Date of Conferral







Arcella Trimble


Psychologists who work with high conflict custody cases have one of the highest risks of receiving a board complaint against their license. There is no qualitative research specific to psychologists who have been disciplined from their state licensing board because of their work with high conflict custody cases. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and understand the meaning of the experiences of psychologists who have worked or are currently working on high-conflict custody cases and have received discipline from their state licensing board. The transactional theory of stress and coping was used as the foundation for which the research questions were created. The research questions focused on how psychologists, who received disciplinary action, described their coping strategies and changes within their professional practice. There were six participants who completed a semistructured, in-depth interview. Data analysis consisted of multiple readings, note taking, and the identification of emergent and clustered themes. The results of the study identified five themes and 12 subthemes. The findings revealed that psychologists significantly struggled emotionally, financially, and mentally and refused to work with high conflict custody cases. Moreover, the findings revealed discrepancies with state licensing board’s processes and decision-making about the board complaint. This study revealed significant changes for psychologists both professionally and personally due to their work with high conflict custody cases. This research indicated positive social change implications that include using the results to help psychologists navigate and understand potential issues and risks especially in their work with high conflict custody cases.