Skip to main content
Not Found
Digital Seminar

Co-parenting Plan Mediator Certificate Course: Create a Peaceful, Effective Co-parenting Strategy for Divorcing or Separating Clients

Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT
Approx. 6 Hours
Dec 13, 2023
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: Live Webinar

Add On Products


As a mental health clinician, you encounter couples ending marriages, grappling with painful resentments, communication breakdowns, and fears of an uncertain future.

And for couples with children…

It’s even harder as they navigate custody, co-parenting arrangements, and the emotional toll on their sometimes confused, lonely, and emotionally torn kids.

But here’s the truth—it doesn’t have to be so hard.

You can be the clinician who helps a separating couple skillfully develop a co-parenting plan in a way that helps them breathe through heartache, make skillful decisions that will support their children’s growth, and develop a new story for their family.

Guided by the expertise of our instructor, Merriam Saunders, LMFT, a specialist in parenting plan mediation, you will gain insights into a comprehensive, step-by-step process designed to navigate the intricate and emotional journey of separation. Through this course, you’ll acquire the tools needed to assist couples in developing effective parenting plans that serve the entire family for years to come.

Upon completing this course, you’ll not only acquire a fresh set of skills, but you’ll also open doors to increased earning potential and enhance your professional credibility with a valuable certificate of completion.

And rest assured—you’ll learn how to get clients, what to charge, and successfully manage the entire mediation process from start to finish!

Throughout the course, you will delve into various critical topics, including:

  • A step-by-step approach to facilitating co-parenting plan mediations
  • Advanced techniques for communication and de-escalation of conflicts
  • Essential insights into child development that are pivotal for creating comprehensive co-parenting plans that benefit the entire family
  • Clinical strategies aimed at effectively managing emotions and fostering productive discussions between parties.

Now is the perfect time to enroll and expand your practice, allowing you to make a positive impact on the lives of couples and families during their most challenging times.

Purchase Now!


CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.


Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT's Profile

Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT Related seminars and products

Merriam Sarcia Saunders is a seasoned Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over fifteen years of diverse experience in counseling children and adults across private practice, school settings, and case management. She holds advanced training in child and adolescent treatment from UC Berkeley and is a Certified Clinical Services Provider (ADHD-CCSP) with specialized expertise in ADHD, autism, and coaching for ADHD.

With certifications in divorce and special education meditation, she has served as a special education mediator for the Marin County Office of Education, advocating for children with special needs. She is also trained as a special master/parent coordinator and contributes as a panelist for Marin County Family Court’s Case Settlement Conferences.

Dedicated to promoting resilience and healing, she is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and a Certified Mindfulness Clinical Practitioner. Her passion for co-parenting mediation led her to develop a specialized parenting plan mediation course for mental health professionals, empowering others to foster a peaceful and successful co-parenting strategy for families going through transitions. Join this transformative course and make a positive impact on families and children seeking support during challenging times.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Merriam Saunders maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with Dominican University. She receives royalties as a published author. Merriam Saunders receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Merriam Saunders has no relevant non-financial relationships.


Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


Visit our FAQ page at or contact us at


  1. Understand the role and responsibilities of a custody mediator, including legal frameworks and ethical considerations.
  2. Assess families’ needs to develop child-centered parenting plans that serve the best interest of the child.
  3. Gain expertise in active listening, effective communication, problem-solving, and negotiation techniques for successful mediation.
  4. Identify and address power imbalances, high-conflict situations, and difficult personalities in custody mediation.
  5. Apply knowledge of child development, attachment theory, and family systems theory to inform the mediation process and parenting plan development.
  6. Deepen cultural competence to work effectively with diverse populations in custody mediation settings.


Foundations of Mediation for Mental Health Professionals

  • Differentiating negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and conciliation
  • Define goals and styles of mediation
  • Key mediator skills
  • Mediator responsibilities and role induction

Mediation Process: Step by Step

  • Essential documents and office policies
  • Preparation for successful mediation
  • Create a collaborative environment
  • Master the 5-step mediation process
  • Craft agreements aligned with parties’ goals
  • Resolve impasses through individual meetings
  • Overcome common stuck points
  • Conclude sessions confidently with clear next steps

Divorce, Mental Health, and Childhood Attachment

  • Attachment theory and child development
  • Emotional impacts on children and support strategies
  • Age-specific custody plans with attachment in mind
  • Effects of high marital conflict and negative behaviors
  • Positive impacts of collaborative divorce
  • Handling suicidal clients during divorce

Harnessing Motivational Interviewing in Mediation

  • Overview and stages of Motivational Interviewing
  • Using MI to identify values and goals
  • Applying open-ended questions and reflective listening
  • Avoiding pitfalls in conflict resolution

Managing High-Conflict Couples

  • Analyze and contain conflict
  • Address common conflict sources
  • Deescalating anger and manage power imbalances
  • Monitor and adjust faltering agreements
  • Handle parent procrastination and changes
  • Recognize process failure and termination

Working with Diverse Populations

  • Address cultural biases and stereotypes
  • Culturally responsive interventions
  • LGBTQ+ coparent challenges
  • Special needs child considerations
  • Blended family dynamics

Real-World Practice & Application

  • Case studies and examples
  • Attracting mediation clients and pricing
  • Manage burnout and professional liability
  • Mediation limitations and referrals

After Mediation

  • Co-parent counseling if needed
  • Parenting plan maintenance and amendments
  • Ongoing communication protocols
  • Address lingering emotional issues

Laws & Ethics

  • Understand family law and confidentiality
  • Clarify neutral roles vs. advocates
  • Avoid dual roles and ethical considerations
  • Limitations

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychotherapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

PESI Mobile App

Access CE trainings on your phone or tablet through our free mobile app. Choose video or audio-only versions of live webcasts and online courses from the world’s best instructors, and complete your CE requirements anywhere, anytime, at your own pace.

Please wait ...

Back to Top