You Don’t Have To Be Friends To Use Divorce Mediation

Find out more about better ways to divorce at


Staring David Tarpey, Lucy Sengelow and the voice of Ashley Ramsden.

Lucy Sengelow:

Lucy trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and has over 20 years experience working as an actress. She has worked extensively in theatre, television and in the corporate sector.  Lucy is currently appearing in What Shall We Do With The Cello, an absurdist comedy written by Romanian playwright Matei Visniec.  In the last year the show has toured to the International Festival of Contemporary Drama in Brasov, Transylvania (where the show won Best Director), the Byline Festival, Bunker Theatre, London and later this year, Moldova.  Lucy is also a core cast member of the ongoing sketch comedy show, The Frow Show. Lucy is a highly skilled actor facilitator working across the private and public sector in both assessment and development centres.  Lucy uses roleplay, forum theatre, coaching and feedback in the workplace.  Her most recent programmes have included The Five Conversation Styles, Equality & Diversity, Presentation & Communication Skills and Assessment for Recruitment and Identifying Development Needs.  Companies have included a 3-year programme with London Underground for TfL,  Mercedes Benz & Smart Cars, Henley Business School, Genesis Housing Association, Royal College of GPs and many international blue chip companies such as Campari, William Grant, AstraZenica, Siemens and Jaguar Landrover. 

To find out more about Lucy or to contact her please call 07961 326439 or email Spotlight: 



David Tarpey

As a native Londoner, I originally trained as an actor in Hackney but family life and a career in print and broadcast journalism took over. But in 2015, I returned to my first passion. Since then, I have had a wide range of jobs spanning stage, TV, short films, a feature film, music videos, a games app ad, training videos and a stills photo shoot for a national advertising campaign for Kwik Fit. I’ve been cast as a boxing ref, car mechanic, security guard, farm manager, a commandant, a prison officer, sex scandal MP, sinister government scientist, drug dealer, homeless man, Mr Big gangster, dads, husbands, businessmen and an adult son dealing with grief.
My TV work has included parts on BBC 1, Channel 5, the Crime & Investigation Channel and the History Channel.
I also recently shot a Star Wars fan film in Iceland in which I play the lead antagonist. It will be released in April 2019. I also have a small part in a black comedy due to be released in March 2019.

I’m available for a range of jobs and am very flexible.

Please contact me at: 07950 736 571 or

Find out more here


Ashley Ramsden

Ashley Ramsden established the School of Storytelling in 1994 under the umbrella of Emerson College. He co-founded the International School of Storytelling in 2011.

Ashley’s unique methods of teaching voice and the skills of the storyteller have received international acclaim. He runs workshops, tours with his one-man-shows including A Christmas Carol, The Amazing Adventures of the Hodja Nasrud’din, and Tistou of the Green Thumbs amongst others and is a speaker of sacred poetry. He has been touring recently with wife Flora, focussing on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and is back from a period of refreshment with a host of workshops and new ideas.


Music by:

Longzigun: Nocturnal

graham cupples campfire philosophy part 5


Mediation Sketch: You Don’t Have To Be Friends For Mediation To Work

Mediation Sketch: You Don’t Have To Be Friends For Mediation To Work

You Don’t Have To Be Friends For Mediation To Work

(Less than 10 minutes)

Scene 1:

Janet: I tried mediation already.  It didn’t work.

Mediator: And why was that, Janet?  What was it about mediation that didn’t work for you?

Janet: The mediator asked him about his financial disclosure and HE admitted to having a load of cash in bank accounts I’d never heard of. He’d ferreted it all away as soon as he knew I was leaving him.  I was disgusted.  He’d lied and deceived me for months.

Mediator: And what happened next?

Janet: Well I walked out of the mediation.  How dare he have deceived me all that time.


Mediator: Janet I’m just trying to understand what you’re saying.  So your husband admitted to hiding assets and came clean on everything. And you walked out.  And for you that mean’t that mediation doesn’t work? (more…)

4 Stark Choices Father’s Have When Separating

4 Stark Choices Father’s Have When Separating

I remember acutely hearing an account by Bob Geldof of what it felt like to arrive at the front door of his old house to collect his children.  To ring the bell, and then stand on the doorstep – like a stranger.  Hearing that tale all those years ago, I felt the mixture of pain, confusion and horror at what that must have felt like, even though at the time I had never directly experienced family breakup, nor considered myself particularly empathic. But it must surely be a deeply humbling experience.

Man at door after divorce

These days as the Alternative Divorce Guide, I hear many variations of how fathers access their children and the rules by which they are bound, and I still feel that intense compassion for what must be a profoundly painful experience – one that many do not comprehend until it’s too late to change the course of how that particular dance is played out.  Because I believe that they do have clear choices in the run up to that day of reckoning. Divorcing dads have plenty of opportunities to practice which steps of the dance they wish to perfect – and my hope is that this short article will help some father’s focus on those stark choices.

I lay these options out in the clear acknowledgment that in a parental alienation or domestic abuse situation – yes, men can be on the receiving end of psychological and physical abuse – then the situation is not so simple.  But in the vast majority of cases, this is what is available to you chaps, so please pay attention:


Option no. 1:  Don’t turn up on the doorstep at all

You could choose to just not engage at all as a father – perhaps convincing yourself that you can later on rebuild a relationship with your kids after they have left home, or on your own terms, and avoiding the humiliation of having the neighbours watching as you step through the front gate that is no longer ‘your’ front gate, or that uncomfortable shuffling on the doorstep after ringing the bell.  Or you may go further and commit suicide.  Opt out all together.  They say that the suicide rate for men doubles post divorce.

But from the child’s point of view, either option is deeply selfish and damaging.  So personally, I would recommend that all parents put their egos away, get some coaching and counselling to deal with their situation, and focus on the love they have for their children.  Withdrawing in any way from being an active parent, is a negative choice.

Option no. 2: Not be allowed to come onto the property at all

Exclusion zones enforced by the police may allow you only to wait at the end of the street – or have contact in a specified contact centre with a stranger chaperoning you and your child for limited specified times.  It is amazing how many men choose this option.  Of course some have it forced upon them unfairly (note earlier caveat) but many choose to be verbally abusive, damage property, make threats.  Having a tantrum and smashing a few household items and other outbursts is a good way to ensure you end up not being allowed anywhere near the family home post-divorce.

Anger and emotional pain need to be expressed – but don’t do it in the family abode or in front of your Ex spouse (or even down the telephone line or by email) – because that behaviour can lead you towards a destination that is not a nice place to be.  But it is a choice nonetheless, and if you choreograph those steps in the run up to your divorce, don’t be surprised if those formal police warnings turning into a restraining order.

Option no. 3: Not invited in

I always imagine this to be a particularly painful option.  People will only invite you in if they want to.  And if you spend the months or years preceding this day making your Ex miserable, why are they going to suddenly turn round when they have their own independent front door and ask you in for a cup of tea?  Nope – it ain’t going to happen.  Even if it’s raining, you can just stand outside while the kids get their boots and coats on.

The relationship you forge during a separation and divorce is your responsibility.  Don’t turn round at the end and expect your Ex to forget all those unkind words, that lack of trust, that emotionally bullying.  They won’t.  This is a common option men choose perhaps because they don’t want to ‘be friends’ with their children’s co-parent.  But you don’t need to be friends – or even like each other anymore.  But to not even get invited over the threshold when collecting the kids?  Come on, that’s shit.  Who would want to make that their outcome?

Option no. 4:  You have the choice of accepting that offer for a cup of tea

Imagine arriving to collect the kids and being asked in for a cuppa while they get ready.  Imagine having a polite, possible stilted at first, conversation about how they are doing at school; did you get the letter about the parent’s evening? When are we going to do the diary about who has the kids over the holidays? What are you doing over Christmas?

As the saying goes, it takes two to Tango – so you can try to blame your Ex as much as you like – but you are the partner in this co-parenting dance, and you may not get to choose the dancehall, or even the music – but you sure as hell get to choose which steps you take and whether you put your children’s experience of co-parenting before your own damaged sense of self worth. Smashed self esteem and a deep sense of injustice can be healed.  But in the meantime, it isn’t going to help your children learn how to build healthy relationships by them watching their parents treat each other without any respect.  Or compassion.

Imagine having the opportunity to say: “Thanks for the offer of a coffee – but we need to get going.” ?

No being stranded on the doorstep.  No exclusion zone.

And apart from how that might feel for you – how is that going to feel for your kids?

Four clear choices.  The preparation starts earlier than you think.  Which are you going to choose?


Suzy Miller

Pregnant and Stressed – CoParenting resources

Pregnant and Stressed – CoParenting resources

Susan Cowe Miller highlights how EFT can benefit you and your unborn child

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka Tapping is a Self-Help tool to lower and manage anxieties, feelings of anger or unfairness, overwhelm, panic or fear.

Are you pregnant and troubled by anxiety?

  • Is your relationship with your partner in trouble?
  • Has your marriage broken down?
  • You have been left suddenly and must deal with the pregnancy yourself.
  • You are struggling with this situation and have very little emotional support.

Working with a practitioner can clear deep rooted anxieties and offers resolution to long term stress and traumatic issues.



Key point:

Your unborn child can sense trauma, shock and anxiety experienced by you. Your unborn child cannot disassociate from your feelings.

When you become pregnant, the baby growing inside you cannot disassociate from what you are feeling. Your feelings of shock, high stress or deep anxiety are transferred directly to your unborn child. Months later when it is time for your child to be born it may enter into the world, believing subconsciously, that the world is a dangerous place. The baby may be anxious, difficult to settle. A cycle of new anxiety may be established.

(A child can take on ancestral patterns of behaviour and beliefs subconsciously; directly from you the mother. Often as adults we need to clear some ancestral beliefs and behaviours which we have inherited from our mother and before. Quite simply if they do not serve why would we wish to keep them. We need to clear).


Young Children and babies in-utero can feel stress

Stress and anxiety is not just an adult concern.  Children under two years old and in-utero, sense and are emotionally affected by stress and disharmony in the home.

Children can sense when a parent feels less stressed. Previous negative behavioural patterns can decrease as children sense this change in a parent.

When a demanding or needy child has a sense of more calm, they subconsciously adapt their previous attention seeking behaviour to what might be considered as more acceptable behaviour. It is of course all relative to the individual.

A happy and relaxed child who has shown signs of emotional distress can subconsciously dismiss and remove troubling behaviours very, very quickly. This is possible perhaps, because they have not lived with and been affected by parental disharmony over a long period of time. Less emotional upset has been caused. Emotional distress can evaporate quicker than a child who knows only disharmony or upset.

Once a baby or child senses calm and love coming from the father or mother all relationships can improve very quickly.

Be Mindful of Self-Care opportunities:

Techniques, strategies and working towards a better personal situation is empowering. When you feel better, your unborn child can sense this.

Benefits of learning EFT

It can help you to de-stress and therefore your unborn child will sense a positive change . You can feel more calm and in control; your baby will feel the same.

What happens during Tapping?


Tapping Points

    Crucially EFT works at two levels.

  1. Mindset Level

  2. Cellular Level.

We quieten and clear Mind Chatter; our Inner Voice. The voice some of us mistakenly think is correct and in charge of who and what we are. The Inner Voice which goes over and over our negative beliefs and anxieties. When we listen to that negative voice we give these anxieties more and more power. We are confused because we think these beliefs and thoughts must be true.

But this Inner Voice can be hushed when we release the energy at Cellular Level .

How is negative blocked energy released?

We release the blocked energy- the feelings of stress and physical discomfort- by Tapping on specific Energy meridians in our body (Acupuncturist use needles to do this; we Tap). Very specifically we state

  • where we feel our discomfort.
  • describe its shape, size and colour.

The more specific we can be the better so that blocked energy/stress can be worked on and released.

We voice the specific fear we hear in our head and by combining Voicing and Tapping, we can release the blocked energy. The charge is gone.

How long do I need to tap?

Five to ten minutes of Tapping can make significant improvements to how we feel. When we feel more calm and in control we are better fit to deal with our given situation.


EFT is practiced and shared by Counsellors, Hypnotherapists, Doctors, Psychiatrists…..

Perhaps it’s time for you and your baby or child to benefit from Tapping?


For specific Tapping Routines please visit my website: EFT Video tapping routines.

Contact Susan on 07917 680 967 to find out more or visit Hampshire-EFT.

Susan is the author of Survive and Thrive after Trauma.

She specialises in Relationship Stress, Pregnancy and Infertility issues, and Emotional Trauma relating to physical health issues.