About Dr. Austin
I am a child clinical psychologist and forensic psychologist with a specialty in conducting parenting evaluations (child custody or parental responsibility evaluations) and providing trial consultation with attorneys in parenting-child custody disputes. I sometimes review the evaluations and reports of psychologist-colleagues when attorneys have concerns about the quality and accuracy of opinions in a custodial report. These services are described on my main website: www.child-custody-services.com.
I have had a clinical practice since 1983. I received my clinical training from the Institute of Clinical Psychology at the University of Virginia. I completed a Residency in Clinical Psychology at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
I have presented over 60 workshops to train other evaluators, mental health professionals, attorneys, and judges on a variety of specialized topics in the field of child custody and divorce. I have many professional articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on complex issues in child custody. These publications can be downloaded from my main website. The newest publications concern parental gatekeeping, but I have been giving workshops on gatekeeping and its application to understanding the co-parenting relationship and custody disputes since 2006. My curriculum vitae can be downloaded. [Click Here]
I have developed forensic evaluation models in the three complex areas of custody disputes that involve (1) relocation of parent and child; (2) allegations of intimate partner violence (or domestic violence); and (3) allegations of restrictive parental gatekeeping or alienation. These models, or frameworks, are research-based, but have practical application to these problems that occur with regularity in custody-parenting disputes. The models are intended for custody-parenting evaluators to guide their forensic assessment in a case and for judges as heuristics to organize the issues and evidence.
While the gatekeeping model was developed to assist parenting-custody evaluators and courts, the reader will on this website that the application of the model to other services for parents is straightforward. Gatekeeping is at the center of all of the services:
- early intervention to facilitate developing a parenting plan;
- co-parenting education for long distance parenting;
- co-parenting education for the high conflict parents where there are allegations of restrictive gatekeeping and alienation;