Joan Kelly describes how mediation can be a protective factor for children in the divorce process. If parents can engage in and deal with conflict without involving their children, the children will be better off.
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. is a clinical child psychologist. For 45 years, her research, practice, teaching and publications have focused on research in children’s adjustment to divorce, custody and access issues, divorce and custody mediation, applications of child development research to custody and parenting plans, and Parenting Coordination. She has published more than 130 articles and chapters, including a classic book, Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce (Basic Books, 1980).
Dr. Kelly was Founder and Executive Director of the Northern California Mediation Center for 20 years, and a mediator, forensic expert, custody evaluator, therapist, consultant, and Parenting Coordinator in high conflict custody cases. She was a founding Board member and President of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Family Mediators, and received the Distinguished Mediator Award from AFM, the Distinguished Research Award and the Meyer Elkin Award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. She recently retired.