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Tips for Good Conversation

CONVERSATION C          Have a Clear and purposeful intention for your conversation O         Be Open to the other person- try to put any assumptions or judgements to one side N         Be sensitive to the Non-verbal communication-notice the pitch, volume, pauses and energy in the other person’s speech, pay attention to whether the content of the words…

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The Wisdom of Books

When I was a young child my most precious possessions were my books. I kept them in a tea chest, and took great joy from unpacking them, rediscovering them, holding them, and connecting with what each of them meant to me. They were each a key either to the person who gave them to me,…

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The Value of the Visual in Mediation

When I first met Michael Hunt nearly 30 years ago, I was very impressed by his focus on the visual in mediation. He had white boards, butchers paper and many different coloured textas, and he used these very skillfully to support his role as a facilitative mediator.  He has since then taken this passion into…

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Good Communication When Working Remotely

This is an issue that we are all focused on at present! I was very lucky recently to be able to discuss this important topic with my great friend and colleague Marlene Ebejer. She is a leader in the family dispute resolution field, and it was a great privilege to have this discussion with her.…

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The Impact of Family Violence on Children

The current world is one characterised by considerable uncertainty and anxiety. This can be an opportunity to step outside our comfort zones and develop new coping strategies for personal growth and resilience. But it can also be a time when relationship difficulties can become overwhelming and stress of this masks our ability to manage this…

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Creating quality time for children during a lockdown

There is currently a 40 % increase in parenting matters being initiated in the Family Courts in the context of Covid-19. This reflects the great challenges for parents in navigating this difficult and challenging time. Whether as professionals responding to parents in these circumstances, or parents searching for guidance, we need to understand what is…

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Tips for planning family activity during social isolation

Some ideas for making Covid-19 leave your family stronger and closer! Establish a routine for the whole family, talk about this, and communicate about it as a family so it is well understood and committed to by everyone Be flexible and creative to provide interest and variety, and to allow for improvement as time goes…

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The humane approach to assisting separated families.

Separation is a time of chaos for the families that approach us for professional assistance. They seek understanding, information and a clear pathway through this chaos to a place of greater certainty and peace.   At this point, a family may need time, therapy and emotional support in order to be able to grapple with…

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Dealing with Vicarious Trauma

The experts agree that it is normal to be affected by our work. Where this requires us to engage empathetically on a repeated basis with those who are traumatised, then we must be mindful of our exposure to vicarious trauma. Empathy triggers our mirror neurone network so that we mimic those we are working with.…

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The obligations of professionals to promote the common good

The notion of a “Social Contract” is one that has evolved through time in the work of various philosophers-John Stuart Mill, Hobbs, Locke, Rousseau and more recently the work of Rawls. At the recent AFCC Conference, Professor Robinson used this notion to present some fascinating ideas about where we as professionals fit into this “social…

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