Jacqueline Vanbetlehem

Ms. Vanbetlehem received a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University in 1987 and a Master of Arts Degree in Social Policy from McMaster University in 1992. She completed a Certificate in Conflict Management at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo in 2003.

 

Ms. Vanbetlehem is an ongoing member of the following professional organizations: Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (having worked actively on the Conference Planning Committee and Professional Development Committee), and the Ontario Association of Family Mediators. As a member of Family Solutions, Ms. Vanbetlehem is involved in the unique team approach to assisting separated and divorcing families. She has been a past Member of the High Conflict Forum in Ontario, and the Assessment Task Force by the Action Group on Access to Justice of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

 

Ms. Vanbetlehem has conducted guest lectures at York University’s Family Law Program and University of Toronto’s Social Work Program, and is a frequent presenter in the area of severe parental alienation. She has presented and taught in the areas of parenting coordination, high conflict, decisional capacity of alienated children, and the remedies for severe alienation at numerous organizations.

 

While Ms. Vanbetlehem initiated her private clinical practice in the area of individual and family therapy, she went on to provide a broad spectrum of services in the area of family mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination and custody and access assessments. Through this work she developed a particular expertise with families experiencing alienation. Most recently Ms. Vanbetlehem has transitioned her practice to consultation in the area of parental alienation. Her work is augmented by years of providing therapeutic reunification and teaching one and two-day programs to other mental health professionals, lawyers and child protection workers in the area of parental alienation.

 

Ms. Vanbetlehem is one of two clinicians in Ontario trained in the methodology of Family Bridges: A Workshop for Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships. Family Bridges is a four-day workshop that serves to rapidly reconnect alienated children to their rejected parents where the Courts have determined a change of custody is in the children’s best interests. Drawing on this experience, Ms. Vanbetlehem now provides expert consultation to attorneys, mental health professionals/assessors, families, child protection services, and community agencies. She assists to steer these challenging cases to their most appropriate and successful outcomes. Ms. Vanbetlehem also offers expert testimony, training, and education related to alienation and how the Courts and child protection agencies can best manage these cases.

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