The court psychotech began shutting down the psychprobes. The judge, as usual, seemed to be following what was going on with a slight amount of boredom. I've seen it a few times before, but this time it was about someone I cared about. My two best friends, Bob & Bettie, were high school sweethearts, and each looked worse than the other. They were sitting on opposite sides of the courtroom at old wooden tables, their respective attorneys furiously texting notes to their central offices.

Milo and Shari looked exhausted. They were good kids, and treated each other well. I know the kind of money they were born into can really screw some kids up, but Milo and Shari were as well-grounded teens as one could hope for.  The huge machines surrounding them were starting to power down, the low whine they seem to emit was getting quieter. The kids were going to stay with me while they recovered from the probes, it seems about the only thing that Bob & Bettie could agree about. It's so exhausting for them, but when one side started talking about psychoprobes everyone had to agree or the psych union would have gotten involved on one side or the other. The psychs are too damn powerful in custody cases, I think people would give them a lot less credibility if they paid attention and thought about it.

Everyone's looking out for themselves - Bob, Bettie, the psychunions, all supposedly for the best interest of the children, but in the end of course the kids are always the worse off for the wear. The psychunions get their piece of the (admittedly large) fortune being spent on the case, but all the kids end up with are a week or two of nightmares from the machines, and when that ends they find a broken home.  I suppose I shouldn't complain, I'm being well compensated for my role in this, but helping kids recover from divorce related psychprobing is not why I went into social work.

I've read the monographs,  I still think that psychprobes add nothing good to a divorce proceeding. Expert witnesses will spend hours debating the meaning of every nuance of every scene, but in the end the parent that ends up with custody may or may not be the best for the child. I personally think the court would do better to order mandatory counselling, but the money that seemed to not have damaged Milo or Shari definitely touched both Bob & Bettie in unpleasent ways. I know about the stories the press reported, of course, but when I see them I can still see the young lovers from decades ago. But a lot of awful extra baggage has been added on since then.

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