Northern Lights Conference 2017

The ever popular Northern Lights conference – now in its eighth year – will return to York on Friday 6th October 2017. Click here to book or read on to find out more.
Once again, the conference will take place in the beautiful riverside setting of the Park Inn by Radisson York City Centre hotel, and this year’s theme is ‘Thinking Outside the Box’. DR provides us all with opportunities for creative thinking and problem solving to help clients reach the outcomes that are best for them, and at this year’s conference we’ll be exploring ways of thinking differently to support both our clients and ourselves as practitioners.
Think differently...

We have a series of workshops designed to get you thinking differently. Following rave reviews in 2016, family consultant Andrew Pearce will return to open the conference again this year with a session that will get the day off to a flying start. Expect games, interaction and plenty of food for thought! 
This will be followed by a choice of workshops on topics including multidisciplinary working, avoiding burnout, how we can best prepare clients for the collaborative process, the newly launched Divorce Hotel and whether the magic 10,000 hours figure is really true…
We will also be hosting the second annual Collaborative Family Law Week from 2-6 October, reflecting the Thinking Outside the Box theme and producing content for you to share online to help raise awareness of collab and it benefits among prospective clients and intermediaries. 
Six hours' soft skills CPD for just £135

As ever, the Northern Lights conference will give you your six hours’ annual soft skills training in a single hit – and plenty more besides. Open to collaborative family practitioners and mediators, we’ve put together an agenda that offers something for everyone. 
The booking site is open now, and you can book your place here. We will also be sending an email alerting people to Earlybird discounts, so if you’d like to be added to our mailing list to receive information about the conference, drop us an email via this link.  
The top event for collaborative family law professionals in the north of England is back in York for its eighth year on Friday 6th October 2017 at the Park Inn Hotel with another fantastic line up of workshops designed to give you access to skills, knowledge and contacts that will help you develop and build your collaborative or mediation practice.
Whether you’re newly qualified or you’ve been practising DR for many years, the conference offers something for everyone.
Once again, the day combines a mix of workshops and the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals. And, at £135 for six hours’ CPD points (£125 for Brighter Future members), the conference enables you to fulfil the Resolution training requirements in one fell swoop and provides excellent value for money.
There’s an overview of the day below with details of all of the workshops.You'll need to choose TWO sessions (one from each optional section) to include on your booking form.
The 2017 conference
08.30 - 09.15    Registration & coffee
09.15 - 09.20    Welcome
09.20 - 10.45    All-conference session: 
Relax, you are more resourceful than you know! - Andrew Pearce 
Many of us find ourselves in situations where we feel pressure from others to come up with solutions. Staying calm, recognising boundaries and resisting the temptation to take responsibility for what is not yours is key. We will explore this, and more…as well as playing a game or two! Find out more.
10.45 - 11.00    Coffee break
11.00 - 12.30    Workshop 1 – choose ONE from the following three workshops:
Climbing out of the box together - Mary Shaw/Brian Cantwell
About five years ago, Brian and Mary began to work together with separating clients and couples. This interactive workshop looks at their journey to examine how working with a family consultant can add value to collaborative lawyers’ “offer” to their clients (both collaborative and otherwise) and explores the benefits of not only thinking outside the box but getting out of it altogether in multidisciplinary working in partnership. Find out more
10,000 hours: is it really true? - Jo Sullivan, collaborative solicitor and family mediator
The 10,000-hours concept can be traced back to a 1993 paper written by Anders Ericsson, a Professor at the University of Colorado, called The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.  This was later popularised by Malcom Gladwell.   This idea is in the art exhibit ‘Manifest:10,000’ by Clare Twomey which is literally 10,000 clay pots currently at the York Art Gallery.  Jo O’Sullivan asks is this really true and how can you grow confidence in your collaborative practice if you have less than this magic number of hours. Find out more.
Strategies for Dealing with Stress - Chris Mills
We focus daily on the stresses of our clients, often playing down the stressful impact this has on us. This workshop introduces an effective, easy to implement peer supervision structure that can be used in the office. It relieves stress, strengthens group dynamics, deepens understanding of our work and enhances strategic and collaborative thinking. Find out more.
12.30 - 13.30    Lunch
13.30 - 15.00    Workshop 2 – choose ONE from the following three workshops:   
Welcome to the Divorce Hotel - Clare Thornton and David Leckie
The Divorce Hotel UK launched earlier this year in York to much media acclaim (Good Morning Britain, The Mail on Sunday and Loose Women to name but a few!).  The project is a joint venture between Clare Thornton and David Leckie following the Divorce Hotel international model which is the brainchild of Jim Halfens from the Netherlands.  Clare is a well-respected solicitor mediator based in Wakefield who many of you will know, and David is a mediator and counsellor based in York.  This workshop will focus on the experience of running the Divorce Hotel, where divorcing couples spend the weekend resolving their financial separation culminating in the signature of the divorce papers and consent documentation.  Come and help us explore the moral and ethical issues this may raise and the experiences of the couples involved and see if we can inspire you to “think outside the box” in your own professional development. Find out more.
Separated Parents Information Programme - Helen Evans and Sarah Carr
An overview of the court ordered contact activity ‘Separated Parents Information Programme’. This programme is normally delivered in four hours to a mixed group of parents, male/female, mums/dads/grandparents, resident/non-resident parents. The programme focuses on what children need from their parents when they are separated. We look at communication and how the lack of good communication impacts negatively on children. We offer support and information about the emotional side of separation. This is a national programme which receives excellent feedback from participants. Find out more.
Preparing your clients for the collaborative process - Danielle Barbereau, Divorce coach
This workshop is based on the belief that the collaborative relationship you establish with your clients differs from other work and requires different skills and a different approach. It argues that it bears similarities with the coaching relationship.Some techniques and skills used by a divorce coach (communicating, listening, choosing the right language, asking the right questions) can contribute to a quicker resolution in the collaborative process.The workshop is intended to:
Give a perspective on the relationship between solicitor and client
Refer to the process of coaching to bring change
Propose some useful models and techniques to establish rapport and to bring solutions
Enable discussion: The workshop is interactive and participative but I hope that it will leave you with a consideration about how to approach your preparation differently. It may also have an impact on how you establish rapport with all your clients. Find out more.
15.00 - 15.15    Coffee break
15.15 - 16.45    Closing plenary - Question Time
This year, our closing session will bring together some of our workshop presenters and members of the Brighter Future committee to field questions from the audience and facilitate discussion about topics that have been covered - or not - during the day that relate to DR practice and the future of family law. You can submit questions in advance via your event registration.
16.45 onwards - Social/networking drinks in the bar, with superb riverside views. All welcome!
Don't forget to check out our website for more details of the conference, and you can also follow us on Twitter for conference news & updates.