What is Collaborative Practice?
Collaborative Practice is an interdisciplinary approach to assist people going through separation/divorce to resolve their property, support, and parenting issues in a respectful, problem-solving process without going to court. With the assistance of lawyers, financial, and family professionals, Collaborative Practice offers you the opportunity to bring the right expertise to the table at the right time to guide and inform you along the way. The results are legally binding agreements that resolve the issues facing your family.
How can Sheila help?
As a family professional, Sheila can work in multiple roles in the collaborative process. As a mediator and separation coach, Sheila will help you to create a parenting plan for your children. Sheila can also:
- Help you to clarify and articulate your needs and interests
- Help you develop effective communication skills and set new boundaries with your former partner
- Improve and restructure your communication
- Provide you with information about separation and the impact of conflict on children
- Assist you in telling your children about your decision to separate
- Help you discuss how you will make decisions about your children and how you will each spend time with them going forward
- Clarify your expectations of one another with respect to handling the day-to-day responsibilities for the children’s health, educational and extra-curricular needs
As a child consultant Sheila, or one of her colleagues, may also meet with your children to bring their voices into the process. At Chestnut Collaborative Solutions, Sheila works with her colleagues to offer a unique approach by coordinating services to inclusively address the differing needs of all family members. Sometimes it is important to separate out the work of the parents from the emotional needs of the children. In these instances, Sheila will work with the parents and a colleague will work with the children. This provides an integrated way to address the differing needs of all family members. As a neutral facilitator, with years of experience in managing multidisciplinary teams, Sheila is often called on to facilitate the collaborative process. In this role, Sheila will provide a case management function, chair meetings, and check in with you and other team members before and after meetings to ensure that service is coordinated and delivered in an effective targeted way. In this role, Sheila can also:
- Ensure both you and your partner have the opportunity to be heard in a safe and respectful environment
- Help you to bring your best self to the table so that you are not negotiating from positions of anger or guilt, or working against your own interests
- Facilitate effective communication between you and other team members at the collaborative table
- Help you to stay focused on your agenda and manage the pacing of the meetings
- Act as a central point person for you to raise any questions/concerns you may have so that they can be addressed by the team