judith

Judith MacdonaldLawson

Family Mediator
Direct Consultation with Children
Relationship Counsellor
Psychotherapist
Family Consultant

Tel: 07717 716602judithmaclawson@yahoo.co.uk

I am a Family Mediator, Couples and Family Counsellor and Psychotherapist who specialises in working with clients at all stages of their relationship, and with all family members during separation and divorce.  I worked for Relate for 10 years as a Senior Couples Counsellor, Family Counsellor, Psychosexual Therapist and Young Persons’ Counsellor, and have been working in private practice for 8 years.  I set up the South Downs Counselling and Mediation Practice in 2014 to provide an integrated service for individuals, couples, children and families needing professional help with a wide range of emotional needs..

I trained as a Family Mediator with the Family Mediators Association, and work either as a sole mediator or conduct co-mediations in collaboration with other mediators.  I am qualified to conduct All Issues Mediations – Property, Finance and Child Arrangements, and conduct Child Inclusive Mediation as part of Family Mediation and the Collaborative Law process.  I am accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, am a member of the Family Mediators Association, the Family Mediation Council and Resolution.  I adhere to the BACP Code of Ethics and the FMA , FMC and Resolution Codes of Practice.  All my work is fully supervised.

Separating Parents are sessions to help couples who have decided to end their relationship. During this difficult transition, which will be painful for you all, decisions need to be taken about how to tell the children, who moves out and when, what arrangements will be made for your children to see you both, as well as helping your children with their fears. Several sessions with an experienced couples counsellor can help you to negotiate some of these issues; you may be signposted to other sources of support.

Family Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution leading to separation and divorce, providing couples with the chance to make their own decisions about child arrangements, property and finance. Couples meet with the mediator who can help them discuss the future in a constructive and respectful way. Family mediation is voluntary, less costly and less lengthy than adversarial court proceedings, and it is more likely that separating parents will be able to maintain more effective communication after separation and divorce.

Family Mediation can also be very helpful years after divorce. Child arrangements that were negotiated some time ago without a review clause, or were established without a written agreement, become unworkable for either one of the parents, or the children.  Time moves on.  Children grow older and begin to want to have more control over their own lives, family structures change, new parental partners and new families become part of the children’s changing world, parents need or choose to move house. In Family Mediation, discussing how to make changes to existing arrangements can be done in a calm, impartial environment, with parents and children all able to have a voice.

Child Inclusive Mediation

It is important that parents understand the thoughts, needs and feelings of their children and involving them in the mediation process may be a good way to do this. Children like to be informed and appreciate having their views and options heard, although it is always made clear that they are not responsible for any overall decisions – these need to be made by their parents.

Involving children in mediation can be very complex and a great deal of preparation is needed before a mediator will speak to a child. Different considerations apply depending on the age and maturity of the child. The child and both the parents have to agree to the consultation and the mediator must decide whether child consultation is appropriate.

Direct consultation with a child means the child talking face to face with the mediator separately. This conversation is confidential, between the mediator and the child.  However, very often the child does have something that they want the mediator to tell their parents, and that they would like the parents to take into consideration when making their decisions. Strictly with the child’s permission, the mediator will then bring the child’s voice into the mediation.

Consultations with a child usually last approximately 45 minutes. Siblings will be seen separately or together depending on what the children themselves prefer. Children should generally be aged 10 years and over, but in exceptional circumstances younger children may be seen.

Relationship Counselling provides help for couples who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship, whether arising from the relationship itself, or from other external factors. Couples are encouraged to explore their problems in a safe, impartial conversation, to improve understanding of why these problems are occurring, and how to make changes. If your relationship has ended, you might need help to come to terms with this loss.  If you are parents who are arguing a lot, your children will be aware these tensions; ultimately they too will benefit from your counselling.

Family Consultancy is a service to support couples who choose to negotiate their divorce through either family mediation or collaborative law. Couples may find that having emotional support, either together or separately, can help with the painful process of making decisions about child arrangements, property and finance. Some collaborative lawyers choose to work with family consultants as part of the negotiating process.

Charges

Relationship Counselling £65 per 50 minute session

Family Consultancy £80 per hour

Family Mediation – see Fees 

 


fma-logo bacp-registered-400Contact Judith

Tel: 07717 716602

judithmaclawson@yahoo.co.uk

Website: www.judithmacdonald-lawson.co.uk