Lisa Blackwood MS MA LPC-S LCDC
I am a neutral mental health professional and work to ensure beneficial long-term outcomes effectively and efficiently for cases. After thirty years of experience in the field of counseling, I have a genuine understanding of how life transitions and crises affect a person’s well-being. The emotion that reflects life transitions such as separation or divorce can give rise to anger, hurt, self-introspection, anxiety, and grief.
As a member of The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, Collaborative Divorce Texas, I help facilitate the Collaborative Divorce team, as a Neutral Mental Health Professional. In working with the divorcing couple to develop a parenting plan, I help the couple by providing clarification, emotional support and guidance to minimize conflict and enhance successful communication, allowing both parties to feel heard and respected.
This is an emotional transition when big decisions have to be made. Families want to be able to respectfully discuss options and agree on decisions that are thoughtful and mutually beneficial. As a neutral professional on a collaborative team, I am qualified to execute two possible roles, circumstances dictate which role is executed:
Neutral Professional Roles
Mental Health Professional
- Work collaboratively with the couple, their attorneys, and other involved professionals to improve communication, reduce misunderstandings, and manage problems moving through the divorce process.
- Facilitate joint collaborative meetings; keeping sessions on task, running smoothly, and working towards a final settlement.
- Consult with a neutral lens to identify and prioritize the interests and concerns of each party, as they move through the divorce process.
- Guidance and support for couples to understand their feelings, maintain appropriate behaviors, and help manage emotions that arise during the divorce process.
- Make effective use of conflict management, communication skills, and flexible thinking, as clients reach agreements on child-related or other specific issues.
- Assist with the development of effective co-parenting skills, along with creating a customized family/co-parenting plan designed around the unique needs of all parties.
Couples may wish to enlist the help of a Collaborative Divorce Child Specialist, who will work with the children, the parents, the Mental Health Professional and the Collaborative Divorce team to:
- Provide the child/ren with an opportunity to voice his/her/their concerns regarding the divorce.
- Evaluate the collaborative process regarding child/ren’s issues to determine the needs to address for each child separately or with siblings or an entire family.
- Assess the child/ren for physical, psychological, emotional, educational, and financial symptoms of stress, during the strenuous process of a couple ending their marriage.
- Provide the Mental Health Professional and/or the Collaborative Divorce team information and guidance to help the parties co-parent their child/ren through this process.
- Advocate the position, ‘in the best interest of the child/ren,’ communicating the sense of emotional security, personal care (medical, dental, clothing shelter), physical safety, and self-esteem of the child/ren to the Mental Health Professional and/or the Collaborative Divorce team.