If you’re looking for tools, tips, ideas, training, and resources to work with co-parents, or to learn more about how to help parents and children experiencing a high conflict divorce or separation, you’re in the right place.
Hi! I’m Jenna Hill, BA., MSW., RSW, and I’ve spent years working with high conflict families. Twenty-four and counting to be exact. It can be scary work, but it’s also incredibly satisfying and rewarding. To be successful, you need good solid information, tools, and a way to learn and grow your skillset. Along with some confidence. That’s where I come in.
Confidence in our skills happens when we have the appropriate learning tools, training, and supports. You don’t need to do this on your own. More importantly, you shouldn’t. I help therapists build their skills by sharing free resources on this site, along with providing consultations and supervision. We all need someone to bounce our thoughts off of. To check in around the kind of work we’re doing. And, to receive supports that make sense. When I first began this work, no one really wanted to touch high conflict/custody work and the kind of supervision I received, reflected that. The only goal for these families at the agency I worked at was to close the file and refer out.
But refer where? We were literally a family’s last stop at times, and we treated them like a hot potato. “Got a custody/access case for you. Sorry. Just see the kids, caution the parents, and close it fast.” Or “tell Mom/Dad to get custody.” How is that helpful?
When I began working for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, conducting court ordered assessments, I found my first of many amazing supervisors. People who were knowledgeable about how these children slip through the cracks and were able to provide supports and resources. As well as helping keep my bias in check. (FYI. It’s okay to feel biased at times. You just can’t let it impact your clinical decision making skills and interventions. Awareness and a second set of eyes on the situation is EVERYTHING.)
I moved into my own private practice and, given my work in the community, there have been no lack of referrals to our practice. Can you guess what happened next? More hot potato tossing. Because, while therapists expressed interest in working with these parents, (or more often the children) professionals were fearful to take referrals, fearing they weren’t qualified or would find themselves in court.
As a result, I began to provide more consulting and supervision for professionals, and limited my own caseload to just a few of the highest conflict families that no one else would touch. The parental alienation files, children who were resisting contact with one parent, children so disturbed by the conflict that they were struggling at home and in school, and the families who had been bounced through the system and had never received the supports they needed.
I’m glad you’re here! It’s my sincere hope in creating this membership community, that I can help support both your practice and mental health. Because this work is hard. Really hard. But it is so very needed.
I will continue to add materials, handouts, tools, articles, and resources as I find or complete them. I’m also hoping to add training in the next few months. Occasionally, I’d like to provide webinars and group events on specific learning topics. And I’d really like to have a forum for all of us to get together to share our work, check in, and share resources.
Keep an eye out for upcoming training for clinicians working in Ontario. Things like:
- How To Conduct a Voice of the Child Report;
- Interviewing Children Without Leading;
- Working with Parents Effectively
- Creating a Retainer (and why you need one!);
- How to Complete a Thorough Custody/Access Report (now called Parenting Plans in Canada);
- Family Restructuring Therapy (Known also as Co-Parenting Therapy);
- Parenting Coordination Training;
- Helping High Conflict Clients (or those in relationships with high conflict people);
- Working with Children Affected by High Conflict Separation.
Just to get you going, here are a few tools I provide to parents in my work:
For additional supports, access to articles and resources, along with trainings as they become available, or to request a consult or specific training, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your licensing professional body and professional registration number in the body of your email to ensure that professional resources are not being utilized by people who are not professionals and do not become tools for high conflict parents in custody wars. (Honestly, I never thought I’d have to say something like that, but here we are.)