Earlier this year, I (Karen Redmond), responded to an invitation by the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia to submit a proposal for a presentation to the Medical/Legal Conference in Hawaii in January 2015. Having repeatedly heard "I wish I had known about Collaborative Divorce when I was going through my separation" as we all likely have, I thought about doctors as being on the front lines for families transitioning through separation and divorce and thought that their patients would benefit from them having information about Collaborative Practice.
In our CDV group we are privileged to have among us some of the leaders in Collaborative Practice, including former IACP board members and founding members of the Vancouver Collaborative Divorce Group. My friend and colleague Abby Petterson and I have been giving Divorce Transition seminars on the North Shore for over a year now and she agreed to join with me in making a submission for the conference. Abby is a Psychotherapist, Collaborative Divorce Coach and Child Specialist in West Vancouver. Together with Danny Zack, a senior family law lawyer, founding member, and vice president of the BC Collaborative Roster Society, we submitted a written abstract for our presentation called, "Doctors and Lawyers Working Together in Harm Reduction for Families Transitioning Through Separation." We knew that we would be paying our own way to the Conference but we all agreed that this was a wonderful opportunity to speak about Collaborative Practice.
Our challenge was to provide an interesting, informative, passionate presentation in 40 minutes, and allow time for questions. I think I can confidently say that we succeeded in our goal. I gave information about Collaborative Practice from the lawyer's perspective; Abby spoke eloquently about divorce and its impacts on children and family from the mental health professional's perspective and Danny, not surprisingly, held the audience captive with his stories, and, he answered the tough questions from the audience.
My take away from the conference was this: when you believe in something, and when your subject is as important as children and families transitioning through separation, you can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime and they will listen.
A great Conference with a great group.