Kristen Poel


Kristen commenced her career as a social worker before gaining her registration as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. In 2013, Kristen joined Better Place Australia as Team Leader of the Family Relationship Centres. Kristen managed the delivery of family and children counselling services as well as family dispute resolution. Kristen’s current role is Regional Services Manager of mediation services for the South East of Victoria.


Preparing parents for the challenge of ongoing child focused shared parenting (Oral Paper Presentation)

The reality of having to continue ongoing, shared care arrangements with an ex-partner is a daunting and complex process. How do we engage families in positive decision making processes and increase skills in conflict management and emotional regulation to ensure parents are remaining child-focused? Opportunities to engage with a family relationship counsellor to focus specifically on maintaining positive parental relationships prior to commencing the Family Dispute Resolution Process (FDR) can ensure that parents are prepared for discussion and decision making that is in the best interest of their children. This process has demonstrated how a combined approach with a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and Counsellor can increase the coping mechanism of parents.

The areas that will be explored include:
1. Why aren’t parents achieving long team workable parenting arrangements?
2. The impact of the dispute for their children and parental relationships
3. The importance of skill development and embedding strategies to co-parent
4. Conflict Coaching – improving parental relationships, communication and negotiation
5. Child-focused behaviour such as emotion coaching and understanding of child development
6. Negotiation skills – considering how parents want to frame proposals or have ongoing discussion regarding paternal decisions
7. Visualisation – thinking about who they want to be and how they choose to behave/respond to their ex-partner rather than react
8. Outcome measures for parents and children and the continued support required
9. Strategies to embed this approach in ongoing practice

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