With divorced parents in high conflict everybody seems to get caught in the destructive spirals and starts to feel powerless: parents, children, new partners, grandparents, the social network, and also the professional network: lawyers, judges, schools, counsellors, mediators and therapists. Margreet Visser and Justine van Lawick, two systemic working clinical psychologists in Haarlem, the Netherlands, created a multi-family group program to free the families and professionals from the conflict spirals. They warn for too much professional illusions and a colonising attitude in which the therapists try to educate the parents about a good and child friendly divorce. That often increases the struggle. In this article they propose the No kids in the Middle program and the keystones that form the fundament of this program. The keystones seem also to be relevant for working with high conflict divorces in other formats or contexts.
Keywords: High conflict divorce, therapeutic illusions, liminal phase, attitude, multi-family therapy, communities, children destructive patterns, experiential work, letting go.