250 for reconciliation counseling and 150 for Co-Parenting Counseling.

Court-ordered Specialized Family therapy as an out of pocket expense for parents has not been the only funding source for Specialized Family Therapy, however. Over the years, a number of foundations and public agencies have seen the value of reconciliation/co-parenting therapies for parents and children. Financial support for Specialized Family Therapy has come from numerous organizations, among them the Staunton Farm Foundation, the state of Pennsylvania (Access and Visitation grants), Human Services Development, and as part of the AFFECT national fatherhood initiative,  and part of  Jail Collaborative: Family Support program funded by , The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Pittsburgh Foundation.

Specialized Family Therapy consists of two aspects:

  1. Reconciliation Counseling
  2. Co-Parenting Counseling.

As part of a training group in my work as Clinical Manager with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania, we brought in prominent names in the field of Brief Treatment and Solution Oriented treatment. My own methods proved successful, so I began to refine and write about what I believe is a powerful integrative Family Therapy Model. I named it Specialized Family Therapy Court Ordered:  Reconciliation and Co-Parenting Counseling.

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Maurie and his assistant Lainey

Specialized Family Therapy Available Online

We are proud to provide to you the opportunity to take this training on-line for four CEU’s. With this training, you can market yourself as a provider of Specialized Family Therapy, and you and/or your agency as a rich resource to the respective Family Court in your area. Ultimately, you can also become a major innovator, getting the court to order your SFT services when any parent petitions the court regarding custody and parenting issues. I would be happy to assist you in this working to bring about change and innovation, as I have been successful in moving courts to progressive action.

Maurice Heidish

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