Court is an entirely different playing field. We just have to learn the rules, so we can win. ~ Nicol
My name is Nicol Stolar-Peterson. I am an expert witness, a therapist, a child custody evaluator, a former CPS investigator & forensic interviewer, and a consultant and coach.
I absolutely believe that we as therapists must protect the work that we do. It is important and valuable. We must in turn protect our "brand." What is our brand? It's our name, our reputation, our practice, our work.
CYA is a sincere motto of mine. We must take steps to protect the work that we do so that we can continue to do the work that we love. So, putting a clear court policy in place is a great place to start, especially if you do not like court. Being prepared is always best practice. Take an umbrella, then it either doesn't rain, or you managed to stay dry when it did rain. So just think of me as an umbrella. I'm good with that.
My 1st time testifying in court was an absolute nightmare. I was told, "Just read your notes and tell the truth." Needless to say, I got sliced and diced. I swore that I would never, ever, ever experience that again. I swallowed my pride and went back. I sat, watched, listened and learned. In fact, I went up against the same attorney known fondly as a "pitbull," the next time I testified. We won that day. The dark cloud that had been flying over my head dissipated and I started to enjoy court. In fact, I started "leaning into the discomfort" and now I enjoy court.
Attorneys think most therapists are "easy pickings" on the stand. I love proving them wrong. I got your back. You are not alone. The work you do matters and that is worth standing up for!
Alexis Smith, MSW Administrator Alexis is a master’s level social worker. She has experience as a child abuse investigator and an adoptions social worker. Alexis’ organization, professionalism, and ability to multi-task is valued and unsurpassed.
LAURA ROSAUER, ESQ Attorney, Mediator Laura’s Rosauer's extensive career has included the unique experience of practicing in both criminal and family law. Formerly a Deputy District Attorney of Riverside for over six years, her experience, particularly in the domestic violence unit, has given her unique insight into family dynamics and domestic violence issues. Laura’s trial experience is invaluable as she works with therapists who need courtroom prep and guidance as they face testimony in legal matters such as custody disputes, civil cases and criminal cases.