2017 Membership is due
Finding The Balance In Divorce
What’s On
Certification Updates
Complete Your Member Portal!
Get Involved 

2017 Membership Renewal is due now!

Join now!

Finding The Balance In Divorce

The Yoga of DivorceRecently, FDRIO member Mike MacConnell shared with our editor some wisdom from his book, The Yoga Of Divorce: A Mindful Route to Resolving Disputes, on how yoga provides a metaphorical and physical guide to syncing oppositional forces into harmony and eventual resolution.

Practising yoga helped Mike navigate the stress of his own divorce. He found calmness in the thoughtful poses which in turn prepared him to think clearly during negotiations. This quietness of mind, balancing of his energy and self-reflections reminded him that his former partner, albeit in opposition to him, was also suffering. His understanding of her pain allowed him to defuse a lot of the personal animosity making for a quick resolution and agreement.

Mike uses his own experiences and philosophy to help others navigate the stress of FDR. He says, “this isn't a book about divorce or about yoga, it’s about uncovering a way of approaching stress”. The book’s eight chapters trace the eight stages of Mike’s own divorce.  Each chapter highlights a yoga pose that is matched to the emotional needs he experienced at that stage.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) Concave Spine VersionIn Chapter 6, Final Paperwork and Breaking the News, Mike discusses the turbulent emotions he faced in considering the finality of the divorce and in telling his son about the break-up. To match the internal struggle and pain he was moving through, the chapter uncovers the benefits of forward bends, the most calming of all yoga poses, using as his example the seemingly simple, yet powerful Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) Pose. The chapter outlines movement contraindications providing steps for safe entry and release from the position. For each pose in the book, Mike provides three oppositions to contemplate, adding tips for mindfulness and conflict resolution.

For all the disciplines of FDR it’s important to consider the oppositional forces at hand in order to balance the energies to arrive at a resolution. How we as professionals guide these reactions and actions can affect our outcomes as well as our own personal stress levels. Applying this mindset to difficult negotiations provides a helpful “guiding image that we are not trying to defeat the other side but are working together to find resolution”.

A personal and enjoyable read, the book outlines an approach for creating a less adversarial and more respectful approach to FDR practices. Mike highlights that “we are not trying to erase the opposing force but instead trying to find a balance between the two so that there is respect on each side”.

The book is available in paper and all e-reader formats on, or in softcover from Indigo/Chapters, Book City or on Mike’s website:

What’s On?

February 23 at 5pm, Toronto Lawn Tennis Club

A Dinner Presentation with Nicola Savin and Bev LeMay: Domestic Violence, Power Imbalance & Training

Screening for power imbalances and family violence is a priority for FDRIO. Our June 2016 consultation led to good discussion about the best practices for screening in each of family mediation, arbitration and parenting coordination processes. The dialogue is ongoing and we invite your comments!

We invite you to review our Standards of Practice and the Screening Guidelines for Family Mediation, Arbitration and Parenting Coordination on our website and send your comments to us at

Register here before February 20th.

Webinar – March 1st at 12:00 pm

Join “The Yoga of Divorce” author and FDRIO member Mike MacConnell for a FREE webinar on approaching stress, opposition and resolution through yoga. (FDRIO MEMBERS ONLY).

Register today by emailing your name to

Our January Webinar

Thank you to members who logged on for FDRIO's first webinar, "Effective Use of Mediation-Arbitration" with senior family lawyer, mediator and arbitrator Lorne Wolfson.

More than 25 participants attended the webinar via their computers, telephones, and even a broadcast to a classroom.  Lorne offered his valuable insights on the suitability of cases for med-arb, the importance of the med-arb agreement, selecting the mediator/arbitrator and much more. Before wrapping up, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions. The interactive webinar was recorded and the recording will become available to members shortly!

Do you have a webinar idea? Presenters are welcome.
Contact for more information.

Certification Update –
Get FDR Certified Today!

The Ministry of the Attorney General has confirmed that the FDRP Med meets the standard requirements of the Ministry for court-connected family mediation.  We are excited to see how many members have already submitted applications for one or more of our three new  FDRP designations. Thank you for being patient as we process our first set of applications.

We have extended the first application period to March 1, 2017. Our first designations will be issued after that date. Administrative fees for certification applications received on the basis of a prior, equivalent certification from another organization or for senior, experienced candidates seeking training exemptions, will be waived for applications received before March 1.

•Certified Specialist Designations.

We have designed and administer three professional designations:

  • FDRP Med: Certified Specialist in Family Mediation
  • FDRP Arb: Certified Specialist in Family Arbitration
  • FDRP PC: Certified Specialist in Parenting Coordination

Our designations have harmonized entry-level standards that are illustrated on our Certifications page of our website. Some of these differ from the requirements of other certifying organizations. All FDRP candidates must have:

  • at least 30 hours of family law training unless they are a practicing family lawyer
  • either a relevant undergraduate degree or 10 years of experience in a related field
  • a 14 hour Family Relations course unless they are mental health/family relations specialists (effective for applications received after December 31,  2017)
  • a 21 hour course in Screening for Power Imbalances and Family Violence, including all those seeking exemptions based on seniority and experience.

Please visit the Certifications page of our website to learn the training required to obtain your FDRP Certification and how to apply.

Connect With The Industry!

Connecting1Our Member Portal is waiting for you! Connect with professionals from all FDR disciplines. Make yourself stand out by going into the portal, and indicating your languages spoken, areas of practice, location, professional experience!

After renewing, login and update your profile:

  • Upload your photo
  • Update your contact information
  • Provide a brief summary of yourself
  • Indicate your newsletter/bulletin mailing preference
  • Indicate your languages spoken, areas of practice, location, etc. This will help other members look you up if they’re looking for someone in a specific region, or a specific practitioner, who speaks a specific language
  • Apply for FDRIO Certification (see below for a list of our exciting designations)
  • Join our many sections (FREE!)

In addition, we are also working on adding the following functions as well:

  • Upload your events/programming to a public calendar to advertise exciting FDR events
  • Interact and engage with other members on messaging and bulletin boards!

Member Opportunities

The FDRIO Communications Committee has a volunteer opportunity for a professional who is passionate about promoting FDR and serving our membership. Candidates will have some background or experience in writing, communications, social media and websites. Interested candidates please forward a brief summary about your interest in joining this committee alongside your CV to with the subject line Communication Opportunity.

We also need committed volunteers for our Certification Committees. Any members interested in joining any of our FDRP Certification sub-committees please let us know at

FDRIO COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURE: We are working on our draft complaints policy and procedure. Members who are interested in volunteering for this committee please contact us at


Newsletter submissions: please send to us at to the attention of our Newsletter Editor Sherry Barrett. All submissions are due by no later than the 1st of the month.

Contact Us!

Questions about Certification?

Questions about Membership?

General questions about FDRIO?

Problems with the website or member portal?

Copyright © 2017 Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp