Dr. Julie Gowthorpe, RSW and her associates are pleased to offer clients a wide range of therapeutic services, including:
- individual, couple and family counseling
- counseling for children and teens, and
- life coaching
We provide a variety of clinical interventions to address:
- post-separation and divorce challenges
- parent-child conflict
- risk reduction in families involved with child welfare services
- clinically managed access and
- parent coaching
- post-traumatic stress
- issues relevant to Canadian Forces Members and Veterans
Our clients include individuals, Canadian Forces members and veterans, public and private organizations, lawyers and child welfare agencies.
Dr. Gowthorpe and her associates provide training services for professionals and therapeutic interventions for families in crisis. We ensure neutral interventions with clear recommendations. We look forward to creating solutions for all of our clients.
Dr. Gowthorpe, R.S.W. and her associates provide counselling in for individuals, couples and families. Our approach places emphasis on developing insight and taking action. People may seek counselling to address individual issues that include as work-related issues, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Children and adolescents may require support to cope with a variety of challenges related to their personal circumstances and family situations. We also provide marital and couple counselling to improve relationship dynamics and overall functioning. For those people who are in the process of separation, counselling may assist in developing viable plans to work through communication issues and make the transition from marriage to divorce as positive as possible. The purpose all counselling is to support people in developing a better understand of their own motivations and behavior, and to enhance happiness and well-being. We are pleased to support victims of violence and those recovering from trauma.
Dr. Gowthorpe also provides assessment services including:
- parenting capcity assessments;
- child custody evaluations,
- clinically managed access/therapeutic access;
- access assessments,
- risk needs assessments, and
- plans for siblings in care.
Parenting Capacity Assessment
This assessment is designed to address the capacity of individuals to safely, physically and emotionally, parent children. Such assessments are often requested to assist child welfare agencies in identifying strategies to address the best interests of children in the long-term. The assessment involves psychosocial evaluation of the family and parental history; evaluation of the children; and ecosystemic evaluation of the past and current family dynamic. A psychological evaluation of the caregivers and possible evaluation of the child(ren) can also be a component of the overall assessment.
Custody and Access Evaluations
Custody and Access Evaluations are requested by the judiciary or by one or both parties in situations of separation and divorce. As this is a challenging time in the lives of families, a balanced and timely assessment is required to assist families and the judiciary in establishing a plan in the best interests of the children. Separation and divorce can be times of high conflict. Consequently, assessing the ability of the parents to meet the children’s best interests is often essential to determining the most effective custody and access arrangement. Dr. Gowthorpe has been considered an expert witness in the area of custody and access evaluations. The assessor is engaged to work on behalf of the best interests of the child(ren).
Professional Parenting/Home Studies Assessment
Professional parents require a specific skill set to be able to address the needs of the children whose care is entrusted to them. This assessment examines the past and current functioning of the parent on a social, emotional and cognitive basis. It evaluates the special skills and areas for further training of each participant and the type of child who would best be served by that particular skill set.
Psychosocial/Clinical Evaluation Assessment
Evaluating the system in which a child or family functions creates a more comprehensive picture of the overall strengths and needs of that system. A psychosocial assessment looks at the context of the system and the players within such and how their interactions are influenced by one another. Direct observation, collateral interviews and possible psychological assessment of evaluations are considered.
Clinically Managed Access and Therapeutic Access
The unique skill set required to be an effective access parent is essential to maintaining child and family mental health. Clinically managed access is appropriate for child welfare matters as well as custody and access situations. Clinically managed access differs from traditional documenting of interaction between parents and children. Clinically managed improves interaction between parents and children to create permanent plans for children. Families are often involved with child welfare due to a deficit in parenting skills. When caregivers have struggled with the demands of full-time parenting, to be effective access parents without education and training is an unrealistic expectation. Access parenting requires a child centered approach to the new relationship between parent and child. Clinically managed access is an approach that assists parents and/or other caregivers to respond to their children in a child centered manner. These interventions aim to minimize the negative mental health impact or destabilizing effect that access can have on children. In cases of custody and access, clinically managed access supports parents in developing a viable, positive relationship with their children while addressing concerns of risk. It is also appropriate for parents transitioning from a supervised access setting to a non-supervised access plan or for parents where there has been a significant period of time with no contact.
Dr. Gowthorpe, R.S.W. and Associates provide comprehensive mediation plans for couples in the separation and divorce process. We call our mediation process the Navigate Divorce System because we understand that separation and divorce is a complicated process and should access support from the professionals who can make it easier.
We understand that There is Life Outside of The Divorce Process.
Courts are not designed for people. Courts are designed to meet the schedules of lawyers and judges who manage thousands of cases. You are a needle in a haystack. If you allow us, we support you accessing the supports you and your family need.
We value Mutually Acceptable Results.
Family litigation is an adversarial process where lawyers are required to argue only their client’s interests. Ultimately this may be detrimental to the overall situation following separation. We ensure that children, finances and emotional needs are considered every step of the way.
We are Settlement Oriented.
Justice Warren Winkler, Chief Justice of Ontario described the current family court system as “too slow, too complex, too adversarial, and above all, too costly”. We offer an alternative. This saves your money, your children’s health and allows you to be happier. If you want to fight, we are not the mediators for you.
We believe in Expertise.
Given the complexity of the family court system, expertise is not a guarantee. We will not mediate without sworn financial plans in place. If you have already retained counsel, these financial statements need to have been exchanged. if this has not occurred, we will provide you with a referral to an accountant who can provide this service. Financial mediation includes both the mediator and a lawyer who draws up the final document. We provide financial plans with a certified accountant and parenting plan development with an expert in child custody and post-divorce parenting.
We believe in Sustainable and Practical Agreements.
When people place decisions about their lives in the hands of the court, they are giving one man or woman, the judge, no alternative but to make a decision. This judge does not know you; the factors that influence her decision can be random. Often the decision is not satisfactory to either party. We support divorcing couples to develop agreements that allow them to move forward. We ensure that people are provided with the guidance and tools necessary to eliminate obstacles to settlement.
We recognize that life does not end with a court order. We support people in building a foundation for life beyond divorce.
Dr. Gowthorpe, R.S.W. and her associates support and guide parents to create parenting plans, make child-centred decisions and reduce conflict following separation.
A Parenting Plan is an agreement that separated parents make about how their children will be cared for and supported. Preparing such a plan allows parents to make decisions that best suit the needs of their child and their circumstances. Such an agreement can be as detailed or as open as desired by the parents if it is suitable to the situation. A parenting plan may address issues that include time with each parent, exchange times, and how decisions will be made. A parenting plan can include anything that parents need to agree on about their children. The plan can be changed at any time with the agreement of both parents.
Parent Coaching assists parents in thinking and behaving in a child-focused manner. Sessions may support parents in improving communication, making appropriate decisions and reducing conflict with the other parent.
Parent Coordination supports parents following a high conflict divorce. Mediation or other forms of conflict resolution have been ineffective. The family’s progress in managing decision-making and child related issues may be monitored by the Parent Coordinator. The Parent Coordinator may assume responsibility for limited decision making within the scope of a court order or as agreed upon by the parents to facilitate child-centred decisions. The parents will have demonstrated an inability to make decisions without the involvement of a neutral third-party.
Dr. Gowthorpe, R.S.W. encourages parents to commit to making decisions in the best interests of their children.