Deb Lawrence, M.S. Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies.
I have over 30 years of experience working in the non-profit sector in mediation, helping children and families overcome obstacles and resolve conflict in a safe and respectful environment.
For the past 18 years I have been a Family Counselor in a local mental health agency. I partner with families to manage every day parenting challenges. I teach them parenting skills, restore family autonomy, and facilitate conflict resolution by ensuring all parties feel that they have been heard and understood. I also provide guidance to families during reunification after court ordered separation. I work with parents to provide a cohesive home and ensure positive outcomes. I am also an advocate for at risk children and attend Family Court to ensure that the child’s rights are being protected.
I have been a panel member for the Franklin, Grand Isle Restorative Justice Center for five years.
In addition I was an elementary and special education teacher for 18 years. During that time, I worked with migrant farm families helping to ensure the success of these marginalized children. As an advocate for the needs of children I provided a forum to resolve conflict for parents, educators and children. Utilizing clear communication, ensuring mutual respect and recognizing unique cultural values ensured a positive outcome.
For over 20 years I was a licensed Therapeutic Foster Parent with Northeastern Family Institute as well as for Casey Services. The children I fostered were between the ages of three and seventeen and most had emotional and behavioral challenges. I provided structure, routine, and predictability. I set healthy boundaries and the children grew and developed in a loving and nurturing environment, providing a sense of value and belonging for them. It was challenging at times, but extremely gratifying.
Working with families has always been inspiring and rewarding for me, however, over the past few years I began to feel stagnant and started looking for something that would complement my existing skill set. I was ready to move to the next level. I took a class in conflict resolution which then sparked my interest to learn different skills and strategies in mediation and conflict resolution. I earned my Master’s Degree in Meditation and Applied Conflict Studies December of 2014. This has allowed me to be more creative and provide a format for families to share and work through disagreements in a safe space.
I am caring and compassionate always striving to empower individuals and improve relationships. My goal is to assist children and families resolve issues in a way where they feel understood and validated. I want to help them see each other’s differences and realize they can resolve conflicts respectfully, in a non-judgmental way. I specialize in working with children and families.
Formal Training includes:
- Family Systems Bowen Theory (2015)
- Trauma Training; Trauma and Attachment (2014)
- Co-Occurring Disorders (2011)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (2009)
- Working with Transgender Youth (2005)