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Take Root "Being Missing" Video
Take Root video with member interviews and stories is now available for on line download.
Click here to view.

By Take Root member FC

View more abduction related artwork and poetry in:
"The Missing Side"

Liss Haviv

Melissa "Liss" Haviv
Executive Director

In 1978, ten year old Missy Sokolsky was  abducted from New York by her mother, who used a stolen, forged baptism certificate to begin life under a new identity.  As law enforcement and a slew of private detectives scoured the country in search of Lee and Missy Sokolsky the fugitive mother and daughter became Sharon and Melisa Hart, emerging out of thin air on the other side of the country.  In her early 30’s, Melissa (Hart) Haviv founded Take Root, to help fellow victims of child-abduction overcome its legacy and share their insights. Today, she is considered a leading expert in the victimology of child-abduction and child-centered best-practice responses.

In 2001, Fulbright Scholar Melissa Haviv discovered that what had happened to her as a child was a crime called “family abduction” and that it had happened to others. She also discovered that although excellent services and resources existed to support families searching for missing-children in all types of abduction cases, and to aid the professionals who assist those families, no specially designed programs were available to help abducted children recover once located - not just in family abductions but in all types of child abduction cases.  Knowing firsthand that the trauma of abduction does not disappear the day a missing child is found, Melissa began a crusade to expand America’s missing child response “beyond recovering missing children to helping missing children recover.” 

Today, Melissa is a leading expert on the victimology of long term child abduction. She is the visionary pioneer behind Take Root, a landmark missing-child nonprofit that adds data collected from primary victims to the public and policy discourse on child-abduction, using understanding of the child victims’ experiences and needs to close gaps in missing child services and knowledge. The agency provides aftercare support to abduction victims and channels the emergent watershed program data and insights into best-practices, advocacy initiatives and landmark training for multidisciplinary response professionals.  Melissa’s work and research through Take Root has informed numerous key response agencies including the US Department of State Office of Children’s Issues and missing child nonprofits and law enforcement agencies around the globe. She provides training and consultation for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the United States Department of Justice, among many others, and presents workshops and keynotes at conferences across the country.  Her written work on child abduction has appeared in professional journals, magazines, and federal government publications.  Colleagues in the missing-child service field have called her contributions to the field “revolutionary,” “game changing,” and “essential.”

Dr. Neil Kirkpatrick

Dr. Neil Kirkpatrick
Co-Clinical Director

Dr. Kirkpatrick received a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont and completed his predoctoral internship at Morrison Child & Family Services in Portland Oregon. He has considerable training and experience in providing individual and family cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat a wide range of problems. Dr. Kirkpatrick has worked extensively with parents around responding effectively to their children's feeling and building safe, emotionally supportive, and structured home environments. He also specializes in anxiety disorders, trauma, and working with treatment resistant suicidal adolescents and adults. Dr. Kirkpatrick has consulted extensively over the last five years in the juvenile correctional system, working with incarcerated youth and their families. Dr. Kirkpatrick holds appointments as a staff psychologist at Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle, as a clinical faculty at the University of Washington, as a consultant to the Experimental Educational Unit at the University of Washington, and is currently opening the Behavior Therapy Center of Tacoma, where he will serve as Clinical Director.  

Phoebe Mulligan

Phoebe Mulligan, LICSW
Co-Clinical Director

Phoebe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been in the social work field for over 10 years.  She completed her MSW in 2007 through the University of Washington, studying evidence-based practices for trauma treatment at the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress.  She has worked with a variety of populations including: children, adults, adolescents, incarcerated individuals, women working in prostitution, and children in the foster care system.  Phoebe currently has a private practice 3 days a week in Tacoma, treating primarily anxiety, depression, PTSD and behavior (in children).  In addition to her work as a therapist, Phoebe also provides consultation for several groups of therapists providing trauma treatment in the Puget Sound area and teaches a class on treating anxiety and PTSD in children/adolescents at the University of Washington.   



POB 930, Kalama WA 98625 / call toll free 1 (800) ROOT-ORG / (360) 673-3720

The views expressed by our Members do not necessarily reflect the views of Take Root, but those of the author. The opinions expressed by Take Root are based on the input of our Membership of adults who were parentally abducted as children and should not be considered a substitute for professional therapeutic intervention by qualified mental health practitioners.

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