2013 has been an interesting year for me professionally. Life’s Doors Mediation has evolved and I have come into my own, fully embracing what it is I envision to offer the greatest opportunity to help my clients. Some of the changes have been very welcomed and I have considered them a gift from God. Some of the changes have been challenging. I have had to find a way to grow while making sure people can still find me easily. There are not too many people out there who welcome working with people in high conflict, hostile co-parenting situations, but I find it deeply rewarding. I know that parents of high conflict are not bad parents. They are parents who resent having been shackled to an angry ex spouse and the family court. They are parents who feel imprisoned by the Family Court System. No matter where they turn, they cannot find help, but if they can find me, they find someone who has been there, and really can understand their situation. Because of this lack of support to parents from the legal community, I have embraced change both deliberately and cautiously.
This year, I trained to be an instructor through the High Conflict Diversion Program. The director of the program, Brook Olsen, has been on a very similar life path as my own. High Conflict divorce changed his life and mine. Brook is someone who also understands and embraces parents in high conflict, hostile coparent situations and I am thankful that he included me as an instructor of this program.
To be an instructor of the program would mean a new office with classroom availability and so in March, I set out to find the right setting for the High Conflict Diversion Program and other classes I had planned to teach. I did not have to look too far because it was actually delivered to me. One of my clients was a part of the Circle of Healing Arts and invited me to join them. I now share office space at CoHA and we are doing amazing things there. The creativity and passion of this group inspires me every day.
I also published my first book, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare“. The book is a how-to guide for working with a parenting consultant or parent coordinator and offers communication strategies for dealing with these and other court authorities, and dealing with a hostile co-parent. I hope it helps you minimize the effects of family court on your life and the lives of your children. It doesn’t solve all of your Custody and parenting time problems, but hopefully, reigns in many of the mistakes parents make when they find themselves in this highly stressful situation.
The above recaps some of the transitions I have gone through this year, and now I am going to fill you in on some more.
I have lowered my mediation fees to $100 per hour and will offer this price at least through the end of the year. I still offer mediation services with no retainer because I know how hard it is to come up with a retainer, especially in this economy. Coaching prices remain at $50 per hour and is still much lower than most coaches charge.
In another role I provide, the PC role, I remain reluctant to do it. In the beginning, I swore I would not add those services, but I had so many people beg me to do it that I finally saw some wisdom in providing the service and doing things differently. Unfortunately, getting appointed when you are trying to do things differently is not always welcomed by judges, and the hostile ex spouse, who uses the role as a weapon against the other parent, will never agree to me as a parenting consultant/coordinator on your case. I still struggle with the PC work because it is a role that many people are under court order to utilize, but I feel that I can be more helpful coaching you on how to deal with this situation. Because there is a greater need for that, I may be apt to offer the coaching role to you, rather than the PC role. I really do wish that PCs would be banned nationwide, like they are in Pennsylviania, but we have yet to see how that works out and it still is the way it works in Minnesota.
I also feel that teaching the teaching the High Conflict Diversion Program offers the best opportunity to help you conquer the hostile co-parenting situation and that is where I will put my energy going forward. I will be offering training and consulting to PCs so that they can better understand High Conflict divorce and how they can truly serve the families they hope to help. You can send me the name of your PC and their contact info if you think they could benefit from training, and I will include them on the info list I send out to all PCs. I cannot make them attend, but hope that many will.
And now, about this blog. In the beginning, I kept coaching and mediation separate. I no longer want to do that. Everything has been rolled into Life’s Doors Mediation. I have been running the blogs from both Life’s Doors Mediation and the Coparent Coach because both blogs offer important information. I have added this blog as the main blog going forward. It is a lot of work trying to keep up both blogs so this blog will be Life’s Doors Mediation blog from today on. I will continue to make my past blogs available as archives so that you can find the information from the past few years, but now will move forward with one main blog where I can share important information with a variety of topics for all.
Stay tuned for more updates and more frequent blog posts going forward!
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net