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What to expect

Clients can arrange for appointments by contacting admin@empowering-you.ca, or through the 'Get in touch' feature on this site. Appointments for individuals are typically booked for 1 hour and 2 hours when two or more people plan to attend.

Counselling

Individual | Couple and Family | Parent-Teen

Due to Covid-19, I am providing all of my services via videoconferencing. I am a trained EMDR therapist and can effectively offer this form of therapy online and I have flexible appointment times available. I provide counselling for individuals, couples, parents and families. Some people seek counselling to explore opportunities for growth or to create change or to adjust to new situations or new life circumstances. Others seek counselling to address issues that they have been unable to resolve on their own or that have become overwhelming.

Some clients are able to attain their goals in just a few sessions while others continue in counselling for some time. I typically approach my work with clients from a solution-focused perspective and readily integrate aspects of various therapeutic modalities based on client needs. I incorportate Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a widely accepted treatment to address issues of anxiety and trauma.

You’re the expert on your life and I have expertise in the counselling process. By combining our efforts and engaging in mutual feedback, you have the opportunity to achieve your counselling goals.

I specialize in providing separation counselling/coaching to parents as individuals or as a couple who may in the initial stages of separation, considering separation or adjusting to parenting in two homes. Even if only one parent is willing to attend for counselling, the benefits to that parent in establishing healthy boundaries with their co-parent can be considerable. I share my knowledge with parents so they can make informed decisions to help them avoid the potential negative impact to children and themselves. I offer strategies for separating in the best way possible way for their children and set the stage for developing a more effective co-parenting relationship.

The grief and loss associated with the breakdown of a relationship and concern about the implications for the children are typical but often overlooked aspects of separation and divorce. Some of my counselling clients are, as adults, exploring the impact of their parents’ separation and their experiences being children of divorce.

Much of the individual therapy I provide is for parents looking for support in navigating the separation process, adjusting to the changes that have resulted from the separation or for those who are struggling with a difficult coparenting partner.


Mediation/Parenting Coordination

Separation | High Conflict

Due to Covid-19, I am continuing to provide mediation via videoconferencing. Mediation can be accessed at any point during the separation process and allows the people most affected by an outcome to remain in control of the decision-making process. As a skilled and experienced mediator, I help parents gain a better understanding each other’s perspectives. I create and maintain a respectful environment where each parent has the ability to be heard and to listen to each other to develop understanding. It is important to note that understanding is not the same as agreeing. The intent of my mediaton process is to empower both parents to work together to design mutually acceptable solutions. I have extensive training and have used my calm approach to facilitate numerous mediations. I have specialised in working with parents experiencing significant distress and conflict in their coparenting relationship. When families need more than mediation, parenting coordination is the next step.

Parenting Coordination or PC is typically accessed by a court order that the parents have entered into by consent. While mediation is a significant part of the PC process, there are a couple of aspects that make it different. The first one is the educational component. I spend a considerable amount of time educating parents about child development, various types of parenting plans and other factors to consider when they are trying to identify solutions to parenting issues that are acceptable to both of them. The other major difference in the inclusion of arbitration, which most parenting coordiation orders contain. This allows the parenting coordinator to be the final decision-maker in the event that parents are unable to reach decisions themselves. Please scroll down to my blog on parenting coordination for more information.

Consulting/Forensic


Family Law Interventions, Assessments & Litigation Support

  • Practice Note 8 Child Custody Evaluations/Assessments
  • Practice Note 7 Evaluative/Therapeutic Interventions
  • Parent Psychological Assessments – Risk Assessments
  • Focused Assessments
  • Voice of the Child
  • Parent-Child Reunification Therapy
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Triage

Due to Covid-19, I am continuing to provide parenting coordination, parenting assessments, child custody (bilateral assessmsents) evaluations, therapeutic, reunification, and Voice of the Child interventions via videoconferencing. When parents are experiencing levels of high conflict in their co-parenting relationships and they are unable to work together to parent their children effectively, these court-ordered interventions and evaluations can ultimately help them or the Court, find the best solution for the children. As the court-appointed Parenting Expert, I have conducted numerous Practice Note 7 Interventions and Practice Note 8 Assessments.

Assessments of parents are comprehensive and often complicated. Child Custody Evaluations/Assessments are bilateral assessments completed under a Practice Note 8 (PN8), are more complex and comprehensive than a parenting assessment and involve both parents and the children. The assessor considers the “best interests of the child” and is responsible for making recommendations as to how decision-making should be addressed, how children should spend time with the parents and on what type of schedule. I have completed many bilateral and unilateral assessments of parents and have been qualified as an Expert in Parenting & Parenting Assessments in both Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Under a Practice Note 7, (PN7) Parent Psychological (Unilateral) Assessments, often referred to as Risk Assessments, are completed on one or both parents individually to determine whether a parent has the ability to parent, whether that parent presents a risk to the children and what supports might need to be in place to address identified concerns. These assessments do not offer any opinions or recommendations regarding parenting time or decision-making. The assessor considers the “fit” of the parent to the needs of the child.

A Voice of the Child Intervention is requested when the Court wants to know the child’s perspective about; the separation, the parenting arrangements, parent-child contact problems or allegations that a child has been negatively influenced. A Voice of the Child Intervention allows the parenting expert, appointed by the Court, to gather information regarding the identified concerns and, where possible, offer suggestions to assist the child and/or the parents to address them.

Therapeutic Interventions include Parent-Child Reunification Therapy when there has been a breakdown in a parent-child relationship. This is typically a very complex form of therapy that requires the involvement and committment of both parents as well as the child or children. Sometimes the disruption of the parent-child relationship is due to what is referred to as realistic estrangement while other times it is the result of behavour by one parent that are consistent with restrictive gate-keeping that interfere wth the relationship between a child and the other parent.

Triage is a process whereby a parenting expert meets with the parents and children separately, reviews relevant information and then makes recommendations as to the type of intervention, evlauation or process that would work best for that family.