Gowthorpe Therapists provide counseling for individuals, couples and families. Our approach places emphasis on research-based treatment, insight-development and empowerment for change. People may seek counseling to address individual issues that include trauma, 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 counseling to improve relationship dynamics and overall functioning. For those people who are in the process of separation, counseling will assist in developing viable plans to work through communication issues and make the transition from marriage to divorce as successful as possible. The purpose of all counseling 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.
Parenting Capacity Assessments aim 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 and an ecosystemic evaluation of the past and current family dynamic. A psychological evaluation of the caregivers is a component of the overall assessment.
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.
Voice of the Child Reports can be requested by the court to assist in providing the child’s perspective from a neutral professional.
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.
Psycho-social Assessment examines the system in which a child or family functions to create a comprehensive picture of the overall strengths and needs of that system. The assessor 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 participants are considered. This assessment is appropriate for siblings in care to assist in defining child-centred plans.
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.
Mediated Agreements Gowthorpe Therapists provide comprehensive mediation plans for couples in the separation and divorce process. We understand that separation and divorce is a complicated process which is why we involve both clinical and legal expertise. We also understand that there is life outside of the divorce process. 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 to save you money, focus on your children’s well-being and allows you to move on. If you want to fight, we are not the mediators for you.
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. The plan can be changed at any time with the agreement of both parents.
Financial plans can also be mediated in consultation with Team member, Jane Howlett, LLB. Dr. Gowthorpe, R.S.W. encourages parents to commit to making decisions in the best interests of their children.
Clinically Managed/Therapeutic 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. It aims to improve 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-centred approach to the new relationship between parent and child.Clinically managed access is an approach that assists parents and/or other caregivers in learning to respond to their children in a child-centred 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.
11 Bay Bridge Road,
Belleville, ON K8P 3P6
Phone 613 962 1852
Fax 613 966 9384