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Judith Wallerstein
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Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized authority on the effects of divorce on children and their parents, and on marriage. She is the founder in 1980 of the Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition, in Marin County, California, a major center for research, education and counseling for families in separation, divorce and marriage. Findings from her groundbreaking investigations have been widely published in numerous books, scientific journals, and lay publications. The acknowledged standard reference work on divorcing families is her book, written with Dr. Joan Kelly, Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce (Basic Books, New York, 1980), which grew out of the original California Children of Divorce Study begun in 1971, for which Dr. Wallerstein was the principal investigator. Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade After Divorce (Ticknor & Fields, New York, 1989, co-authored with Sandra Blakeslee), comprises her 10- and 15-year follow-up reports on that study and is a compendium of clinical observations on the nature of the divorce process. It has won wide acclaim and has been translated into ten foreign languages. After turning her attention to a study of happy marriages, she published another best-selling book, The Good Marriage: How and Why Loves Lasts (Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1995, co-authored with Sandra Blakeslee), which has been translated into nine languages. Subsequently, she completed the 25-year follow-up of her original California Children of Divorce Study, published as The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study (with Julia Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee, Hyperion Press, New York, 2000) which has also been translated into fourteen foreign languages. Her most recent contribution is What About the Kids? Raising Children Before, During and After Divorce (with Sandra Blakeslee, Hyperion Press, New York, 2003), a sensitive and realistic guide for divorcing parents . She was invited to address the annual meeting of the Chief Justices of the United States in Rapid City, South Dakota, in July 2000.

Dr. Wallerstein was educated at Columbia University and the Topeka Institute for Psychoanalysis. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Lund University in Sweden in 1978. She is Senior Lecturer Emerita at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, where she was on the faculty from 1966-1992. She has also held faculty positions at the School of Law, University of California, Berkeley; the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; and Pahlavi University Medical School in Iran, and has lectured at Harvard. Cornell. Stanford, Yale and other major universities throughout the United States and abroad. She was a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy, in 1992, and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, California, in 1980. She has served as a consultant for numerous organizations including the Advisory Commission on Family Law to the California Senate Subcommittee on Administration of Justice; the Commission on Law and Mental Health, State Bar of California; and the California Senate Task Force on Family Equity. She serves on the editorial boards of many major professional journals.

Her honors include the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, the Koshland Award in Social Welfare from the San Francisco Foundation, a Resolution of Commendation from the State of California Senate Rules Subcommittee, the Rene Spitz Lectureship from the Denver Psychoanalytic Society, election to Who's Who in American Science , the Dale Richmond Award of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other awards. She is an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association. She has delivered hundreds of addresses to leading mental health, legal, medical, and psychiatric organizations, hospitals and universities. Dr. Wallerstein received awards in August 2002 from both the American Psychological Association and the American Bar Association.

Blog Entries by Judith Wallerstein

Parenting After Divorce

(67) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 11:23 AM

Parenting changes after divorce. Often it's harder. In a good marriage -- yes, there are some of those -- parenting is nourished by the sexual intimacy, the pillow talk, the support of the extended families, and the presence of the kids who keep things humming. But it's different after divorce...

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What Children Of Divorce Do And Don't Learn

(155) Comments | Posted December 7, 2011 | 11:12 AM

Children of divorce soon learn to get along. As they go from Mom's house to Dad's house and as they meet their parent's new lovers and acquire stepparents and new half siblings, they find that each family is like another country and getting along in both places is the child's...

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How To Avoid Marital Boredom

(206) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 12:30 PM

One little mentioned reason for a dying marriage is boredom. It's usually unlikely that one partner is wholly responsible. But it is easier to blame someone else and find excitement on the other side of the fence.

It used to be that boredom was expected, although no one said so...

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Getting Ready For School

(5) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 12:24 PM

Ending vacation and starting the fall school term is a challenge for all children. It can often be a dreaded change for children in divorced families for whom it often means meeting a new teacher and strange children. The teacher who welcomes the anxious child by name, with genuine interest...

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Who Smiles and Who Cries When They Divorce?

(96) Comments | Posted June 30, 2011 | 4:27 AM

Some marriages end with shared sorrow. Others end with lasting longing by one partner and hardly a backward glance by the other. It's comforting for people to believe that divorce is sought by a couple who fully agree that the marriage has failed. But often only one person wants out....

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Do Siblings Help Each Other When Parents Divorce?

(37) Comments | Posted May 11, 2011 | 12:20 PM

Since Monday night's announcement that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated, there has been much speculation about how the couple's split will affect their four kids. The pair have revealed few details--"we are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center...

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Advice Books For Divorcing Parents

(20) Comments | Posted April 16, 2011 | 11:00 AM

If you are a parent planning to divorce, you will need the best advice you can get on preparing your children--and yourself--for the breakup and for making post-divorce plans. You will probably want to modify your plans as children grow and you and your ex remarries, so you need advice...

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Our Folks are Divorcing! What Now?

(46) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 3:06 AM

Are marriages like dominoes? National demographic studies have shown for years that as young adults, children of divorce marry less and divorce more than their counterparts raised in intact families. But what if they are already married when the older parents' marriage fails? Does that threaten the young people's marriage?...

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What Goes Wrong with Second Marriages?

(94) Comments | Posted January 6, 2011 | 1:53 AM

The New York Times recently reported that two out of three second marriages fail. Although it's been no secret for years that second marriages fail more than first marriages, hearing the statistics again is always troublesome and puzzling.

Intuitively, you would expect the opposite. You would...

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How can Grandparents Help the Children?

(8) Comments | Posted December 29, 2010 | 10:41 AM

Grandparents or other close relatives can mean the world to children in divorced families. "I love to visit grandpa's house," the sad little 4-year-old whose divorcing parents were fighting over his custody whispered, "'Cause they have so many laps there."

"My grandmother saved my life," a young woman confided...

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If Divorce is No Fault, Why do they Fight?

(20) Comments | Posted December 16, 2010 | 2:22 AM

It takes two to tango, and it surely takes two to marry. But it takes only one to divorce. Few people know that it is rare for both parents to agree on whether to divorce. Only two couples of the hundreds that I have known over 25 years sat at...

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The Gift only a Divorced Parent Can Bestow

(2) Comments | Posted December 6, 2010 | 2:44 AM

There is a way that divorced parents can really help their teenagers. It's not easy. But what about parenting an adolescent is? Consider the following.

Anger rooted in the divorce can endure a lifetime. Feelings can freeze in place, especially when reinforced by fighting in the courts. But feelings...

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Parenting after Divorce: What Really Happens and Why

(28) Comments | Posted November 29, 2010 | 4:25 AM

People who divorce usually know what they are running from. Often they have too little knowledge of what lies ahead.

Truth to tell, most divorcing couples do not fight, at least not with each other, although conflict gets headlines, court time, and a full choir of attorneys, mental health...

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The Holidays are Coming. What do we do?

(2) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 9:42 AM

It's that time again when divorced families start to worry about how to handle the holidays. I know because at the end of November I begin to get calls for advice from newspapers, friends and strangers as far away as Amsterdam. Should we have one celebration or two? Perhaps we...

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Prince William Marriage: Will it Last?

(12) Comments | Posted November 18, 2010 | 8:40 AM

You can hardly go to a wedding these days without thinking "I hope this one lasts." So how will Prince William and Kate Middleton fare? The initial outlook looks good: They are both in their late twenties. They have been friends and lovers for several years. They broke up at...

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How About Divorce? Get It Right From the Start

(29) Comments | Posted November 8, 2010 | 12:21 PM

If you're thinking of divorce because she's a bore or you're smitten with your sexy gorgeous neighbor and his pectorals or because one more lonely, joyless night is more than you can stand and surely you deserve more from life, Lady or Gent stand still and think.

Divorce is...

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