I obtained my Master of Social Work in 1982 and I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers. Additionally, I am an Accredited Advanced Collaborative Professional.
Having worked extensively with children and adults, I have a broad range of experience in individual, couple, and family therapy. My therapeutic work involves developing skills to address concerns such as anxiety, depression, unresolved grief and interpersonal and school related challenges. My work with couples focuses on strengthening communication skills and helping partners better understand their interpersonal dynamics within a safe, non-judgmental environment.
I also provide counseling and mediation for individuals experiencing challenges related to separation and divorce, including supporting parents in developing Parenting Plans. I believe that an empathic approach allows for the building of trust and mutual respect. In my practice, I encourage a child-centered approach as a means of effectively addressing children's needs and best interests. I feel that it is important to support parents post separation, and so my practice also includes Coaching.
My work on the Board of Collaborative Divorce Toronto, 2009-2015, and my on-going work, first on the Steering Committee (2018-2020) and then on the Board of Collaborative Practice Canada since 2020, reflects my commitment to an alternative method for separating couples to resolve their differences outside of court. I feel that the process promotes parents' sense of self- determination, while encouraging respect and co-operation. Additionally, I have taught in the field of mediation and the emotional and practical consequences of coping with grief and loss. I have also trained other professionals on how to mediate and work as a Family Professional within the field of collaborative law.
My work has been featured in the Globe and Mail and Today’s Parent. I also co-authored A Guide to a Sensible Divorce: Answers to Your Questions Kavoukian, S., Graham. D., Anderson, A. (2022).
I hold my Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees, and have been registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers since 1980. I am an Accredited Family Mediator, and I have been trained as a Collaborative Family Professional. I have also been trained by leading experts in North America, in therapies designed to address parent-child contact problems.
My clinical experience includes work in a variety of treatment settings and private practice providing services to individuals, couples and families. My life experience includes the privilege of parenthood, including the challenges it presents, all of which has richly informed my understanding of, and approach to counselling individuals and families. I am committed to listening without judgment, encouraging all voices to be heard, working with you to consider your goals and to stimulate ideas that may ease distress, broker greater understanding of oneself or between family members, and collaborate to resolve issues and differences.
My areas of expertise include child development; adjustment to change, including the issues emerging from separation, divorce and remarriage; high conflict in separation and divorce; and neurodevelopmental disorders. I have worked extensively in designing and providing services and specialized interventions for families experiencing parent-child contact problems. I have taught courses on these subjects and have presented at various local and international conferences.
I am committed to helping families, children and teens as they negotiate life's many changes. I see myself as a member of your team to explore new, dominant stories that move you forward and create new possibilities in the context of what matters most to you.
As a mediator and collaborative family professional, I help families to find a more peaceful way through their separation. I work closely with parents to create new and effective ways of communicating to ensure that the children's needs are met as a first priority. In this process, parents and I may mediate and create a parenting plan and discuss parenting and child adjustment. I have trained throughout Canada and the U.S. as faculty on the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. I am currently a trainer with the Toronto Collaborative Training Team.
I have over 30 years’ experience working with families, couples, children and teens in treatment and mental health settings. In addition to my therapy practice, my past experience includes working with children and youth as a children’s lawyer. I hold my Bachelor of Laws and Master of Social Work, am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and am trained as a Collaborative Family Professional.
My areas of expertise include life transitions, challenges related to separation, divorce and blended families, child development and behaviour, and the journey of adolescence.