The Intersection of Family Law and Psychology: Exciting New Course Coming to Vancouver

The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia has just published the details of a new continuing professional development program scheduled for 11 and 12 April 2019 in Vancouver. “A Deeper Dive: The Intersection of Family Law and Psychology 2019” features a multidisciplinary faculty and is open to both legal and mental health professionals throughout Canada.

Topics to be discussed include high conflict family law law disputes, the neurobiological effect of conflict on children’s development, parent-child attachment issues, developing parenting plans and new research on children’s experience of separation and wish to be involved in decision-making after separation.

With the participation of lawyers, judges, clinical counsellors, psychologists and other professionals involved in family law disputes, the course aims to go beyond the usual approach to CPD and enrich the experience of legal professionals by learning from mental health professionals, and of mental health professionals by learning from legal professionals. In addition to joint plenary presentations, streamed concurrent sessions are aimed at mental health professionals, taught by lawyers, and at lawyers, taught by mental health professionals.

The all-star line up of confirmed presenters includes doctors of psychology Susan Gamache, Michael Elterman and Rebecca England, lawyers Morag MacLeod QC, Todd Bell, and Zara Suleman, clinical counsellors Yuval Berger, Alyson Jones and Bob Findlay, social workers Kim Hetherington and Leanne Harder, as well as:

  • Justice Bruce Butler of the BC Court of Appeal
  • Judge Pat Bond of the BC Provincial Court
  • Professor Nick Bala of Queen’s University Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Rachel Birnbaum of the Faculties of Law and Social Work at Western University
  • Dr. Mary Korpach, R.Psych.
  • Robert Colby, R.Psych.

Early bird pricing is available until 14 March 2019; mental health professionals should contact CLEBC’s customer service department for additional pricing details.

Go to the course page on CLEBC’s website for more information. This program is aimed at all professionals involved in family breakdown in Canada, including lawyers, judges, counsellors, psychologists, mediators and arbitrators, and is not to be missed.


  1. Just a thought. In a previous column the subject of research in family law had been discussed in which the CBA proposal to “allocate sufficient funding resources to family law research … to guide policy makers and the profession to optimize benefits and access to justice for families experiencing relationship breakdown.” This multidisciplinary gathering is the perfect opportunity for the parties involved to create a guide to provide guidance to “policy makers and the profession to optimize benefits and access to justice for families experiencing relationship breakdown.”

  2. Hey, that’s a very good idea, Verna. I’ll talk to the other chairs and see if room can be gouged out of the agendum for a plenary discussion on these lines. Thank you!

  3. Excellent! May the force be with you.