NAVIGATING THROUGH THE UPHEAVAL OF A DIVORCE IS OVERWHELMING AT THE BEST OF TIMES AND, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, WE CAN FIND OURSELVES SUCKED INTO AN EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, PHYSICAL, FINANCIAL, AND EVEN SPIRITUAL ABYSS.
Without proper support or a framework of values to work within, the process of separation and divorce can take on a life of its own. Before you know it, you can find yourself feeling as if you are no longer in control of your life and its outcome. Regardless of the circumstances, this is one of the most painful and difficult experiences you and your family will ever endure and, no matter how strong you are, you will need a steady supply of ongoing support and encouragement during the separation and divorce process.
It is my belief that, with ongoing emotional support and a rational, disciplined and value-oriented approach to separation and divorce — couples and families can dramatically reduce the duration and long term effects of this traumatic experience.
When couples find no other choice but to make the difficult decision to separate or divorce, I suggest, wherever possible, Facilitative Mediation — which is a therapeutic and collaborative alternative technique to litigation. I encourage couples to SEE ME FIRST, before they speak to other separation and divorce professionals or relationship therapists. This is so couples can begin this journey with a better understanding of what is motivating the conflict, and how to avoid the pitfalls of falling into an unending spiral that can further compromise whatever trust they may have left for one another. Facilitative Mediation is not for everyone, but it is very important to have your relationship dynamic assessed in order to be better informed and therefore able to choose the right process for your situation.
Raising four boys and having lived through a very difficult divorce, I feel that I have valuable insights about relationships and family dynamics that can only be gained through first hand experience. I have acquired considerable knowledge and understanding of the Separation and Divorce process in Ontario. From the perspective of one who has been through the system, this area has emerged as one in which I feel needs much transformation. I am trained in Family Mediation and Parenting Coordination and have experience dealing with Power Imbalances; Sexual, Verbal, Physical and Financial Abuse; Addiction; Infidelity; Anger Issues & Childhood Abandonment and Alienation.
A compassionate therapist with experience in separation and divorce is an invaluable partner in helping you develop your vision for the future and stay true to your values and principles along the way.
We will address the emotional and practical issues associated with your unique set of circumstances and design a framework that will address all relevant issues such as creating and adjusting to new relationship boundaries, expectations, financial concerns, living arrangements, how/when to tell the kids and others, co-parenting arrangements, property, friends and family, choosing a legal process and more.
I feel that there is a great need for a therapeutic program that addresses the thoughts, questions, and issues that are unique to separating couples with children. I have seen how dramatically different the effects of separation on children can be when approached with awareness, inner strength, and compassion — but this is not easy to achieve without a good structure, constant support, proper skill development, and practice.
I offer Separating and Divorcing couples a comprehensive framework in which to design how their “new family” will look, feel and behave, taking into account your collective values, needs and preferences, both practical and emotional. It is important not to view the change in your family structure as a “broken family”, but as a “new version” of your old one. This can be very challenging to do, especially if there are raw wounds that have yet to heal. The primary focus is to create and maintain the healthiest possible environment for your children. All parents like to believe that they will always act in the best interest of the kids, but it is easy to lose sight of what is “best” when we are in the throes of an emotional separation. My role is to assist you in developing and maintaining your Vision and Parenting Plan through communication and negotiation.
I will meet with each of you separately and together, and with your children, if possible. We will design a Vision for what your “new family” will look like. From this Vision, we will develop a Parenting Plan which may include: Residential Schedule & Boundaries; Education needs; Religious needs; Routines; Extra Curricular; Communication Guidelines; Medical; Illness (parents/children); Transportation; Moving/Changes/Transitions; Significant Others; Travel; and Incidental Financial issues relating only to children. You can expect your work with me to last for 6-18 months, depending on your needs.