What is your background?

I graduated University of Ottawa with a B.A. in Social Sciences, Honors in Criminology and Political Science. I completed graduate studies with the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution with designations in: Mediation, Negotiation, Third Party Neutral training, Deep-rooted conflict (family and community), Behavioral Analysis . I later went on to work as a corporate mediator  for a learning centre. After, going through my own personal marriage breakdown I decided to focus my attention on Family Law Mediation and completed the required Family Law training.  I am currently a member of ADRIO (Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario) and continue to grow my Divorce Mediation Practice with the SDRC.

What made you want to become a mediator?

I have a passion for resolving conflict in a peaceful way.  I believe that the root of all conflict is mis-understanding and lack of communication around individual deep-rooted needs.  I feel that if people have a safe environment to speak their needs that conflict can be resolved.  I like to focus on the solution not the problem.  In family matters I believe that families can learn to move forward after relationship breakdown and live happy, fulfilled lives once they learn appropriate ways to communicate.

Why did you chose the SDRC?

The philosophy of the SDRC resonated with me because after going through my own personal marriage breakdown, I realized how lonely the process was.  I didn’t know who to turn to and where to look for sound advice.  I needed help not only with navigating through the multitude of learning my legal rights, but also through the pain of separation.  The SDRC embraces the philosophy of supporting individuals through all stages of breakdown, from therapy, to relationship rebuilding, to mediation and after-care.  Divorce does not break people, how it is handled does.  I feel the SDRC is the best place for me to conduct my practice and be able to carry through my passion to help others thrive not just survive the trauma of relationship breakdown.

What do you wish people knew about mediation?

Mediation is a vehicle to effectively resolve matters.  It allows individuals to deal with issues and come out with a collaborative solution that is fair to all parties.  It allows the parties to have more control over the outcome as they are active participants in the process instead of being passive participants in the traditional legal forum.  Mediation takes an already adversarial situation and neutralizes it so that a fair resolution can be agreed on.

How do you think people can prepare for mediation?

Clients can begin by writing down what the conflict is about, how they are feeling currently about it, what concerns they have going into mediation, and what is the potential outcome they would want from mediation.