Dr. Amy Baker has a Ph.D in developmental psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University. She is currently the director of research at the Vincent J Fontana Center for Child Protection of the New York Foundling where she conducts research on psychological maltreatment, mental health needs of children in foster care, foster parent training, and related issues. She also has a private practice in which she coaches parents and serves as an expert witness in cases involving parental alienation. Dr. Baker is the author or co-author of 8 books and over 100 articles. She conducts trainings and workshops around the country on psychological maltreatment and parental alienation.
What do I do best?
What I think I do well is care about and understand targeted parents (parents dealing with the alienation of their child because of the other parent). Because I have studied this phenomenon from so many perspectives and have spoken with thousands of targeted parents, I feel that I “get” their pain and struggle. I am able to connect with targeted parents and help them feel understood and cared about. So much of the alienation experience is one of being marginalized and misunderstood that simply my caring and understanding can be healing for targeted parents.
What makes me the best version of myself?
When I remember that being kind is as important as being smart or being right.
What are my aspirations?
My work-related aspiration is to continue to find ways to put my academic and research-based knowledge to use for children and families who are vulnerable and suffering.
My personal aspiration is to find balance between my own personal happiness and the knowledge that so many people are suffering. I want to be able to enjoy my life without guilt and shame but not become complacent about the state of the world.
My Biggest Success?
My greatest accomplishment is to be able to speak about and write about complex family dynamics in a way that appeals to a wide range of readers/listeners. I am generally able to discuss the phenomenon of parental alienation in a way that makes the information easy to comprehend and accessible while not sacrificing nuance and accuracy.
My Most Challenging Moment?
My most challenging moments are when I need to stand up to someone who is not treating me or someone I love well in a way that does not automatically close the door on the relationship.
I don’t know that I have a motto or mantra per se but I do often need to remind myself to slow down and make sure that I am thinking things through in the most thoughtful way, to make sure that I am appreciating the moment, to make sure that I don’t have typos in my e-mails.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My oldest daughter is a role model of bravery in how she deals with some very challenging adversities in her life with grace and generosity of spirit.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I enjoy any place that is colorful. I love any place that includes or resembles Mexican folk art.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I am very much enjoying my Sherpa sweatshirt and blanket. I enjoy feeling warm and cozy in the winter time.
My Current Passions?
Various arts and crafts projects that involve color such as knitting with colorful yarn, doodling, making pom pom sculptures, and so forth. I dabble in many different art medium, with the common theme of seeing how pieces of colors go together. I have worked with yarn, beads, broken dishes, fabric and so forth.