Child Therapy in Divorce

Guest: Brandi Smith

Episode Details

If you are facing separation or divorce and are wondering if your kids are going to be OK, check out the next episode of Access to Justice when we interview psychologist Brandi Smith about how mental health professionals can help your family transition successfully through one of life’s biggest changes. 

We talk about intergenerational boundaries, the toxicity of conflict, and when is the best time to get a professional involved.

(Spoiler Alert: there is no bad time). 

Episode Notes

“Be aware of the Intergenerational Boundary” – doesn’t matter the kids age. 


Kids shouldn’t know one parents thoughts on the other parents parenting style or who they are as a person.


Parents need to recognize that transitions can be stressful from one house to another, it can be a mistake to pin the regularly occurring difficulty adjusting from one house to the other on parenting.

Parents are generally tuned into their kids emotions.

Parents need to recognize that divorce is an adult topic and should be very careful with information because there are little eyes and little ears everywhere.

All parents want happy and healthy kids and they need to recognize that divorce is an adult topic. Kids just need to know that you will love them and the change is that you are going from a 1 household family to a 2 household family.


Longitudinal study calle the Aces Study – on our website. The effect of trauma on kids. Premature death and disease.


Alberta Family Wellness Initiative – about toxic stress and how brains are built.


No perfect way to tell kids but there are rules of thumb. They need reassurance and Messages of Love.

What is an appropriate way to communicate with kids what is happening? Agree on the narrative before talking to kids. Pick up their books and look at the words, pictures and how the information is coming across. Then type out what you are going to say in Word Document and get

the grade they suggest you are using. 

Choose File, Options, Proofing, Check show readability statistics.

Choose review on the doc then spelling and grammar and you will get a grade level on your words.


People can see someone like Brandi, before, during and after. An ounce o prevention is a pound of cure. Ie. See someone early to prevent issues. Kids show stress with changing in their sleeping, eating and having trouble regulating their emotions, altercations with peers.

Research shows a need for early intervention. If you are struggling look at things in your control and manage that. Book Bill Eddie – High Conflict

All guardians have a right to access information.

Cost for therapy: between $200 to 350/hr.

Can use Health spending, Wellness account or Extended health care from benefits on registere psychologists. Also the paid out of pocket fees are classified as “medical Expenses” for you or your dependents on taxes and potentially available for tax credits.  Must have at least $2479 in 2022.

Guest Bio

Brandi Smith has been working as a Registered Psychologist in Alberta for 11 years and working with children and youth since 2001. 

She has a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. 

Brandi began working with children and youth as a crisis intervention worker, youth worker, and family support worker in the Child and Family Services system while she completed her clinical education and registration process.

Once registered, Brandi continued to make child and youth her primary clinical focus and worked both in the Child and Family Services system and the health care system.

Brandi has been full time in private practice at Creating Solutions for the last 8 years and works with diverse clients, including children, youth, adults, and families both in evaluation and therapy.

When working with families experiencing separation and divorce, Brandi’s primary focus continues to be healthy children and healthy family systems regardless of the current level of conflict. As a result, Brandi works with families at various levels of legal involvement, from those completing a “kitchen table” agreement to those attending under Court Order.

Outside of separation and divorce clients, Brandi also specializes in clients experiencing the impacts of motor vehicle accidents, educational assessments, and various mental health diagnoses. 




  1. Aces Study - Adverse Childhood Experiences here

Websites for Help

  1. Alberta Family Wellness Initiative
  2. The Family Centre
  3. The Rainbows Program
  4. CODIP Group


  1. The Co-Parenting Handbook by Karen Bonnell 
  2. Mindful Co-Parenting by Jeremy Gaies and James Morris 
  3. Overcoming the Co-Parenting Trap by John Moran, Tyler Sullivan, and Matthew Sullivan 
  4. The Stepfamily Handbook by Karen Bonnell and Patricia Papernow 
  5. Keeping Kids out of the Middle by Benjamin Garber 
  6. So What’s Your Proposal by Bill Eddy 

Episode Notes

  1. Bill Eddie – High Conflict Institute 
  2. Bilateral Custody Assessment 
  3. Youtube – Happiness and Cyanide 
  4. Reg’d Psychologist tenure is based on their reg number. The longer it is, the lesser the experience. 
  5. Greg Pickering – Parenting Plan 
  6. Aces Study 
  7. Alberta Family Wellness Initiative 

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