The Wisconsin Inter-Professional Committee on Divorce (WIPCOD) was founded in 1978

by a group of Family Court professionals in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  WIPCOD organized during a period of legislative changes that altered how families interacted with the family courts.

As families increasingly rely on family court services, WIPCOD is dedicated to bringing professionals together to foster on-going learning and growth.  This ultimately leads to better services for families involved in this system.

WIPCOD is comprised of professionals from several different fields. From mediators and mental health professionals, to judges and lawyers, all of our members share a common desire to help our clients deal with the changes in their families.


WIPCOD Presents:



Virtual Conference

April 29 and April 30, 2021

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7:15-8:15 AM
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May 3, 2018

7:15-8:15 AM
8:15 - 8:30 AM
Welcome and Introduction of Scholarship Recipients and Speaker
8:30-10:00 AM
Dr. Kenneth Robinson-Understanding the Sweeping Effects of the Opioid Epidemic: Best Treatment Outcomes
10:00-10:15 AM
Morning Break
10:15- 12:00 PM
Dr. Kenneth Robinson-Understanding the Sweeping Effects of the Opioid Epidemic: Best Treatment Outcomes
12:00- 1:00 PM
Lunch Provided
1:00- 2:30 PM
Dr. Jim Harris- Understanding the Effects on Children of Living in an Environment with Addiction
2:30-2:45 PM
Afternoon Break
2:45-4:30 PM
Dr. Jim Harris- Understanding the Effects on Children of Living in an Environment with Addiction
4:45 PM
Hospitality and Networking - Ivory Coast Lounge

May 4, 2018


Kathleen McNamara, PhD: Recognizing Trauma and Promoting Resilience in Family Court

Morning Speaker Thursday, April 29 and Friday, April 30

Thursday Morning Curriculum

. Part I: Trauma Defined  
  1. Overview of what is, including definitions of PTSD and complex PTSD

  2. Impact of trauma and chronic adversity on early brain development and long term human functioning

  3. Distinctions between positive, tolerable and toxic stress

  4. Findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

  5. Factors that promote recovery and resiliency

  6. Role of trauma screening, assessment and evidence-based intervention

. 15 Minute Break
. Part II: Trauma in Family Law Cases 
  1. Cases involving high parental conflict, violence, and imparied parenting

  2. Difficulties with term definitions

  3. Typologies of intimate partner violence (IPV)

  4. Effects of IPV on children and parenting

  5. Guidelines for assessing IPV allegations within cutody disputes

  6. Linking appropriate intervention to the needs fo individual families

  7. Potentially appropriate parenting plans for various patterns of violence and abuse

Friday Morning Curriculum

. Part III: When it's not Trauma 
  1. Trauma and resilience in the general population

  2. When "trauma" is a misleading term in family law cases

  3. Inappropriate decisions and interventions when trauma is misunderstood

  4. Fostering healthy coping skills and adjustment to life changes

. Part IV: Disputed Trauma
  1. Allegations of abuse with competing allegations of alienation

  2. Malicious versus mistaken false allegations of abuse

  3. Factors that contribute to strained parent-child relationships and resist/refuse dynamics

. 15 Minute Break 
  1. Assessment heuristics for understanding complex cases

. Part IV: Continued 
. Trauma-Informed Jurisprudence 
  1. Meaning of trauma-informed jurisprudence

  2. Avoid jurisogenic harm

  3. Establishing trauma-sensitive court rooms

  4. Managing client/litigant behavior

  5. Self-care for professionals

. Discussing and Q and A 

Bill Eddy, LCSW, JD: New Skills for Managing High-Conflict Personalities

Afternoon Speaker Thursday, April 29 and Friday, April 30

Thursday Afternoon Curriculum

. Five Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life
  1. Five Personality Disorders, treatment and management

  2. Parenting issues and abuse issues

  3. Negative advocates and how they reinforce high-conflict

. 15 Minute Break
 . The CARS Methods of Managing High-Conflict Personalities
  1. Connecting with Empathy, Attention and Respect (EAR)

  2. Analyzing options, choices and proposals

  3. Responding to hostile communications (BIFF Responses)

  4. Setting limits on high-conflict behavior

Friday Afternoon Curriculum

. Practicing New Skills
  1. Understanding confirmation bias and three theories of the case

  2. Personality patterns associated with abusive behavior

  3. Personality patterns associated with false allegations

  1.  Identifying High-Conflict Personalities with the WEB method

  2. BIFF Communications in writing and in person

  3. Coaching clinets to use BIFF responses

  4. Writing BIFF responses as professionals in conflict

. Analyzing True and False Allegations
. Alienation Cases and New Ways for Families
Morning Speaker on April 29, 2021 and April 30, 2021
Kathleen McNamara, PhD


Kathleen McNamara is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Fort 

Collins, Colorado and formerly a tenured associate professor of psychology

at Colorado State University. Dr. McNamara has worked extensively with

court-involved families for over 30 years. She serves as a child custody

elvaluator, parenting coordinator, coparent educator, family therapist and 

consultant to attorneys. Dr. McNamara has published numerous articles in 

peer-reviewed journals and other periodicals. She speaks frequently to 

professional audiences on subjects related to court-involved families, the 

impact of conflict and toxic stress on children, strained parent-child

relationships, resist-refuse dynamics, and interventions with high conflict

children and families. Dr. McNamara serves on the Board of the Directors

for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and Editorial Board of 

the Family Court Review. She is s past chair and current member of the

Colorado Psychological Association Ethics Committee and serves on the

Colorado Supreme Court Standing Committee on Family Issues.

Afternoon Speaker on April 29, 2021 and April 30, 2021
Bill Eddy, LCSW, JD


William A. ("Bill") Eddy is a lawyer, therapist and mediator. He is the co-

founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute based in San

Diego, California. Bill provides training on the subject of high-conflict

personalities to lawyers, mediators, judges, mental health professionals 

and others. He has presented in over 30 states and ten countries. He is a 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with 12 years experience counseling 

children, adults, couples and families in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient

clinics. For the past 26 years, he has also been a lawyer, representing clients 

in family court (as a Certified Family Law Specialist) and providing divorce

mediation services. He is the author of over a dozen books, including: High

Conflict People in Legal Disputes, 2nd Ed.; SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself

While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality 

Disorder; and BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People. He is the 

developer of the New Ways for Families® method for potentially high-

conflict families, which is being implemented in several family court systems

in the United States and Canada. He is also the developer of the New Ways

for Mediation® method, which emphasizes more structure by the mediator 

and more negotiations skills for the parties.

LEARNING objectives
Dr. Kathleen McNamara's Learning Objectives:
  1. Define trauma, PTSD and complex PTSD

  2. Describe the impact of trauma and chronic adversity on early brain development and long term functioning

  3. Explain the distinctions between positive, tolerable and toxic stress

  4. Name 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) associated with poor long-term outcomes

  5. Explain the mechanisms by which ACEs influence health and well-being across the life span

  6. Name at least 8 factors that promote resiliency from trauma and adversity

  7. Describe the difference between trauma screenings and assessments and the role of each in family law cases

  8. Explain the importance of early evidence-based trauma intervention

  9. Recognize 3 common scenarios in family law that are likely to involve trauma

  10. Describe 3 major types and 1 subtype of Intimate Partner Violence

  11. Describe the potential impact of IPV on children and parenting

  12. Recognize the availability of guidelines for assessing IPV allegations in custody disputes

  13. Explain the importance of linking apprpriate intervention to the needs of the family

  14. Identify potentially appropriate parenting plans for various patterns of violence and abuse

  15. Recognize the incidence of trauma and resilience in the general population

  16. Recognize when "trauma" is a misleading term in a family law case

  17. Explain the findings on malicious and mistaken false allegations of child abuse in custody and non-custody cases

  18. Name 9 factors that may contriubute to resist-refuse dynamics

  19. Describe at least 3 assessment heuristics that aid in identifying and differentiating issues in complex cases

  20. Describe at least 3 ways to promote trauma-informed jurisprudence

  21. Describe at least 3 ways to manage vicarious stress for family law professionals

Bill Eddy, LCSW, JD's Learning Objectives for:
  1. Understanding 5 High-Conflict Personalities: Identify interpersonal conflict dynamics of 5 "high conflict" personality disorders, Identify abusive behavior and treatment options for these personality disorders

  2. The CARS Method of Managing High-Conflict Personalities: Apply four key skills for handling people with high-conflict personalities in divorce, Teach clients a 3-step method for making proposals and asking questions, Teach clients communication responses the are Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm (BIFF)

  3. Analyzing True and False Allegations of Abuse: Describe the problem of confirmation bias and how to overcome it, Describe personality patterns associated with abusive behavior and false allegations

  4. Alienation and New Ways for Families: Describe how contagious emotions by parents and professionals impact children, Identify the aspects of the New Ways for Families method that reduce alienation, Describe the four skills that parents must practice to reduce alienation


WIPCOD, helping to ensure that professionals working in Family Court  have access to advanced continuing education, led by experts in the field.

  1. Understanding the contagious emotions driving alienation

  2. How the New Ways for Families method can reduce alienation

REGISTER for the conference

Register and pay for the conference using your paypal account or a major credit card

Questions regarding registration can be emailed to or call Vicki K. at 262-548-7287

*Even if paying with credit card, click on the paypal button-all registrants needs to click on the payball button-to confirm your registration.


NEW! REGISter for your room at the kalahari ONLINE


In memory of Steve Bolda (1958-2011), WIPCOD offers a number of scholarships every year in memory of Steve Bolda.  Steve was a longtime board member of WIPCOD and employed by Dodge County Family Court Services for 24 years both as a mediator and later as director.  Steve was skilled at putting people at ease and worked with many families over the span of his thirty + year career.  He had an infectious smile and an unforgettable grin.  Steve was always willing to take time to talk with people and he enjoyed taking on challenges. 

Steve lived life to the fullest as he enjoyed his family, golf, softball, fishing, camping, boating and music.  He was dedicated to the WIPCOD goal of professional networking to foster ongoing learning and growth in their careers.  We are honored to offer these scholarships to continue this tradition of educating and connecting people.  


In honor of Steve’s commitment to providing excellent, low-cost and cutting edge educational experiences for graduate students and professionals assisting families through family court, we proudly offer scholarships to first time attendees. These awards cover conference registration fees, materials for the conference, lunch, snacks and even complimentary appetizers during the Thursday evening social hour.


To apply for a scholarship please send a brief letter describing how attending the conference will enhance your work with family court. Also include whether you are requesting a 1 or 2-day scholarship.


Letters should be sent by March 1, 2020 to:

Paul Schroth, Director

Outagamie County Family Court Services

320 South Walnut Street

Appleton,  WI 54911-5985

OR by Email at:

One or two day judicial scholarships are available, contact Paul for more information at 920-832-5197

. 15 Minute Break

© 2019 Wisconsin InterProfessional Committee on Divorce