INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING

Do you feel a sense that something is wrong in life? Perhaps your career is not unfolding as you expected. Is your primary relationship less than fulfilling? Is your parental/child relationship overwhelming you with conflict and pain? Are you grieving the loss of a family member or friend? Are you aware of an uneasy feeling you can’t identify. Have you come to a point in life where all the things you thought would bring happiness have been achieved and still you wonder “is that all there is?” All of these are reasons people seek out help and support.

Michele can assist you by encouraging you to navigate the unfamiliar terrain of your emotions. By listening and understand the problems you are presenting, she will use her skill set, her understanding and compassion as a Social Worker/Coach to help you find different perspectives and direction when solving the problems that arise in your life. It is Michele’s goal to help and support you as you explore and expand your options in life. She hopes that the alliance between her and you will guide you so that you may find answers to your personal issues, so that you may realize your full potential.


COUPLES/MARRIAGE COUNSELLING

If you or your partner is experiencing any of the following problems, you may be experiencing difficulties in your relationship:

  1. Consistent arguing
  2. Difficulty communicating
  3. Dissatisfaction with relationship
  4. Feel nothing in common
  5. Avoid topics/issues to keep the peace
  6. Feel distant or detached
  7. Difficulty being honest in relationship
  8. Thinking about or committing infidelity
  9. Being emotionally unavailable

These difficult periods can manifest through stress and conflict resulting from: miscommunication, lack of trust, not finding things in common anymore, not having the connection or intimacy that was once present, or other issues. Michele will help couples learn new tools to manage difference, stress, and conflict resolution skills so that couples may find new joy and deeper intimacy within their relationship. By exploring these challenges within the relationship couples may gain a new perspective which can encourage a healthy loving relationship.


FAMILY COUNSELLING

Michele believes that relationships are an investment. The more you put in, the more you get back. Michele will provide a supportive, comfortable, and safe place to explore difficult issues affecting your relationships within your family system by emphasizing family relationships and developing solutions which connect families. This is done by developing communication skills, learning to solve problems more effectively, identifying your strengths, so that your family may overcome their challenges. The involvement of family members, understanding the family hierarchy and power dynamics are some of the core struggles families need to overcome so that they may achieve health solutions to family difficulties. Michele’s skills include her ability to influence conversations in a way that draws strengths, wisdom, and support of the wider family dynamics.


FAMILY MEDIATION

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process. Mediation is a voluntary process through which a separating couple works together with an impartial third party – a mediator - to develop a mutually-satisfactory agreement concerning the issues relevant to their separation or divorce. The mediator makes no decisions and does not dictate an agreement, but rather assists you to reach common ground on each issue. If an agreement cannot be reached, you are free to try to settle the matter using other forms of dispute resolution, such as lawyer negotiations or court. Mediated agreements should be reviewed by a lawyer so that each parent may receive independent legal advice regarding the issues mediated. Mediators may not provide you with any legal advice regarding your issues or your agreement. Mediated agreements are not a legally binding, therefore, a lawyer should be used to developed a legally binding agreement.

Michele specializes in mediating parenting and child related issues with the expectation of developing a parenting plan for the separating family. A parenting plan is an understanding of each parent’s roles and responsibilities towards the children and to their former partner. By developing this agreement, parents can begin to develop their new roles and set new boundaries as it relates to being single parents. By mutually developing this agreement, parents can resolve any worries or concerns regarding their new roles and they may develop new ways of communicating and learn new conflict resolution skills.

Michele currently provides mediation services as a panel mediator at the Mediation Centre of Simcoe County. This organization has the contract with the Ministry of the Attorney General to provide subsidized mediation services for Simcoe County. Michele also provides private mediation services.


DIVORCE COACHING

HOW CAN A DIVORCE COACH HELP?

  1. Assisting separating clients over the difficult hurdles of separation and divorce by teaching them how to comfortably handle most issues facing couples in this situation.
  2. Helps clients reduce the frustration and uncertainty that comes with separation and divorce.
  3. Will teach parents how to coach themselves through situations as they develop, so that parenting after separation is easier and more effective.

BENEFITS OF A DIVORCE COACH

  1. Helps clients overcome anxieties and insecurities, therefore, reducing stress during and after their separation.
  2. Helps clients better manage their anger, frustration and trust, therefore, helping reduce the financial and emotional costs associated with separation and divorce.
  3. Clients values and beliefs are brought into focus.
  4. Helps clients realize their separation and divorce does not have to be as difficult and as negative as it is portrayed by society and the media.
  5. Helps clients to be less reactive and more proactive.
  6. Helps clients to gain more control during challenging and difficult situations.
  7. Helps clients develop more effective communication skills.
  8. Helps clients develop coping strategies for problem solving.

PARENTING COACHING

Working with a parent coach gives parents the freedom to choose their own parenting strategies after their separation. Whether solutions have to do with specific parenting situations, creating a parenting vision or having more balance in life, a parent coach helps parents with the most difficult job in the world. Parent coaching is founded on the principles of co-operation, responsibility and consistency. It offers parents a skill set to be more effective in their parenting after their separation. It provides parents with practical coping skills, while working towards their long-term vision of a healthy family.


HOW CAN A PARENTING COACH HELP?

  1. Assists parents over the hurdles of parenting during and after separation.
  2. Helps reduce the frustration and uncertainty that comes with parenting after separation by encouraging and facilitating open and honest communication between the parents.
  3. Will teaches parents how to coach themselves through situations as they develop, so that parenting after separation is easier and more effective.
  4. Helps reduce the stress of parenting and encourage co-parenting after separation.

BENEFITS OF A PARENTING COACH

  1. Anxiety and insecurities due to parenting after separation are reduced.
  2. Anger and frustration levels are better managed due to open communication between the parents.
  3. Parenting values and beliefs are brought into focus.
  4. Less reactive parenting and more proactive parenting.
  5. More control during difficult situations.
  6. More effective communication skills.
  7. Sound coping strategies for problem solving during their separation.

PARENTING AFTER SEPARATION(Parenting Plan Consultations)

Parenting plan consultation is an evaluative mediation process and while equivalent to a child custody assessment, it is an alternative. It is conducted by parenting plan consultant who has the combined experience of a mediator and child custody assessor. This is a hybrid model that is more expedient and less expensive than a child custody assessment, while also preserving the mediation principles of self-determination. Parenting plan consultations typically costs less than a traditional child custody assessment and can be completed in a much shorter time than most traditional assessments.

As a parenting plan consultant, Michele will combine her skills and expertise as a mediator and child custody assessor with her knowledge of the effects of separation and divorce on children. As a parenting plan consultant, Michele will work with you in a voluntary process, emphasizing the parent’s ability to guide and shape the process. To begin, both parents must voluntarily consent to participate. The process includes the following meeting:

  1. Joint conference call with the lawyers if lawyers are involved.
  2. Completion of intake questionnaires either jointly or individually with parents. In the event that the intake questionnaires are done jointly, individual meetings will be set up with parents.
  3. Individual interviews with the children (usually two).
  4. Collateral contacts interviewed.
  5. A three or five-way feedback and settlement meeting with parents and lawyers.

As this process is confidential, there will be no report describing the data collected and no report regarding custody recommendations. Rather, if an agreement has been reached, the parents can jointly opt for the parenting plan consultant to complete a written parenting plan which can serve as a basis for their agreement.


REINTEGRATION COUNSELLING

There are many ways a child can become estranged or separated from a parent, but it is proven that children do best when they have a relationship with both parents.

The purpose of reintegration therapy is to assist a child/children and a parent establish or reestablish a positive and emotionally healthy relationship. Reintegration therapy requires the parties' cooperation and willingness to have the relationship between the child and parent restored. The process involves intensive counseling individually and jointly between parent and child(ren). The goal is to try and establish (or re-establish) a healthy and loving relationship between the child and the parent.