The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog
Miriam Galindo of Irvine, California, a former social worker and a licensed psychologist focusing on family therapy during divorce, also assists the Orange County Superior Court system as an expert advisor. Her 20-year practice has often involved working with at-risk children and families. Miriam Galindo’s wide-ranging experience has enabled her to serve her clients with both insight and compassion.
There are a number of popular books for lay readers on the topic of children’s experience of trauma. One of the most popular–and one of the most widely praised by professionals–is The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook. Author Bruce D. Perry established the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas, with the mission of improving the lives and prospects of children who have survived extreme trauma. A decade ago, he published the book, a series of case studies from his own practice.
Reviews have noted the book’s harrowing, intricately detailed descriptions of how physical and emotional abuse blighted the lives of children in a variety of circumstances. In many of these cases, experts diagnosed severe forms of deprivation-induced cognitive, social, and emotional impairments as a result of trauma. But one of the key takeaways for many readers is Perry’s demonstrations of how compassion, human interaction, and patient, repeated re-patterning of experience can result not only in intellectual blossoming, but also in rich and happy lives.
As a privately practicing psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has offered counseling in co-parenting to many families as they go through divorce. Dr. Miriam Galindo has also worked with the court system as a custody evaluator and co-leads family reunification and co-parenting courses through the Families in Transition program.
Co-parenting can be both emotionally and logistically difficult, as it requires two people to put aside a challenging and potentially intense history to make important decisions together. To succeed, the two parties must commit to open communication that is focused entirely on the children. This means finding a different outlet for frustrations about the other parent, particularly in conversations that the children may encounter.
When children are in earshot, parents must be careful to speak only in positive ways about the other parent. This guideline is applicable when speaking to the children as well as to the other parent, who is likely to be more receptive to parenting discussions if he or she does not feel accused or put down.
Meanwhile, it is important for co-parents to keep rules and expectations consistent across households. This provides the children with a crucial sense of stability and keeps them from taking advantage of what they may perceive as an unstable parenting situation.
Children will, however, be aware that things are different. Parents should answer their questions as freely as possible, when it is age-appropriate, and reassure them about things such as when they will change houses and whether the family dog will change houses with them.
Dr. Miriam Galindo offers clients at her Irvine, California, private practice a supportive atmosphere focused on their individual needs. Licensed as both a social worker and a psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has worked closely with Southern California courts as an expert panelist, and has handled numerous cases involving divorce, custody, and family therapy.
Family therapy brings together all members of a family group in an effort to help them communicate more effectively with one another, handle interpersonal stresses better, and learn from and resolve differences.
A psychologist or clinical social worker is typically the professional providing family therapy, which needs to be crafted to accommodate each family’s unique circumstances. This is particularly important, experts say, because each family is, in effect, a social ecosystem of its own.
Studies have indicated that patients who talk more among themselves, and with their therapist, are more likely to remain in therapy for an effective length of time, and to have more successful outcomes. Experts advise family therapists to make sure to help parents find ways to talk through their issues more openly in therapy and to feel included and valued in the therapeutic process.
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Dr. Miriam Galindo, a licensed psychologist and social worker in California, belongs to a panel of experts who work with families involved in high-conflict divorce cases in Orange County Superior Court. Active in her professional community, Dr. Miriam Galindo is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
The premier association for professionals involved in resolving family conflicts, the AFCC maintains several basic membership categories. Four of these categories are:
1. Individual – Open to professionals and others interested in the resolution of family conflicts, individual memberships cost $160 a year. All members within this category receive a subscription to the Family Court Review and AFCC eNEWS. Members also receive reduced rates for AFCC conference registration.
2. Institutional – At $390 per year, institutional memberships are designed for courts, mental health practices, private law practices, and government and community agencies. Full member benefits are granted to three individuals, and these benefits can be shared with other members of the same organization.
3. Retired – Active AFCC members who have been part of the organization for five consecutive years but are no longer earning income from work related to family resolution are eligible for a retired membership. Retired members receive all the benefits awarded to individual members but pay only $80 per year in dues.
4. Student – For the discounted membership price of $25 a year, full-time students enrolled in accredited institutions can join the AFCC. Student members receive the same benefits as individuals, but students receive electronic-only access to the Family Court Review.
Licensed in clinical psychology and social work, Dr. Miriam Galindo and her husband run a private practice in Irvine, California. For close to a decade she was a social worker at Olive Crest in Santa Ana. Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a master of social work from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
As noted by the School of Social Work at CSULB, social workers are unsung heroes. They may work in unfamiliar environments for long hours, just part of their normal work day. To help better prepare the next generation of social workers, the school established a simulation laboratory located at the Social Work Student Center.
The lab is a simulated home where faculty, consultants, and other experts work together to help train social work interns. Various scenarios are acted out, and there is always a mentor or coach in the scene who provides a prompt assessment of the scene and the action of the interns. The lab is a secure location where students can hone their skills before going out into the real world and meeting the families that may require their assistance.
National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers
Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a master of social work from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Throughout her career as licensed clinical social worker and psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has completed a number of continuing education and advanced training programs, including Forensic Interviewing of Children through the National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers (NACCFI).
A self-paced e-learning course, Forensic Interviewing of Children is designed to help professionals learn the proper procedures and interview techniques involved in effectively questioning children, whether they are victims or witnesses of a crime.
Analyzed and reviewed by more than 1,500 practicing child forensic interviewers, the Forensic Interviewing of Children course features 40 hours of online training designed as part of the curriculum needed to qualify for child forensic interviewer certification. Other portions of the curriculum include 16 hours of peer review practicum and 32 hours of competency training.
Dr. Miriam Galindo
A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Dr. Miriam Galindo runs a private practice in Irvine, California, where she conducts child custody evaluations.
In California, parents who go through a divorce often have to undergo a child custody evaluation, or a 730 Evaluation. While judges sometimes order these evaluations for concerns related to substance abuse or child abuse, they also order them when parents simply cannot come to an agreement on custody.
A 730 Evaluation may be conducted by four types of professionals in California: psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. If the parents cannot agree on an evaluator, the judge either chooses one or requires the parents to submit a list of potential evaluators. The professional conducting the evaluation assesses the parenting practices and mental health of both parents in order to inform the judge’s orders related to custody and visitation.