When three Bloomfield Hills kids, caught up in a bitter custody feud, refused to have lunch with their estranged father, a frustrated family court judge found them in contempt and sent them to detention, a move that made national headlines.
Now the judge is poised to try a new — and some say controversial — tack, ordering the family into a days-long intensive intervention, perhaps with live-in therapists.
Oakland County Family Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca is expected to order the Tsimhoni children, ages 14, 10 and 9, into a “reunification program” to help heal their relationship with their father, Omer Tsimhoni. He and the children’s mother, Maya Tsimhoni, divorced in 2011 and have been involved in vicious litigation since.
The intensive therapy is designed to treat “parental alienation,” a term coined 20 years ago by a family therapist who noticed some children displayed extreme behaviors in high-conflict divorces, developing unnatural aversions against one parent, the result of the other parent’s attempts to sabotage the relationship.