Dr. Saposnek describes the current research on Gatekeeper parents, who present unique challenges to divorce professionals. Gatekeeping behaviors range on a continuum from facilitative gatekeeping (encouraging the other parent to spend time with their child) to restrictive gatekeeping (sabotaging and preventing the other parent from spending time with their child). The unique underlying intrapsychic, interpersonal, and larger systemic dynamics of Gatekeeping behaviors are elaborated and illustrated. Then, specific strategies for effectively managing Gatekeeper parents are offered for mediators and attorneys.
Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D., is a clinical-child psychologist and family therapist in practice since 1971, a child custody mediator, trainer and consultant since 1977, and is a founding board member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, Editor of The Professional Family Mediator, and Editor-in-Chief of Publications of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.