About Christine Bennett
As a marriage counsellor I have specialised in working with couples for over 20 years. For the most part I have been helping partners reconnect their intimacy after varying periods of frustration and pain.
Wanting to expand on how I may continue help couples, I now offer Family Dispute Resolution as a trained practitioner registered with the Attorney General's Department. (See listing on Family Dispute Resolution Register.)
Qualifications and Memberships:
- Vocational Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution
- Certificate of Completion - Child Inclusive Mediation and Counselling (Jennifer E McIntosh)
- Certified Imago Relationship Therapist
- Master of Applied Science - Social Ecology with major studies in The Critical Perspectives of Psychological Practices (University of Western Sydney, 1998)
- Graduate Certificate in Counselling skills (Australian College of Applied Psychology, 1995)
- Working with Children Clearance: WWC0431808E
- Professional Member Resolution Institute
- PACFA Mental Health Practitioner( Reg. Clinical 20566)
Family Mediation and Child Inclusive Practice
The personal non-judgemental approach that is important with counselling is even more so with Family Mediation and Child Inclusive Practice. Often emotions are running high for the couple who are separating, sometimes after a long period of living together. When children are involved, there is even more emotional investment in the outcome of how the children will be cared for following separation.
It is therefore important that both parties are heard by an impartial facilitator where the needs of the children are considered foremost in reaching agreement for Parenting Plans that hold the children's best interest foremost in mind..
I take a child focused approach to mediation and if appropriate a Child Consultant can be appointed to offer a voice to children with parent's consent. In low conflict situations, I am prepared and qualified to offer both roles of Child Consultant and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
This is an important option for parents to consider as it is often the children who suffer most in family breakup. Even though the parents themselves are suffering pain, this is often so intense that children's needs can be overlooked.
North Shore Family Mediation holds the philosophy that each person's needs warrant respect and due consideration, especially those of children and possibly other relatives such as grandparents.
Marriage Counselling Practice
If there is any chance of reconciliation, then I recommend participating in marriage counselling prior to proceeding with mediation.
During marriage counselling sessions the focus will be on what changes may need to be implemented for a couple to consider reconcilation.
Various therapeutic modalities are employed including Imago Relationship therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Voice Dialogue, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Provocative Energy Techniques and Archetypal Therapy.