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Online Learning

High Conflict Families: Healing the Hostility, Revenge, Manipulation and Parental Alienation

Credit Available - See CEUs tab below.

Families and Couples
Monica Johns, LPC, NCC
5 Hours 59 Minutes
Audio and Video
Original Program Date :
Jun 10, 2016
Media Type:
Online Learning


  • Assess for Parental Alienation Behaviors and Hostile Aggressive Parenting
  • Confront manipulation and stay out of the “co-parenting quicksand”
  • Ethical obligations and violations
  • Steps to resolve entrenched parental conflict
  • Develop non-hostile communication, conflict resolution and relationship-building skills
  • Teach self-care, resilience and coping strategies

High-conflict co-parents destroy their children. Torn between both parents and being forced to lie—or take sides—these children become depressed, anxious, stressed and get in trouble. They suffer from grief, fear of abandonment, anger, resentment and are afraid to love one parent while with the other parent. As clinicians, we are seeing more and more of these cases.

Join high-conflict family expert Monica Johns, LPC, NCC, and learn how to firmly, yet positively, push co-parents out of their enmeshed, negative relationship and move into a new, healthier type of structure. You will leave the day with specific tools to guide co-parents past their hostility, anger, revenge, manipulation, resentment, guilt, and grief, which will have a direct, positive and immediate impact on the children.

Attend with an open mind and a willingness to challenge old techniques in working with high-conflict families. Leave with a deeper insight into the psychology of high-conflict families and how they attempt to manipulate you and other professionals. Your new knowledge will open doors for your clients as well as new doors for other professionals seeking your expertise.

Walk away with explicit strategies and tools to:

  • Detect Parental Alienation Behaviors and Hostile Aggressive Parenting
  • Assess the high-conflict family and conduct a thorough home visit
  • Teach non-hostile communication, conflict resolution and relationship-building skills
  • Confront hostility, anger, revenge, manipulation, resentment, guilt and grief
  • Stay out of the “co-parenting quicksand”
  • Teach self-care, resilience and coping strategies
  • Proactively work with attorneys, Guardian Ad Litems and Social Services
  • Illustrate the ethical pros and cons of parental behaviors relating to emotional abuse and neglect


Illustration of a High Conflict Family (HCF)

  • What does a HCF look like?
  • Hostile Aggressive Parenting
  • Parental Alienation Behaviors
  • Alienation vs. estrangement vs. justified resistance

Assessment Tools to Measure:

  • Strength of the perceived alliance between parents
  • Parents’ ability to cooperate and negotiate with each other
  • Willingness vs. ability
  • Parental personality disorders


Family System Approach: A Step by Step Process

  • Conduct a home visit
  • Clean up the boundaries
  • Establish the rules
  • Create safe place
  • Manage family meetings
  • Access needed support systems
  • Eye opening family strategies

Sessions with Child/Children

  • The child’s voice
  • Confront grief, anger, fears and embarrassment
  • Address child manipulation
  • Conquer resistance to parental contact
  • Relationship-building skills
  • Self-care and resiliency strategies
  • Coping strategies
  • Overcome strong alliance and internalized false beliefs

Sessions with Co-Parents

  • Steps to resolve entrenched parental conflict
  • Confront family grief, anger, revenge, conflict addiction
  • Address parental manipulation
  • Overcome strong alliance and internalized false beliefs
  • Navigate co-parent agendas
  • Manage parental personality disorders
  • Self-care and resilience strategies
  • Non-hostile communication skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Healthy co-parenting skills

Alternative Dispute Resolution Options

  • Parent Coordinator
  • Parenting plans
  • Collaborate with outside systems, such as attorneys, schools, Social Services, Guardian Ad Litems

Ethical Obligations

  • Confidentiality
  • Emotional abuse and neglect
  • Reporting/involving Child Protective Services (CPS)
  • Ethical violations
  • Dual relationships and impartiality


  • Illustrate the psychology of a high-conflict family and how they attempt to manipulate others.
  • Identify Hostile Aggressive Parenting and Parental Alienation Behaviors.
  • Demonstrate techniques to motivate and challenge co-parents in making child-focused decisions.
  • Construct a safe environment giving children permission to love both parents.
  • Employ effective strategies to navigate and defuse family grief, anger, revenge and conflict addiction.
  • State the ethical necessity to reduce high conflict for the emotional and mental health of the children.
  • Design and inspire a supportive, family friendly team of professionals.


ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.


General Credits

This course is available for 6.0 total CPDs

The HPCSA has declared that any on-line courses CPD/CEU credited by a certified US board, is automatically CPD/CEU credited in South Africa. 

As there are different boards for different disciplines, we at Acacia suggest that you use the Counselling CPD/CEU credits. These correspond to South African credits of one CPD/CEU per 60 minutes. If you choose to use your discipline's credits, please do so at your discretion.

Florida Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Provider Number 50-399. This self-study course qualifies for 6.0 continuing education credits. 



Monica Johns, LPC, NCC Related seminars and products

Monica Johns, LPC, NCC, is a high-conflict family expert who has been working with children and families for over 23 years. In her private practice, she works primarily with high conflict families, pre and post separation and divorce, where the co-parenting relationship is destructive and the children are suffering. Her practice includes child, individual, marital, and family therapy with a specialty on high conflict, reunification interventions, parental alienation, and other parent-child contact problems.

Monica’s career began in working with foster care, adoption, and being trained as a forensic interviewer for child abuse, neglect, and sexual assault. She continued her career providing intensive in-home services, drug and alcohol counseling, and mental health crisis counseling for at-risk children and their families. Monica is EAGALA trained and certified to provide equine therapy. She developed an equine therapy program for high conflict families to work with the entire family system to address co-parenting, communication, grief and the newly restructured family. Additionally, she designed a program, For The Children, for co-parents who are overly reliant on the court system to solve their parenting issues.

Monica is an active member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) an international organization designed specifically for judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families experiencing family conflict. She is a Virginia State Qualified Clinical Supervisor, has been trained with the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and has been trained by the Supreme Court of Virginia to provide a court ordered co-parenting class.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Monica Johns has an employment relationship with Life Enrichment Services, LLC. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Monica Johns has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Case Managers, Chaplains/Clergy, Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, and other Mental Health Professionals

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