Collaborative Practice - It's Global!

by Sue Hansen October 12, 2012

I have been to several countries in Europe in the past few years presenting at and attending various Collaborative Practice conferences as well as participating in various brainstorming meetings about the nexus between IACP and European practitioners.  There are many differences in language, culture, societal perspectives and, of course, the law and legal process related to divorce.  Most striking to me, however, are the significant similarities and shared experiences that professionals have in working with families in the process of separation and divorce. 

Recent years’ collaborative conversations—best with good food and wine!

  • Sitting with lawyers from Italy discussing the difficulty in unraveling the emotional and financial underpinnings in negotiations. 
  • Talking with a mental health professional from Ireland about the profound impact of parents’ process choice on their children. 
  • Listening to solicitors from England and Scotland debate the issue of spousal support and the “right” legal approach to amount and duration, with some strong French opinions thrown in the mix (reminiscent of my discussions with lawyers from Texas).
  • Discussing the value of an interdisciplinary team approach with Israeli lawyers who have previously focused on a “lawyer only” approach.

IACP: the Connection

These experiences have reinforced my belief that those of us who care deeply about helping families find a healthier way to navigate divorce have much in common and much we can learn from one another.  Our common concerns and values far outweigh our differences.  By using IACP as a Collaborative Practice umbrella and a source of connection, we can be a strong symbol and global voice that speaks the same language to promote peaceful conflict resolution. Through emails, video, travel, training and this Blog, we can reach out to one another to share our common experiences and learn from our differences.  I look forward to our connections!

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