- Psychologist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- Child Custody Evaluator, Mediator and Co-parenting instructor
- Criminal and Risk Assessment Expert
- Parenting Theoretician, Educator and Clinical Supervisor
- Author of seven books on parenting and assessment
Dr. Snyder is a psychologist, marriage and family therapist and forensic evaluator. She founded her non-profit, the Parenting and Relationship Counseling (PaRC) foundation under another name, in 1988, which is dedicated to working with parents and high-conflict families. She is a researcher of research and the author of seven books on parenting and assessment, and she has taught developmental psychology at the California State University, Northridge. She specializes in developmental psychology, family systems, trauma, attachment, and parent education.
Dr. Snyder is also a forensic evaluator who does risk assessment and child custody evaluations. Recently, she has been invited by a couple of divisions of the Department of Children and Family Services to teach the “front end” (Emergency Response) how to identify the difference between real and false allegations. Snyder specializes in assessing such false allegations of sex abuse, domestic violence, anger management, and child abuse and neglect, and as such, she is an expert in parental alienation and its long-term impacts on a child’s personality. Today, PaRC is not only teaching how to raise a miracle child but Co-parenting for parents who must learn to get along, for their child’s sake.
Dr. Snyder, who loves to be called Dr. Faye, because while she has been a marriage and family therapist since 1992, she became a psychologist late in life. Today she is a forensic evaluator. Snyder is the founder and clinical director of the non-profit Parenting and Relationship Counseling Foundation (PaRC) in Granada Hills, California 91344. On invitation for her work, she has taught developmental psychology at the California State University, Northridge.
Dr. Faye, along with her husband, Ron, is the proud parent of three-time Daytime Emmy winner Scott Clifton, born Scott Clifton Snyder ( scottclifton.com), her laboratory and her evidence. Scott changed his legal name from his stage name before he married, so his wife, Nicole, would always be acknowledged. Snyder says she is most proud of his ethics and his own parenting. Clifton and her grandson, Ford, can be seen on the home page of PaRC’s website: theparcfoundation.com.
Dr. Snyder became highly interested in philosophy and theory as an undergraduate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. It was during those years of the Sixties and Seventies, when she opposed the Vietnam War, marched against segregation in the South, and stood for feminism and gay rights that she began to think like an ethicist, a theoretician in politics and economics, as well. She was interested in the way of things, the way of all things. At the same time, she was suffering from medical issues, especially affecting her vision, and feelings of inadequacy. She engaged a string of eleven therapists each of whom she saw at least one year before moving on. She did not respond well to the blank analyst, suggestions of inborn psychopathology, medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy by itself. She suspected healthier people knew things she didn’t know, and she suspected what they knew could be learned.
After 16 years of therapy, Dr. Snyder saw her first marriage and family therapist who discussed with her the impact of her childhood on her thinking while introducing to her concepts of Zen Buddhism, which synchronized with her introduction to her future husband, Ron Snyder. Her therapist introduced her to The Passionate Mind by Paul Reps, and her new boyfriend gave her multiple books on Zen and Varieties of Religious Experiences, by William James (who was the first president of the American Psychological Association). She was also introduced to a technique referred to by some as “breathwork”, which she modified into something simpler, once she surmised that we were born with this built-in healing mechanism for trauma. No need to make if complicated or fancy. “Why is this not widely known?” she asked then and still wants to know.
With the MFT, Snyder had finally found the insights she sought and healed in under six months. She discovered the world of mental health but continued to struggle with her own deeply-formed deficits in personality, showing up mostly as a humorless drive. She still longed for someone to teach her the social skills of successful people, something never modeled for her. It was around this time that she and her husband conceived their only child, late in her life, born when she was almost 40.
Her extended experiences as a client heightened her awareness of diverse thinking and treatments in the field of psychology. She wanted to find out what was being taught, so she decided to attend the approved, but not accredited, California Graduate Institute in West Los Angeles for her master’s degree, because of the flexible hours, lower cost and progressive openness to critical thinking. They warned her then that she may be ruled out from teaching at a university, and she was perhaps too short-sighted to heed the warning.
While at CGI, Snyder formulated the Causal Theory as a parenting theoretician. She sought out the replicable research that reported causes of healthy and unhealthy behaviors. She also noted that the different factions within her field were ignorant of one another’s findings. The valuable scientific discoveries were not shared, and an integrated theory did not develop. As a matter of fact, the new tend for bean-counting and researching countable bits of behaviors has led to further ignorance of the big picture. An integrated theory is missing and the need for it is unrecognized between factions. Snyder became aware of two political camps, one she characterized as pro-parent and the other as pro-child in outlook, followed by evidence that there was, in fact, an unmoderated War of the Researchers within the field, reflecting the centuries-old nature-nurture debate. Finally, there was enough science to answer the debate, but only one side was telling the truth. The field preferred to believe both sides equally. It was the correct thing to do and resolved everything so that no one need be wrong.
Perhaps that liberal version of relativism allowed the field to discover the impact of attachment on personality, and then ignore it, just as well. Perhaps the timing was just as compromising because the Women’s Movement had begun to confront the forces of inequality impacting us. I was a feminist and still am. We were encouraged into having babies and careers simultaneously. Thus, many babies were being left behind with rotating caregivers. It did not appear that the field wanted to announce to mothers how important they were to their young children. It was politically incorrect. Today, children are not what they used to be, and we naïvely wonder why.
Snyder had some clients at the beginning of their treatment who refused to talk about the origins of their suffering and insisted that their issues were inborn. Three of her clients began debating her, two of them bringing in articles on genetic research, which was quite unnerving, something she has since gotten used to. She also realized that they were protecting their parents, albeit often unnecessarily. She decided to teach parenting to all her clients in a group, so none would feel singled out or put in a position of defending their parents. It took her 20 years to write her life’s work, a tome entitled, The Manual: The Definitive Text on Parenting and the Causal Theory, complete with references, index, and glossary. Until finished in 2007, Snyder shared her evolving typed notes with her students.
Snyder also discovered that an integral part of psychopathology was learned from interaction systems at home. She realized that you can heal someone’s trauma, but their interaction skills can bring reinjury to them. Thus, she introduced a relationship skills workshop for her clients to attend, as well, suggesting that everybody should have the opportunity to learn the same lessons and information that healthy people got to know.
Soon, after licensure as a marriage and family therapist, Snyder opened her non-profit agency for high-conflict families, while making time to study the childhoods of serial killers and other violent criminals, as well as the childhoods of courageous, problem-solving famous people. She flew up to San Francisco weekly during the summer of 1990 to interview Richard Ramirez, aka The Night Stalker, where she discovered that, at their own expense, no one protects their parents like a serial killer. Slowly, she learned what she suspected. His story is in The Predictor Scale, along with 24 other poignant stories.
Snyder embraced the opportunity to become a Zen Buddhist, looking into the possibility of becoming a Zen priest, and realized during a retreat that she needed to get her doctorate since she wanted to reach more people on a national level. To her, the Causal Theory was and is still a cause, which addresses the wasteful suffering of children and the unmet needs of society. Once again, she picked an approved school, Ryokan College of Psychology, for the same reasons she chose CGI. She began looking more deeply into the genetic research on behavior. Following graduation with her doctorate, to her surprise, Snyder was invited to teach at the State University of California, Northridge. From 2005 to 2006, she taught 110 students. At the beginning of both semesters, she administered a pre-test to all her students. It went like this:
“_______ % of my personality and behavior are the result of genetic instruction, and _______ % of my personality and behavior is learned in childhood.
“_______% of a serial killer’s personality and behavior is the result of genetic instruction, and _______ % of his or her personality and behavior is learned in childhood.”
Out of 110 students, 107 filled in the blanks as 50/50. Snyder became a controversial professor at CSUN when she wrote across the whiteboard, “The degree to which you believe in genetics is the degree to which you cannot see clearly.” She taught her students how to identify the flaws in research and how to evaluate a childhood for its long-term impact, and whether a person is headed for a rewarding or conflicted life. She taught critical thinking to her college students.
While teaching at CSUN, Dr. Snyder was in the process of writing The Search for the Unholy Grail: The Race to Prove that Behavior and Personality Are Inherent.
At around the same time, Snyder wrote another book on how to make a quick, comprehensive quality assessment of a person’s childhood and its impact on their adulthood, entitled The Predictor Scale: Predicting and Understanding Behavior according to Critical Childhood Experiences. The book prepares the reader to make a evaluate a person’s past or future using a single sheet, which incorporates the most impactful experiences of childhood as evidenced by replicated research. The scoring allows for all the primary experiences to be considered in relation to one another, not considered as yet by the field. What the score sheet does that is innovative is to provide a formula for pulling these experiences together, such that long-term impact can be anticipated, mitigated or understood. The scoring predicts degrees of success and mental health or the lack of it. It does not specifically predict traits, while the natures of the experiences considered can predict definitive characteristics.
Most recently, having worked with high-conflict families for over 30 years, Dr. Snyder has become focused on the problem of false allegations filling the courts and mistaken conclusions made by experts who fear to make a wrong call when it comes to violence against a woman or a child. She has developed another score sheet to help evaluators identify probabilities or hypotheses about who is likely telling the truth. She has also developed expertise on the long-term impact on children caught between such custody battles, and how it impacts the adults they become. She has identified that many, if not most, of these children, become adults who cannot forgive or problem-solve in a dispute and are headed, themselves, for custody disputes via adversarial and suspicious lifestyles.
Dr. Snyder believes that parents deserve to know how important we are, and children depend on it.