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Support your child through separation today

Online training course for separated parents, including one-to-one coaching sessions to practice new skills

Angry break ups risk hurting your child's brain.

Is that what you want?

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New Ways For Families teaches

four key behavioural skills

Managing Emotions

  • Controlling anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety so as to not over-react

  • Protecting children from a parent's extreme emotions

Flexible Thinking

  • Acknowledging there being more than one solution to a problem

  • Turning complaints into proposals for future behaviour & agreements
  • Avoiding extreme actions, language and parenting requests

  • Responding to hostile communications in a way that avoids conflict

Checking Yourself

  • Reminding yourself to use these skills in times of stress

  • Developing empathy, attention, and respect

Moderating Behaviour

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It doesn't matter who's right or wrong; if you can't control your emotions you risk hurting your child

Is that what you want?

what parents & coaches say

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I really wish I did the New Ways for Families course before commencing the court process. However , better late than never. Thanks for your help getting me on this course.

– Parent on the NWFF Pilot, 2022

It was great to be able to go at my own pace. I really appreciated being able to work around weekends and childcare arrangements.

– Parent on the NWFF Pilot, 2022

This pilot has been extremely helpful in helping me find different ways of parenting separately and avoiding conflict with my ex-partner.

– Parent on the NWFF Pilot, 2022

The course material is varied and presented in a comprehensive way, including numerous formats such as videos, role-playing scenarios, journal and reflective exercises, and quizzes

– Coach Feedback on the NWFF Pilot

Who runs the training?

New Ways For Families® is provided and organised by the charity Shared Parenting Scotland, operating under licence from the High Conflict Institute.

Following our very successful pilot in Scotland in 2022 we are now running this programme throughout the United Kingdom with our team of UK coaches.

For some other sources of support for separating parents see this link

SPS Training Staff

Claire Ross

Training & Funding Development Manager

Claire Ross has worked for Shared Parenting Scotland for two years as their Training and Funding Development Manager.

She has a background in family mediation, counselling, education, community engagement and Development, with Diploma in Person Centred Counselling, Core Psychotherapy and Family Mediation.

Working for a range of organisations as a senior manager: Citizens Advice Scotland,The Cairngorms National Park Authority and Community Service Volunteers(CSV) and as a free-lance counsellor/counselling supervisor. Having managed the pilot phase of the New Ways For Families® project she is currently a New Ways For Families® coach and co-ordinates the New Ways For Families coaching team

David Maclean

Training Manager

David has worked for Shared Parenting Scotland for a year as their Training Manager.

David has a background in Business Development, Strategic Planning and Training Development and Delivery working across the Private, Public and Third sectors.

He oversees our Love, Loss and Living training programmes.

Our Coaches

Brittany Thomas

Senior Solicitor, Family Law

Brittany Thomas has practised in family law since the beginning of her career, having completed a specialised traineeship in the field. She has a breadth of experience in all aspects of family law, including financial provision on divorce and separation, contact and residence disputes and cohabitation. She is both warm and approachable and this helps clients feel at ease.

She is diligent and practical in her approach to cases and can always be relied upon to reduce the stress and uncertainty that many clients feel in going through a difficult process that comes with a great deal of family cases.

Michael Harkness

Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Michael Harkness is an experienced educator having worked in Schools and Universities across Asia. He is a registered Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, with experience working with people with severe mental health issues and those experiencing crisis.

Michael is married and has a son, he and his wife have had martial issues including separation but now live together quite happily in the UK.

Heather Boyle BSc, MSc, MBACP


Heather is a qualified Psychotherapist, and registered member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. (MBACP).

She is trained in Person-Centred Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and High-Conflict Resolutions. She has worked for the NHS, Police Scotland and 3rd sector Mental Health Charities. She also runs her own private practice and further information can be found at her website

Fiona Mundy

Consultant, Johnson Legal

Fiona is is a consultant at Johnson Legal and a Solicitor Advocate. She is a WS, an Accredited Family Specialist and is qualified to act as a Family Law Arbitrator.

She is listed in Chambers as an expert in Family Law. Fiona was a partner in four different firms of solicitors before joining Johnson Legal Family Law as a Consultant and has experience of family cases with a cross border element, including child abduction cases.

Julie Gracie

Leadership & Improvement Specialist

Julie is a Leadership & Improvement Specialist at the Scottish Social Services Council and is responsible for social work and social care workforce development focusing on leadership and wellbeing. Julie is passionate about integration and whole systems thinking, facilitating collaborative cross sector working, underpinned by healthy working cultures and good self-care.

Julie’s background is in national health organisations (NHS 24 and NHS Education for Scotland) and includes leading on ‘Leadership for Integration’ workstream, coaching for ‘Coaching for Wellbeing’ and co-designing and facilitating the delivery of sessions supporting the wellbeing of social services leaders and managers.

Tuk-Chee Phung


Tuck-Chee Phung was born in Malaysia and educated in three continents - in Malaysia, U.S.A. and U.K. with a BA in Humanities/Fine Arts, MA and PhD in History of Art. He has lived in Scotland for the past 45 years and worked as a social worker and in social work education for 30 years. He is also a person-centred counsellor and counselling supervisor for over 20 years.

While his work is creative and integrative of the many skills and experiences he has as a qualified social worker, counsellor, counselling supervisor and coach, he is essentially person-centred in his approach.

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Watch the videos below to find out more

Alastair Williamson

New Ways For Families Trainee

Siobhian Brown MSP

Scottish Government Minister remarks on NWFF

Claire Ross

New Ways For Families Coach

Bill Eddy

High Conflict Institute Chief Innovation Officer

More Info

More Info

Your children need you to learn how to separate as well as possible: do you think they're coping? Or are they looking after you?

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Why New Ways For Families?

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Receive a recognised certification from the High Conflict Institute

The course has 12 interactive modules with three one-to-one coaching sessions. - it should take you 12-15 hours at your own pace

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Save money in the long-term by avoiding costly legal fees

The course costs £295 with subsidised rates and 3-part instalment plans available

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Learn key life skills transferable to all aspects of your life

Receive one-to-one professional coaching to support your learning journey

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the twelve modules

UNIT ONE - Coping With Stress By Managing Your Emotions (Coaching Session One)

UNIT TWO - Solving Co-Parenting Problems Through Flexible Thinking

UNIT THREE - Avoiding Over-Reacting By Using Moderate Behaviours

UNIT FOUR - Checking Yourself (Coaching Session Two)

UNIT FIVE - Extreme Behaviours And The Effect On The Child’s Brain

UNIT SIX - Raising Healthy Children By Making Joint Decisions

UNIT SEVEN - Child Development Goals And Milestones

UNIT EIGHT - Parenting Skills Standards And Plans

UNIT NINE - Using Professionals

UNIT TEN - New Partners, New Families

UNIT ELEVEN - Handling Financial Issues

UNIT TWELVE - How To Avoid Becoming A “High Conflict” Case (Coaching Session Three)

The course features information, videos and role play, as well as a personal journal where learners can document their journey. It provides a skills-based, “no blame, no shame” online educational program for parents in divorce or separation who could benefit from learning new communication, emotion management, and problem-solving skills.

New Ways For Families is not mediation. Even if both parents sign up they will be allocated a different coach. It’s not legal advice. The training promotes greater levels of respect, empathy and attention from its learners. The primary goal is to teach parents the skills necessary to effectively resolve co-parenting disagreements while remaining calm and protecting their children from the conflict. The course may be voluntary, recommended, or mandated by courts or other professionals.

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Give your child the support they deserve today.

Learn the skills of managing your emotions, flexible thinking, improving communication, reducing conflict, and moderating your behaviour, that will help you avoid conflict for the sake of your child.