Child Inclusive Mediation

Child Inclusive Mediation is offered to clients who wish to have the voice of the child/children in the mediation process. We are finding Child Inclusive Mediation to be a very powerful process as it keeps the Mediation child focussed and both parties have the opportunity to speak to the child consultant in a way they are unable to do so at any other times during the Court Process.

Donna Cameron is now offering her expertise in Child Inclusive Mediation, Melbourne. By choosing Donna as your practitioner to talk to your child/ren you are getting the experience of a registered psychologist of 15 years and a family report writer all in one. You are not going to find a better person to help your family in this role in Melbourne. We have very high success rates of parties coming to agreements when this format, Child Inclusive Mediation, is used. The process we use is:

  • Parties involved attend a 45 minute intake session with Donna Cameron individually (this can be over the phone is required).
  • Then the child/children attend a 45 minute intake session with Donna Cameron (this needs to be in person)
  • Donna then attends your Mediation and speaks to you about the child’s wishes and also as she is a family report writer and a Psychologist she can also discuss with both parties possible outcomes of family reports and psychological issues that may be occurring or that could occur in the future for the child/children dependent on the schedules being proposed.

The Cost for Donna Cameron to be involved in your Mediation process is $1200 plus GST. If travel is required there will be an addition fee for this dependent on the location. Payment is required at the time of the parties’ interviews. Donna Cameron will work with any Mediators, in the past she has worked with Racheal Hempling, Anne-Marie Rice, Ron Uphill, and Janine Hogg.

Child Inclusive Mediation involves a session for you, your ex-partner and your children with an expert in this field. They are usually a mutual professional that neither you or your ex- partner has had contact with before. They will meet with you and your partner in individual sessions that usually go for about an hour. They will listen and let you talk about the separation, your children, any concerns you have regarding the other parents care of the children and most importantly the schedule of time that they feel is best for the children. The expert will listen for any emotions behind the proposed schedule and in a delicate way can offer suggestions of other schedules that may also work for your family. They keep these sessions focused on the children while still allowing you to provide the important background information.

Once the parental sessions have occurred, the children are then invited in for a session. This session is in no way set up to create stress on your child or to make them feel like they have to choose between their parents. It is an opportunity for the expert to spend time with your children to develop an opinion of possible parenting schedules. In all my years of providing this service I always have happy children when they leave their sessions and they are usually laughing at me because they beat me at UNO! A child leaving a session provided by a good expert will feel like they have just had a chat and a play. They will feel empowered as they have had the opportunity to speak their mind and talk about their feelings.

It must be understood that in this process, as important as your child’s voice is, that you are still the parent and sometimes what they think they want will not be an appropriate or a practical solution, so don’t be fearful that the expert will not identify this. I have had children talk to me about their ideal schedule being one night at mums, one night at dads, one night at mums, one night at dads and so on for the whole week. Of course this is not going to be practical or even a good idea for the child but what this information told me was this child’s wishes to have both parents in their life.

Once the interview process is complete, the next step and the best step in my opinion is that now when you go to your Mediation session where you have a mediator and maybe a lawyer or a support person, you also have us, your expert at this session. We are there in the room to bring the voice of your child. Your children never attend this session we do this for them.

We talk to you together or if you have chosen to mediate in separate rooms, separately and for this first part of mediation, you get to hear what your children are wanting and our opinion on how this can occur for your family. You basically get without spending the ridiculous amount of money on lawyers, Court fees and the price tag from a family report, the information in a verbal way which you can discuss with the expert. We are there to talk to you about the developmental stages of your child and why certain schedules are not recommended for certain ages, we are there to explain that if you rush to a 50/50 schedule for a baby why and how this will affect their attachment in the future. We are there to explain that for the older child, too many transitions between the parents will cause stress in their lives and be annoying for them. We can talk to you about any potential risks for the future of plans you have presented to us and the best thing about all of this is that we are all just talking. This is a mediation process, this is not a written Court document that you cannot throw away. You can listen to our opinions and our recommendations and you don’t have to agree with us. You are protected under the Mediation process that information presented in this meeting cannot be used in Court and another hidden benefit is if this does head to Court you have an idea of what recommendation might be written in your family report.

You expert then leaves, and you stay with your mediator and hopefully develop a parenting plan that works for everyone.

Times have changed. Years ago I would have been against children being so involved in this process but we have to adapt to the times. The way I parented my 15 year old and her personality is very different to my 5 year old. We have created a generation of children who are very aware of their surroundings, they know you are fighting about them and they want to be involved, heck these kids would show up to Court and speak to the Judge if they could! They have a voice and it needs to be heard.

So, if you are recently separated and unsure how to develop your parenting plan and you are on your way to mediation, or if your children are getting older and you need to review your parenting plan , please consider Child Inclusive Mediation. In the majority of the cases I have worked on, our couples have reached agreement on parenting plans and or consent orders. This process can work for all ages as even with our younger children having the voice of the expert can be priceless. This process can save your time, money and energy. It can stop the “fight”, the negative emotions and allow you to start moving forward to your new future with happy healthy children.

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We cater for individuals, couples, families and children. We treat a range of mental health problems.

FAMILY REPORTS

Family reports are a crucial part of the court process. With extensive experience we can assist with report writing.

CHILD INCLUSIVE MEDIATION

We provide child inclusive mediation services for clients who wish to have the voice of children in the mediation process.

REINTEGRATION THERAPY

Reintegration therapy can be very useful if a child has not been able to have time with one of their parents for an extended time.

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TESTIMONIALS

Hear from some of our clients

Donna was recommended to me by a friend and I couldn’t be happier. She has been great with my daughter in helping her deal with some issues. She’s very friendly, approachable but most of all made my daughter feel very safe and secure. My daughter absolutely loves her.

I have been seeing Donna Cameron for the past 2 years and have found her to be professional and of high ethical standards in our therapy sessions. She has guided me through my tough times and her personal one on one service is exceptional, compassionate and professional. I highly recommend her.

My life has changed because of Donna. I have anxiety but I didn’t realise all the little things I was doing it make it worse. While I will never live a life without anxiety, Donna has given me the tools to manage it. I’m now in control, not my anxiety. I am constantly referring my friends and my colleagues to Donna because not only do I now have the tools to deal with my anxiety but I have the tools to deal with the big stuff life throws at me. My quality of life has improved radically.

Myself and other family members have attended counselling sessions with Donna at various times when seeking guidance for personal issues including marital, relationship and anxiety related problems. Donna provides a non-judgmental and safe environment where you feel supported and at ease to discuss any issue no matter how personal. I love Donna’s proactive and practical approach to problem solving and I would recommend her to anyone needing someone to help them provide coping strategies through a difficult situation in their lives.

Sometimes we all need some additional support, and a different perspective on our issues. Whilst I was initially reluctant to try counselling, a series of life events left me close to a breakdown – and I found myself on Donna’s couch. Donna patiently held space for me, really listened to me, and helped me to move through the anger and grief I had been stuck in after losing a child. She is kind, compassionate, genuine, and funny – it’s like talking to a good friend. Her wisdom, practical advice, and realness will make you feel both supported and empowered. I pop back in to see her when life gets a bit too much, and often recommend her to people who are going through a hard time.

Donna is insightful, caring and provides practical and sensible strategies. She makes her clients feel at ease and by way of her approachable nature mixed with a sense of humour and empathy. I’ve recommended Donna to a number of friends and family – both male and female and of various ages- who, like me, have been very impressed with her service and who have become “regulars”. I am very grateful to Donna and the team at Couch Therapy for their care. The reception staff are always professional and efficient. This is a great practice.

I was a client of Mrs. Donna Cameron for approximately 3 years. She was very quickly able to figure out the best way to communicate with me and therefore assist me with my issues of a severe depression. Donna was always very prompt and professional to deal with and I’d happily recommend her for anyone having any kind of mental health problems.

I had never been to see therapist before so I was little bit nervous to knock on the door but I am so happy now that I met Donna. She is the person who easy to talk to makes you feel like you’re talking to your good friend. She just doesn’t tell me what to do but listen to me what I want to do/be then guides me and gives me some great advices and tips. I have some issues with my partner but after every session my head is a lot clear and thinking positive. I miss her when she’s on holidays!

Donna Hughes from The couch therapy has guided and helped my Daughter through the most difficult challenges and emotional stages from age 6 to mid teens. Her talent as a psychologist working with both families and children reconnects the family unit. Donna’s set of skills are highly recommended when trauma or uncertainly prevail and you need to move forward in your life. Sometimes it is both reassuring to have that extra confidential person to speak to and offload.

I was feeling nervous for my first visit with Donna but once I met her and we went into her office I found her very welcoming and friendly. Donna is very easy to talk to about anything at all and she is not a judgemental person. I definitely needed her guidance and her thoughts on problems I was experiencing. I had previously been seeing a psychiatrist for the last two years and had not improved. Donna gave me hope that I could get better and I have. My life now is so much better and with Donna’s help I am keeping my depression under control. Although it is now 5 years since my first visit I still see Donna a few times a year to top up her original assistance and to keep me on track.

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