Surviving Court when You’re Traumatized, Part 1: How to protect yourself when facing a coercive controller

Stressed lawyer with head bowed in the court room

About this course

You’ve been traumatized, and now you must face the person who traumatized you in court. Whether the case is divorce, child custody or some other litigation, you know that your opponent’s objective isn’t just to win the case. Your opponent will attempt to use legal procedures and the courts to crush you.

If the courts fail to supply an unbiased forum and equitable protection, you may end up with Legal Abuse Syndrome — a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

How can you protect yourself?

In this course, Dr. Karin Huffer explains steps you can and should take to protect yourself before you even enter the courtroom — like shutting off your cell phone when you’re not using it. And she’ll explain how to deflect your opponent’s attacks in court, and how to stay mentally touch during the litigation.

If you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD or other psychic injuries, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers you protections so that, instead of freezing like a deer in the headlights in court, you can stay focused and respond appropriately. Dr. Huffer explains how to start using this federal law.


  • Why retaining an attorney right away may not be the best strategy
  • Steps you can take to prevent your adversary from tracking you
  • How Legal Abuse Syndrome complicates your ability to fight for your rights
  • How invisible injuries — like anxiety and PTSD — qualify you for ADA accommodations
  • Accommodations you can request from the court that don’t cost anything

About the instructor

As a marriage and family therapist with over 30 years experience, Dr. Karin Huffer identified, in 1995, that extreme stress caused by our adversarial courts of law exacerbates health problems and can cause PTSD and anxiety disorders.  In response, she conducted a longitudinal survey identifying the unique needs of litigants with PTSD and developed a healing 8-step protocol for prevention and recovery. Dr. Huffer is founder of Equal Access Advocates, and conducts webinars that certify advocates in using the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to help disabled litigants participate fully and equally in court.

Dr. Huffer is an adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, N.Y. She holds an M.S. in psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is licensed by the Nevada State Board of Marriage and Family Therapists (#0082), and is a certified EMDR therapist. Dr. Huffer has been retained as an ADA evaluator and expert witness in multiple court cases. She has served as ADA advocate and forensic disability specialist for clients throughout the United States, and has consulted on international cases.

Cost and credits

The cost for this course is only $25 for 60 minutes of instruction. Once you purchase the course, you can access it online as long and as often as you want.

Although this course does not award continuing education credits, you will be able to download a certificate of achievement upon completion.

Learning objectives:

After this course, you should be able to:

  • Implement strategies that will form a bubble of protection around you
  • Take the first steps towards Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations
  • Identify ADA accommodations that will help you participate fully in the litigation
  • Respond appropriately when you are verbally attacked in court
  • Stay mentally tough during litigation

Program Agenda

  • Looking at myself — what happened to ‘me’?
  • Legal Abuse Syndrome
  • Extended abuse and coercive control
  • Inventory of your worries
  • Safeguards to create a bubble of protection
  • Getting started with ADA accommodations
  • Examples of ADA accommodations
  • Family Law process flowchart
  • Deflecting insults and defamation
  • Mental toughness in litigation

Here’s a preview of this webinar:

Your opponent doesn’t just want to win the case — the objective is to crush you. Here are the tools you need so you can stay focused and fight for your rights. Protect yourself, deflect verbal attacks in court and stay mentally tough during the litigation.

Sign up for this course now

Course Materials

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