After practising as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist for a number of years, working with both individuals and couples, I trained as a Family Mediator with the Family Mediators Association.

Through my therapeutic work, I became aware of the range of emotions experienced due to separation and divorce, including loss, anger, resentment, confusion, distress and sadness, particularly where children and loss of financial security are involved. I also witness the longer-term psychological impact on people who are dissatisfied with the outcome of separation arrangements, particularly regarding access to children, the role of new partners and strained relations between ex-partners. This is often more pronounced when courts have been involved to make decisions and people feel disempowered. Indeed, many years ago, I experienced the intense stress caused by legal proceedings and others making decisions about our child.

Whilst mediation is not therapy, it can help to improve meaningful communication, help separating couples to co-operate in making decisions, be able to make adjustments and move forward and be able to compromise to find the ‘least worst’ solutions in what is undoubtedly a difficult situation. This can help improve relations for the future particularly when separating couples will be involved in co-parenting.

I feel very passionately about the benefits of mediation to resolve uncoupling and potential disputes. Currently I am trained and qualified with the Family Mediators Association (FMA) and I am working towards Accreditation with the Family Mediators Council (FMC) and work in accordance to their Code of Practice.

l will co-mediate with a mediator with a legal background whilst developing my legal knowledge and will bring my people-focused skills to the mediation process. I receive regular supervision via my Professional Practice Consultant (PPC) in accordance with Regulations, adhere to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), have full Professional Indemnity Insurance and am committed to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). As I still practice as a therapist, ethically I will not be able to assist in mediation with couples that I have worked with in a counselling capacity.

Angela Holt

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