As an expert interviewer of children I have developed a new, innovative technique of "figurine interviewing," which provides new inroads for addressing children's needs during custody and visitation disputes. It elicits children's authentic thoughts and feelings, enabling parents to focus on their child's clarified needs and interests. It has unique strengths and if effective in ways where traditional interviewing practices often fall short.
Symbolic figurines are utilized in a non-directive approach that encourages children to creatively express their authentic thoughts and feelings about family life. My years of experience enable me to prompt the child to choose and make statements about these representative figurines. Direct quotes from these statements are conveyed to the parents, allowing them to clarify and focus on their child's needs.
- Playful, imaginative process is inviting to children
- Non-judgmental, open space reduces pressure on children to choose sides
- More varied feedback provides support for increased co-parenting opportunities
I use figurine interviewing in a one-time meeting with the child, followed by a separate parent or attorney feedback session. Important areas of focus include:
- Time share
- Parents and immediate family life
- Friends and pets
- Interests and hobbies
- School and after school activities
- Connection to extended family and other significant persons
- Worries and fears