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Past Professional Programs

Team Talk
Parenting Plans That Work —
An Interdisciplinary Approach

This program, co-presented by the Family & Divorce Mediation Council (FDMC) and FamilyKind, provides mediators with a comprehensive approach to mediating parenting agreements that will address the legal, mental health and developmental considerations that should be raised with their clients.


Helene Bernstein, Esq., Law and Mediation Office of Helene Bernstein, PLLC
Lesley Friedland, Esq., Executive Director of Familykind
Diane Hessemann, LMSW
Jodi Krizer Graber, Founder and Director of Bravo Wellness, LLC

When: Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 10 am to 12 pm
Where: NYC Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street

• • •

The Child-Centered Continuum Model

A professional training on increasing the voice of the child in Family Mediation and Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), facilitated by guest educators from Canada and Australia.

In collaboration with The Children’s Law Center.

When: Sunday & Monday, February 4 & 5, 2018, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: The Children’s Law Center, 44 Court Street, Brooklyn

For more information, download a PDF flyer.

• • •

Co-Parent to Co-Parent: From Conflict to Communication: What to Do When You Share Children & Just Can’t Stand Your Ex

Conflict: Having to share your children can be an uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing part of everyday life. In this 90-minute workshop, we learned what causes conflict, adds fuel to an unquenchable fire and how to douse it. We discovered how to best prepare for and conduct difficult discussions so that you can engage in effective communication, reducing stress for the benefit of your children.

Facilitators: Shari Bornstein Esq. and Jenny Psaki, LMSW

When: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: 92nd Street Y, Upper East Side

• • •

Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Family Law: The Real and the Ideal

FamilyKind participated in an exciting professional program in November, 2017. This event featured spirited dialogue on the topic of interdisciplinary collaboration in family law. The program also included interactive presentations on shared ethical dilemmas and “ignite” presentations to spark discussion on what the future holds.

For more information about the program and speakers, link here.

When: Friday, November 10, 2017, 10:30 am to 5 pm
Where: Hofstra School of Law, Hempstead, NY

• • •

Co-Parenting with Rosalind Sedacca

The Divorcierge and FamilyKind welcomed co-parenting expert, Rosalind Sedacca. Rosalind discussed many of the important issues that co-parents face when they tell their children about the divorce. She also addressed how to help children cope at this difficult time by reviewing the critical ways to address children’s fears and anxieties around the divorce process.

When: Monday, October 23, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: FamilyKind, Primary Workspace, 26 Broadway

• • •

Connection, Collaboration & Awareness

FamilyKind and the National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP) hosted an evening program of Connection, Collaboration & Awareness including a professional panel presentation, and a private screening of Ellen Bruno’s award winning documentary “Split.” View the trailer.

When: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: The Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street, NYC

• • •

Love, Loss and Divorce

In going through divorce we experience a loss of identity, security and our dreams of a “happily ever after.” This workshop focused on how to recognize the emotional turmoil surrounding a separation or end of a marriage, examined studies on grief, and discovered healthy coping skills.

Facilitator: Bess Steiger, LCSW

When: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: 92nd Street Y, Upper East Side

• • •

Park Slope Parent’s Workshop

Presented by Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney John Yacos

FamilyKind was pleased to join attorney John Yacos in a presentation to give parents an overview of legal aspects of divorce, custody, and child support. John Yacos, Esq., is a well-respected matrimonial and family law attorney with over 24 years of legal experience. John discussed the relevant law, the process and procedure of divorce, custody, child support, maintenance (alimony), equitable distribution, and division of property. Attendees also learned about the law’s provisions and its application in court.

When: Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6 pm
Where: 111 Broadway, Suite 1805, NYC

• • •

New York State Council of Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM) Annual Conference

FamilyKind was a proud sponsor and was in attendance to network with exceptional mediators and to hear from renowned speakers.

When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, May 4, 5, 6, 2017 — daylong programming
Where: Tarrytown, NY

• • •

The Do-It-Yourself Divorce

Presented by Untied: The Thinking Woman’s Divorce Resource

Who says divorce has to break the bank? Whether you’re looking for financially savvy tricks to help you save during divorce or feel up to the task of representing yourself, come listen to experts — including FamilyKind’s Shari Bornstein, attorney and mediator — who can help guide you.

When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 6:30 pm
Where: Brooklyn Heights

• • •

Mentorship Program for Professionals
Co-Parenting Through Divorce: From One Home to Two

Presented with The Divorcierge

FamilyKind’s Stephen Shainbart, PhD, Psychologist, and Karen Bigman, Founder & President of The Divorcierge, discussed the challenges families face when children are moving from one home to two during divorce. We presented helpful strategies to reduce the tumult and help you co-parent effectively.

When: Tuesday, April 4, 2017,  6:30 pm to 8 pm
Where: 48 Wall Street

• • •

Early Intervention: Support Services for Parents in Conflict

This panel discussion was co-sponsored by the Westchester Women’s Bar Association (WWBA) and featured speakers Judge Sondra Miller (ret.), Lawrence Jay Braunstein, Esq., and Lesley Ann Friedland, Esq., moderated by Abby Rosmarin, Esq.

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017, 12:00 to 1:30 pm
Where: McCarthy Fingar LLP, 11 Martine Avenue, White Plains

• • •

Inaugural Symposium

FamilyKind’s Inaugural Symposium, Divorcing and Separating Families: Transforming Crisis Into Opportunities, was October 27, 2016 with an additional Kickoff Event the evening of October 26.

Our Symposium was a daylong conference is for mental health professionals, lawyers, mediators, and educators.

Our Kickoff Event was an additional opportunity to enjoy a festive evening, increase your knowledge, and connect with colleagues.

Link here for more information.

• • •

Family Relationship Coaching (Internal Training)

When: July 22, 2016, 9:00 am to 12 noon
Where: Phillips Nizer, LLP, 666 Fifth Avenue

Faculty: Elana Katz, LCSW, Bruce Berman, PhD

Half-day training for FamilyKind professionals regarding our newest program Family Relationship Coaching. Family Relationship Coaching encompasses services provided to families seeking guidance in managing life transitions such as divorce, separation, and family conflicts.

Thank you to FamilyKind board member, Elliot Wiener, and Phillips Nizer LLP for making their beautiful conference space available to us.

• • •

Children’s Voice in Law

FamilyKind’s 3rd annual Carol Bellamy Lecture Series: Giving Voice to the Child.

Presented by FamilyKind, hosted by Chadbourne & Parke

How Can NYS Better Support Families in Dissolution and Transition:
Perspectives from the Judiciary, Academia, a Practitioner, and the Legislature

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Where: Chadbourne & Parke, 1301 Avenue of the Americas, 6 to 6:30 pm — Meet & Greet

6:30 to 6:40 pm — Opening Remarks
Honorable Carol Bellamy, Former NYC Council President and former Executive Director, UNICEF

6:40­ to 7:45 pm — Discussion Panel
Moderator: Judge Stella Schindler (Ret. Family Court)


  • Elena Karabatos: Matrimonial Lawyer & President of the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

  • Linda Rosenthal: NYS Assembly Member, 67th Assembly District

  • Andrew Schepard: Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Max Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Law, Hofstra Law School

7:45 to 8 pm — Q & A
Including panel and committee members, Justices Sondra Miller (Ret. Appellate Division, Second Department) and Saralee Evans (Ret. Supreme Court), Lesley Friedland, Esq., and Abby Rosmarin, Esq., LMHC

• • •

Parenting Wisely and Children In Between

Training and development program for professionals working with families, adolescents and children.

  • Parenting Wisely — Presented by Family Works, Inc.

  • Children In Between — Presented by the Center for Divorce Education
    a two-part training seminar with morning and afternoon sessions

When: Wed., Nov. 4, 9 am to 12 noon, 1 to 4 pm
Where: Community Medical Center, Barnabus Health Auditorium, 99 NJ Route 37, Toms River, NJ

Parenting Wisely (for parents with children three to 10, and those with adolescents) conducted by Program Developer, Don Gordon, PhD, and national trainer, Ellen Taner, MA. Dr. Gordon specifically designed the program for parents of youth involved with the juvenile justice system as well as for court-mandated parents.

Children in Between, including program supplement, After the Storm, for court mediators, practitioners and others working with diverse families of recent or prior separation and divorce.

Both seminars reviewed effective utilization of in-person and online versions of the programs.

• • •

Child Inclusive Mediation

FamilyKind is also excited to announce that we will be adding Child Inclusive Mediation to our services provided to families experiencing separation and divorce. This makes Familykind a pioneer in this field, as it is the first and only agency in New York to be providing this service. Join us for a presentation on this ground-breaking approach.

  • Children’s Input: A New Dynamic in Divorce Mediation — Presented to the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

Two FamilyKind professionals, Bruce Berman, PhD (psychologist and parenting coordinator) and Catherine Grace Hannibal, Esq. (attorney and mediator), will introduce Child Inclusive Mediation to the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York (FDMC) as part of FDMC’s continuing education series.

When: Thurs., Nov. 5, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY

• • •

GoodTalk4Parents (Internal Training)

When: June 3, 2015, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: 1633 Broadway at 50th Street, 30th Floor

One-day training for the FamilyKind team of professionals regarding our newest program: GoodTalk4Parents. With a focus on communication, the GoodTalk4Parents program provides education to parents to assist them in developing practical and effective co-parenting skills so that they can share information about their children and make the best decisions for them. This workshop provided a road map for conducting sessions with parents. Participants received written materials and participated in role play demonstrations.

The training was conducted by two Connecticut-based psychologists who have years of experience offering these services to parents through the PEACE Program.


  • Elizabeth S. Thayer, PhD, Partner and Clinical Director, Licensed Psychologist

  • Wendy F. Habelow, PhD, Partner and Licensed Psychologist

• • •

The Hot Zone: Disagreement, Dissolution, Divorce, Dissatisfaction — How to Give Voice to the Child when Parents are at War

FamilyKind’s 2nd Annual Carol Bellamy Lecture Series

When: Thursday, April 23, 2015, 8 to 10 am
Chadbourne & Parke, 1301 Avenue of the Americas

A View from the Bench — A panel of judges will confront how to help children survive parental conflict, followed by Q&A.


  • Honorable Carol Bellamy


  • Justice Evelyn Frazee, Supreme Court, 7th Judicial District

  • Justice Sondra Miller (Ret.), Appellate Division, Second Department

  • Justice Saralee Evans (Ret.), New York County Supreme Court

  • Judge Sheldon Rand (Ret.), NYC Family Court


  • Judge Stella Schindler (Ret.), NYC Family Court

• • •

Interviewing Children in Family Law Disputes

A Workshop Co-Sponsored by FamilyKind and
The New York Chapter of The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC-NY)

When: Friday, March 20, 2015, 9:15 am to 5 pm
Where: Albert Ellis Institute, 145 East 32nd Street

This workshop examined how the child’s voice is considered in different family law dispute resolution processes, the risks and benefits of involving children, factors affecting the reliability of children’s input, and offers a developmentally based protocol for interviewing children. A demonstration of a child inclusive mediation, case studies, handouts, and articles will be provided to further develop participants’ knowledge and skill in this area.


Hon. Jane Pearl, JD, PhD
Judge for the New York County Family Court; Co-President of AFCC-NY; Prior to becoming an attorney Judge Pearl was a psychologist and received her PhD from Northwestern University.

Barbara Jo Fidler, PhD, C.Psych, Acc.FM
With 28 years of experience working with high-conflict separating and divorcing families in
various capacities, Dr. Fidler has authored four books and numerous articles, given expert
testimony, and provided training to judges, lawyers, and mental health professionals.

Catherine Grace Hannibal, JD, MA
New York City-based collaborative attorney and mediator specializing in separation and
divorce; Mediation mentor for law students and professionals. Catherine practices and
presents on using children’s input in divorce mediation.

• • •

Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)

Group Leader Training of the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) Program. FamilyKind was delighted to offer a two-part full-day STEP training Tuesday, January 20 and Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Albert Ellis Institute. The STEP Group Leader Training is specifically for professionals who work with families with children. STEP programs are research-proven, cost-effective, and make a difference. STEP is recognized on the National Registry of Evidenced-based Programs and Practices.

The two-day training was conducted by Ellen Taner, MA who is among the first facilitators trained in STEP over 35 years ago. She is also a recognized national advocate for policies and sustainable funding for parenting and family life education services.

• • •

Children’s Input: A New Dynamic in Divorce Mediation

Co-sponsored by the New York Council on Divorce Mediation (NYCDM) and John Jay College, two divorce practitioners from the legal and therapeutic fields explored a growing professional interest in child inclusive divorce mediation.

May 19, 2014, 8:30 to 10:30 am
8:00 doors open and early networking, 8:30 to 10:00 program, 10 to 10:30 Q&A
John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street


  • Different models of child inclusive mediation with a concentration on the particular approach developed by Jennifer McIntosh

  • Reasons practitioners are drawn to child inclusive mediation

  • Outcomes of child inclusive mediation as cited by several research studies

  • The practitioners’ own experience in applying this model.

Questions will be raised about the future of child inclusive mediation with some ideas about how to successfully promote its study and development.


Catherine Grace Hannibal. As an experienced family law attorney and mediator, Catherine Grace Hannibal has developed a specialty in separation/divorce with a particular interest in integrating a child inclusive approach in appropriate cases. Currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York and a member of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and the national and local chapters of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Ms. Hannibal is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey

Bruce Berman. A practicing psychologist for over 30 years, Bruce specializes in working with couples and families, sex therapy, providing individual therapy to children, adolescents, and adults, and in offering an array of services for separating and divorcing families. These include serving as divorce coach and child specialist in collaborative divorce cases, as a child consultant in child inclusive mediation, and as a parenting coordinator. Bruce has a doctorate in clinical psychology, is a trained psychoanalyst and sex therapist, and is certified in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

• • •

The Children’s Voice in Law

A Conversation with Carol Bellamy and Colleagues

Please join us for a powerful speaking engagement presented by FamilyKind and hosted by LexisNexis®.

January 15, 2014, 8:30 am to 10:00 am
LexisNexis, 125 Park Avenue, 24th Floor

When it comes to children’s rights, the world has come a long way in recent years. The number of primary school-aged children out of school has fallen from over 100 million to around 57 million since 2000. The number of children under the age of five who die each year has been cut by about 50% since 1990. However, despite this encouraging progress, immense obstacles continue to stand in the way of ensuring that every child has a voice.

In this inspiring talk, Carol Bellamy, former NYC Council president and executive director of UNICEF, will present on issues ranging from foster care to education for children and teens so that we can better hear their voices. Discover powerful strategies for advancing the legal rights of families and children across NYC and around the globe from the person Forbes® magazine named one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in the World.” View Ms. Bellamy’s bio or download a PDF.

We also have the honor of presenting three more distinguished speakers at this event:

The Honorable Stella Schindler, family court judge, will moderate. View Judge Schindler’s bio PDF.

Wendy Wylegala, Esq., supervising attorney for pro bono programs at Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), will present on pro bono legal representation for unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. KIND works with unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. View Ms. Wylegala’s bio PDF.

Brian Zimmerman, Esq., an attorney on the Assigned Counsel/Attorney for the Child Panel, Kings County, will discuss the rules for the Attorney for the Child role and related issues around adoption, custody and visitation. View Mr. Zimmerman’s bio PDF.

Cost of attending the event is $150; to receive CLE* credit, there is an additional cost of $100.

Breakfast for both presenters and attendees will be served 8:00 – 8:30 AM

Financial aid may be available for qualifying attendees. Please contact to apply.

*CLE is approved or in the process of approval for the states of New York and New Jersey for 1.5 credits of CLE. The type of credit allowed will be determined by the state governing MCLE Board.

This program is acceptable for newly admitted or experienced New York attorneys. New York regulation requires that all CLE sessions must be conducted by an attorney in good standing or a JD. The presenter for this event meets this New York regulation.

• • •

Mindfulness Workshop for Separation & Divorce Professionals:
How Meditation Can Help You Help Families in Conflict

When: Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 8:30 – 9:00 am: Breakfast, 9:00 – Noon: Program
570 Lexington Avenue, Litwin Conference Room (lower level)

Join us for educational presentations and demonstrative exercises lead by law professor and author, Deborah Calloway, and mediation expert, Sequoia Stalder:
• Benefits of Meditation for Professionals Working with Families in Conflict
• How Meditation Helps Professionals Work More Skillfully
• Mindful Listening & Mindful Speaking
• Applying Meditation to Working with Families in Conflict
• Using Meditation to Work with Emotions and Conflict

• • •

Child-Centered Approach to Divorce and Separation

A panel discussion with FamilyKind and guidance counselors from NYC Public School MS 245. The program highlighted the importance of maintaining a child-centered view when experiencing divorce and separation.

When: April 22, 2013, 8:30 am
Where: The William O’Shea Campus Auditorium, 100 West 77th Street

• • •

Panel Discussion on Divorce Mediation & Families

FamilyKind hosted a presentation on divorce mediation and families led by Lesley Ann Friedland, Executive Director of FamilyKind.

When: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Where: John Jay College, Room L61, 524 West 59th Street

Resolve family matters by using mediation strategies and techniques. Mediation can promote better communications and understanding among family members as well as reduce conflicts and stress within many relationships. Mediation can be used in a number of situations and can be an especially effective option for couples who might be considering separation or divorce.

Lesley Ann Friedland, Executive Director of FamilyKind

Maurice Q. Robinson, Attorney/Mediator/Professor, Consensio Dispute Resolution,
Seton Hall School of Law
Susan Ingram, Attorney and Mediator, Susan Ingram Mediation and Coaching
Helene Bernstein, Attorney and Mediator, Law and Mediation Offices of Helene Bernstein, PLLC

This event was sponsored by:

  • NY State Council on Divorce Mediation

  • CUNY Dispute Resolution Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

  • FamilyKind

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