Keynote Speaker: Michael Saini, Ph.D., M.S.W., R.S.W.
Session 1: April 5, 2018 – Afternoon Session
Topic: Detaching from High Conflict Divorce: Adult Attachment, Emotional Coping and Co-parenting
12:30 pm to 1:00 pm - Registration check-in
1:00 pm to 2:30 pm – Entrenched in high conflict: An adult attachment perspective
2:30 pm to 2:45 pm - Break
2:45 pm to 4:15 pm –Overcoming fear-based relationship conflicts
Abstract: High conflict divorces represent a growing area of concern. This workshop integrates new research with a dynamic attachment-based framework for understanding families involved in high conflict. Emotional coping and protection processes are examined to interpret how adaptive patterns in relationships can become maladaptive following family breakdown. Practical strategies for overcoming fear-based relationship conflicts will be offered to help mediators reduce conflict and enhance cooperation in co-parenting relationships.
- Learn about adult attachment styles that are related to various levels of conflict post separation and divorce.
- Learn how to interpret fear within the context of families involved in high conflict.
- Learn ways to help parties emotionally regulate and overcome fear-based strategies within the mediation process.
Session 2: April 6, 2018 – Full Day Session
Topic: Trauma-Informed Mediation– Establishing a Best Practice Framework for Family Mediators
8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. - Registration check-in and networking
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – The impact of trauma: Vulnerabilities and triggers
10:30 am to 10:45 a.m. - Break
10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Developing a trauma-informed mediation approach
12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. - NMA Business Meeting, lunch, and networking
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Parenting plans that limit toxic stress
3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. - Break
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. - Effects on Mediators: Trauma Exposure Response
4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Closing
Abstract: Unresolved trauma histories can have both short and long-term consequences on children and parents’ overall functioning. Using a trauma-informed approach to mediation, this workshop will first explore the impact of adverse childhood experiences and unresolved traumas. Second, the workshop will highlight the key principles of trauma-focused mediation to establish a best practice framework for mediators. Third, participants will learn how to develop parenting plans that minimize the exposure to toxic stress. Lastly, the workshop will address the mediator’s role in working within a trauma-informed lens, including awareness of the potential for trauma exposure responses when attempting to shift from toxic stress to compassionate co-parenting relationships.
- Learn about the impact of unresolved traumas on families involved in mediation.
- List the key principles for trauma-informed mediation.
- Recognize signs of complex trauma and the indicators that a party has slipped out of their “safe zone."
- Develop strategies to assist parties to emotionally regulate within the mediation process.
- Learn specific mediation techniques that keeps parents focused on building agreements and procedures to prevent long-term trauma.
- Protect against the risk of trauma exposure response when mediating with clients with unresolved traumas.
Michael A. Saini, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and holds the endowed Factor-Inwentash Chair in Law and Social Work. He is the Co-Director of the Combined J.D. and M.S.W. program and with the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Dr. Saini is a Board Member of the Association of Family Conciliation and the Courts and an editorial board member for the Family Court Review and the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. He provides risk management consultation for both child protection agencies and children’s mental health agencies for working with families involved in high conflict child custody disputes
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