Apologies in Difficult Family Situations
A sincere and timely apology can be a powerful tool to resolve conflict and pave the way for positive communication, though apologies do not always result in forgiveness. Based on a review of empirical evidence, approaches for integrating apologies in difficult family situations will be discussed and practical strategies to help families deliver meaningful apologies to help repair relationships will be provided.
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Robin Deutsch, PhD, ABPP, is the former Director of the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law at the William James College (www.williamjames.edu/cffc). Previously she was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, most recently as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology. Dr. Deutsch is a child and family forensic psychologist, mediator, parenting coordinator, and is board certified in couple and family psychology. She developed and currently teaches the Certificate in Child and Family Forensic Issues at William James College and is a founder of Overcoming Barriers, an organization that provides family-centered services for families in conflict. She is the past president of the Massachusetts chapter of AFCC, past president of AFCC, and former Chair of the APA Ethics Committee. Dr. Deutsch is the co-author of 7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You: and How to Talk about Them Anyway (Ballantine, 2005, 2011) and co-editor of the book Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection, Alienation (Oxford, 2016).