Community of Practice: Family Law & Family Conflict

This is an initiative bringing together practitioners, researchers, and educators in the overlapping professions that serve families in conflict and those that are involved with the justice system. This includes psychologists, family lawyers, family therapists, social workers, family mediators, and those involved in alternative dispute resolution, as well as those working child welfare.

We engage in dialogue, inform each other’s work, and learn from one another. Practitioners can inform the questions researchers ask. Researchers bring new knowledge to inform practice.

A community develops over time, and this one unfolds as we share our voices, values, and ideas in conversation. While we here at the Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, have initiated this community of practice, we know that it takes the larger community of practitioners to set it all in motion! We appreciate engaging in that creative and collective process.

Who We Are

Lynda M. Ashbourne, PhD, RP, RMFT, Associate Professor

Lynda M. Ashbourne, PhD, RP, RMFT, Associate Professor of Couple and Family Therapy in FRAN, worked in front-line mental health and family service organizations for 15 years prior to coming to U of G. Her research and teaching is closely informed not only by her own practice, but by the conversations she has with practitioners and former students about what is most relevant for working with contemporary families.

Dr. Denise Whitehead

Denise Whitehead, PhD, JD, Bar of Ontario, is an Assistant Professor, Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies, St. Jerome’s University (University of Waterloo). As a lawyer and social scientist (Family Relations & Human Development), her research has focused on  the voices of children who have lived in shared custody. Her teaching focuses on family law, family relations, and conflict in close relationships.

Dr. Dan Ashbourne

Dan Ashbourne, PhD (C.Psych), is Executive Director of the London Family Court Clinic, a clinic specifically designed to work with children and their families involved in legal/clinical systems. Dr. Ashbourne provides assessments, consultations, and training in clinical matters, serves as a consultant to the ADR-LINK referral service and is part of the FASD Community of Practice/Research network in London. 

Dr. Donna Lero

Donna Lero, PhD, Professor Emerita, Dept of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition (FRAN) at University of Guelph, has recently retired from her position as Jarislowsky Chair in Families, Work, and Well-being. She is a respected academic researcher in the area of family policy and initiated exemplary community-engaged research projects at the Centre for Families, Work, and Well-being during her tenure.

Contact Information:
519-824-4120 ext. 54237 or connect with us via email (email address)

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