Dr. Sonja Brubacher: „Interviewing Children for Decision-Making Purposes in the Family Law Context“ | FPFL

Logo International Symposium „Forensic Psychology in Family Law“ (FPFL)

We invite all interested practitioners, researchers and students in the field of forensic psychology to our next session of the International Symposium on Forensic Psychology in Family Law (FPFL) initiated by Prof. Dr. Jelena Zumbach! The symposium will take place on June 8th, 2021 at 18:00-19:30h (UTC+2, Berlin) via Zoom. Dr. Sonja Brubacher, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Investigative Interviewing (CII), Griffith University, Australia will speak about research and case-related experience on „Interviewing Children for Decision-Making Purposes in the Family Law Context“. In order to participate in the symposium, please register below.

„Interviewing Children for Decision-Making Purposes in the Family Law Context“ | Information about the session

Child interviews form a major part of the reports provided to family law courts when care arrangements are contested. Research has recognized the importance of the children’s voice in these matters, but also that directly asking children about their arrangement preferences could be problematic. In recent years, child development and memory experts have recommended that children’s interviews for family law purposes can serve as a means to gain more information about their lives, to aid professionals in making decisions about children’s best interests.

The presentation will focus on how research from forensic interviewing and developmental psychology can help inform the family law context. The talk will provide an overview of question types and content, general principles of memory and common misassumptions about children’s communication, considerations for talking with children about ongoing and repeated experiences, and will conclude with some broad discussion around the development of an interview framework for interviews with children in the family law context.

About the Speaker

Dr. Sonja Brubacher is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Investigative Interviewing (CII). She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology in Canada (2011) and then spent two years as a Banting postdoctoral fellow at Central Michigan University, USA. In 2014, she joined the CII at Deakin University, Australia, and stayed with the Centre when it moved in 2018 to the Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University. Sonja works remotely from her home base in Canada. This unique position allows her to develop training opportunities with forensic interviewers in North America while conducting research with students and collaborators in Australia.

Her primary research focuses on investigative interviewing of child witnesses, with two key branches: what abilities and motivations children bring to an interview, and how to effectively train adult interviewers to elicit the best evidence from children. She studies memory for repeated events, interview preparatory phases and protocol development, and interviewer training.

Certified forensic psychologists from Germany can collect training units with their participation. Zertifizierte FachpsychologInnen für Rechtspsychologie BDP/DGPs haben die Möglichkeit, mit der Teilnahme Fortbildungseinheiten gemäß Weiterbildungsordnung zu erwerben.

About FPFL

The International Symposium on Forensic Psychology in Family Law (FPFL) has been initiated by Dr. Jelena Zumbach, Assistant Professor of Family Law Psychology at PHB. It is open to anyone who conducts child custody or child protection evaluations, is a researcher in the field, or is generally interested to learn more about the subject.

The symposium will take place via two to three online sessions a year. For each session, we will invite an international speaker on a specific topic. All speakers are internationally renowned researchers with a practical background.

Our most important aim with this symposium is to connect practitioners and researchers in the field from different countries. We would like to discuss problems of practical relevance with you. Sharing case-related experience is encouraged. We want to learn how practitioners from different countries address challenges and how research can contribute to create solutions.

In order to participate in the event, please register by filling out the form below. You will receive an email with the login details and further information. Registration is free of charge.


Psychologische Hochschule Berlin (PHB)
Am Köllnischen Park 2
10179 Berlin