Publication: “CHILDREN IN THE MIDDLE: EVALUATION OF A DIVORCE EDUCATION PROGRAM” (2014). Abstract: Children In the Middle (CIM) is a brief skill-focused divorce education program, also called “divorce ed,” designed to focus on the needs of children in divorce and to help parents to meet these needs. This program is widely used by many court systems in the United States and accepted by many states as a court-mandated divorce education program. The efficacy of this program has not been evaluated for the past decade. This paper presents an evaluation of the CIM program, using a pretest posttest quasi-experimental design. The instrument used in this study is an established battery, the AAPI-2, assessing parenting and child rearing attitudes, as well as maladaptive parenting behaviors. Test results indicated that the CIM group did not obtain better scores on the post-class test than the control group, with a significance level of .05, which suggested little effectiveness and usefulness of the CIM class, in the four of the five parenting domains measured by the AAPI-2. Limitations of these results are discussed. Recommendations and implications for future studies in the area of brief divorce education programs were discussed.
I was born and raised in Dalian, a harbor city of a 6-million population in Northern China. I spent most of my childhood with my grandparents, who taught me Chinese traditional virtues and responsibilities. My family was never rich. They taught me to be proud of what we can “achieve” and not what we can “afford” in life. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Northeastern University in China. I came to America at age 23 and obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Services, majoring in Child and Family Studies, in 2006. In 2014, I obtained a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. During the years, I have worked at various mental health places, such as community mental health centers, correctional facilities, Illinois state government, and private practice. I believe in diathesis theory—both “nature”, such as biology, genetics, personality, and brain chemicals, and “nurture”,
such as life experiences and learning style, have influences on a person. By altering one or both, people can change. I adopt an integrative approach in treatment. How I approach a client in therapy is according to the client's needs and the effectiveness of a certain treatment for a mental disorder. Because I do see clients varying from age 3 to age 80, I equipped myself with various modalities, theories, and approaches in therapy. If I work with young children, I get down on the floor, play with them. We giggle and laugh during therapeutic play. I do not find talk therapy very effective for children younger than 8. With older clients, I more often use Rogerian unconditional positive regard and an existential approach. This reminds me of a phrase in the Movie, "Broken Trail": " We are all travelers in this world.....birth till death.....we travel between the eternities...."
I believe people change through positive therapeutic relationships with their therapists. I would like to help people achieve their goals in life and find meanings. I am willing to listen, to understand, to explore, and to travel through a life journey together with my clients. As Dr. Irvin Yalom put it: "This encounter, the very heart of psychotherapy, is a caring, deeply human meeting between two people, one (generally, but not always, the patient) more troubled than the other." (--Irvin Yalom, “Love's Executioner", 1990)