The Change Builders Model

October 16, 2019

I am a firm believer that “the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives”, a phrase I have unabashedly adopted from Esther Perel.

My vision in creating The Change Builders is to provide couples and families with a concrete set of tools and a future-focused plan to support their longterm success.

How do we do that?

Teams of three professionals skilled in the areas of finance, communication, and parenting, use a mediation-centred model to support clients to develop an enduring, comprehensive plan that will lay the foundation for a strong, successful relationship.

For couples that are separating, we work with them to transition them and their family in the healthiest, most constructive way possible. Our philosophy is that divorce is not the end of the family. It’s the reorganization of the family. The intimate partner relationship is over, but the family relationship is not.

We guide the spouses to “uncouple” with the highest level of integrity and respect, keeping at the centre of their focus the best interest and wellbeing of their children. The outcome is a healthier structure for both the adults and the children.

The story we encourage the separating couple to write for themselves is that the end of their intimate partner relationship is not a failure. When a relationship ends, the focus is on everything that went wrong. No doubt there are things they have done poorly, and there are many things they have done well. We encourage the couple to appreciate the many good things they had in their relationship, and we work with them to build on that as they transition to their new, restructured co-parenting relationship.

In the process of negotiating a separation agreement, the team helps the couple create a detailed financial, communication, and parenting plan.

By having three professionals working together, the family is supported in all the areas that are paramount in a separation, and they come away with a strong foundation for the future success of the newly reorganized family.

We also provide ongoing support to the family where they can come back whenever they need to review and update aspects of their plan as children grow and new life events occur.

The even more exciting aspect of the work that we do is what we have called “(re)design your marriage”. In this context, we work with people who are entering into longterm relationships or are marrying for the first time, couples who are re-partnering and are blending their families, as well as couples who have been together or married for some time and need a reset to support the longterm success of their relationship.

As we’ve talked about already, we are in an era where we want a deeply committed, connected, passionate, fulfilling relationship with one person for the long haul, and we live twice as long as we ever have.

We support couples to do that hard work needed to build, or rebuild, their relationship on a solid foundation by facilitating in-depth, open dialogue about all those essential yet sometimes difficult topics, like finances, children, household responsibilities, intimacy.

We help them develop the skills and resiliency to withstand the stressors that jeopardize the endurance of the relationship.

This is not therapy. This is skill-building and planning. It's preventative care, not acute care. It’s not planning for failure, but planning for success.

The couple comes out of this process with a creative, pro-active 3-in-1 plan that encompasses communication, finances, and parenting. We build in accountability and flexibility. And we offer ongoing follow-ups and support to ensure the plan remains relevant and effective for the family.

Are you and your partner on the same page?