how we work together

Why I can help you

Helen L. Conway

I was a family lawyer and Judge for over 25 years and then re-qualified as a coach.

I saw how tough it can be to go through the legal process without someone fully qualified and independent to support you through the emotional states of separation and divorce. It was very clear to me when I was a Judge that the people who struggled most with getting to a quick, cost-effective and consensual resolution of their dispute were those who didn’t have the support to deal with the emotional aspect of the dispute.

Giving that support was my strength and I decided to to leave the law to concentrate on helping people that way. I have to say it was for my own benefit too as I get huge pleasure from seeing people come to the end of their coaching programme in a much better position than when they started.

I know the family legal system inside out and I am now also fully trained to support you in the emotional and psychological aspects of your family disputes.  I  leave the legal advice to the lawyers and focus on supporting you to deal with the practical and emotional fallout of your family conflict.  

I love to spend time really listening to people’s stories and helping them create better new ones. I have reinvented my own life after a very difficult few years of illness and can help you do the same.

Outside of work I am a writer and my graffiti inspired art has been exhibited worldwide. I love to read, bake and travel. I am a very bad golfer! I am based in Merseyside.

HOW WE WORK Together.

The first thing that I will do is really listen to you. It is important that you get to tell your story and that I understand what your situation and your needs are. I may ask questions to help you see that story in a wider perspective and will help you see that that you situation is not hopeless. 

Then my role is to help you move forward in your life. I do not tell you what to do and you are completely in charge of your decision making, including if you wish to reconcile with your partner. I work on the basis that you can make good choices but may need some help to see your options, envision a different future and to work out a practical plan to get there. I will ask questions  that will make you think and may well be challenging to you ( but in a kind and helpful way!) I can help you with skills which may help you  to get through the legal or mediation process more easily. For example you may benefit from discussing matters such as

  • stress management techniques
  • communication skills
  • negotiation tactics
  • understanding conflict styles
  • goal setting and accountability
It can be helpful for me to suggest we try various  exercises and tools in our sessions also. You don’t have do ‘homework’ if you don’t want to, but many clients find that having something to work on and think about between their sessions means that they get much more out of the process. In any event at the end of each session we will discuss what you actions you are deciding to take as a result of the session, so that our talking actually has a practical result for you.

If your mediator suggests it would be helpful and you wish it I may be able to come to  the mediation sessions with you. That will depend on my availability. 

At present my work is done online via Zoom which you can download and use for free via any computer, tablet or smartphone.

Please note that if you are about to start or are currently in the legal process, I will only work with clients who are currently using a lawyer or mediator. If your legal process has completely concluded I can work with you even though you are no longer using a lawyer or mediator. 

WHY YOU CAN TRUST ME.

If you are going to turn someone to help you in a difficult time you need to be assured that they are both qualified and experienced. So here is some information about me that can help you decide if I am the right person for you. I am :

  • A well qualified coach – I have a Diploma in Performance Coaching from The Coaching Academy and a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychosynthesis and Leadership Coaching from Middlesex University. I regularly take extra courses to learn new skills.
  • Also a qualified family lawyer. I worked as a solicitor, a barrister, a law lecturer and for the last ten years of my legal career as a District Judge specialising in family law. I trained as a mediator and a collaborative lawyer and have written several law books.  You will not have to waste time explaining to me what is going on with your mediation or court case because I understand the system inside out.  I have a law degree from the University of Hull and a Masters degree in Criminology form Cambridge University.
  • I am professional. Coaching is unregulated and it is important to choose someone who has high quality training and who complies with a Code of Ethics and good practice guidelines. I am fully insured and a member of the Association for Coaching and will comply with their Code of Ethics.  As is expected practice, I am in regular supervision which means I have my own coaching with someone more experienced to make sure that I am keeping my skills up to date and that I am giving good service to my clients. 
  • Experienced. I have been providing coaching since 2018 but have been working with people going through family conflicts for over 25 years. I understand that you may need to cry or feel angry or completely numb or may have other strong emotions and you can be completely open in our meetings. I understand the stresses you will face and can support you through them.
  • Respected. Most of my work comes from referrals from mediators, solicitors and barristers who have known me throughout my career. 
  • Discrete. Confidentiality is a key part of our meeting together.
  • Published. I regularly write articles about the emotional and psychological aspects of law. Although I am a lawyer, I can speak in plain English (!) and have written a series of law books for lay people to enable them to understand the basics of family law.
  • Non-judgmental. Although I was a District Judge I am anything but judgmental as a person. I will accept you for who you are whatever your lifestyle, gender, sexuality, race or religion. I will respect and support the choices you make for your own future life.
  • Creative. When I retired early from the Judiciary to coach I was touched that one professional told me that one of the things they most appreciated about me was my ability to find creative solutions to family problems when the barristers had tried all day and failed! I am a writer with a MA in Creative Writing and also an internationally exhibited artist. I bring that creative thinking to my coaching and work with you to help you create your new life and to see new innovative ways of looking at your own situation. 

What are the practicalities?

I will talk to you for free and entirely without any obligation before we work together.  I work in sets of six sessions for coaching to allow you to see progress and put your plans into action.  You can choose sessions of one hour or of ninety minutes duration. a set of six hourly sessions cost £900 and a set of six ninety minute sessions cost £1350.

The sessions are on Zoom which means you do not need to take time to travel to see me. You should feel free to make yourself comfortable with a cup of coffee and a biscuit while you talk to me if you like! Having a pen and paper handy is a good idea so you can take notes.

If I don’t think that my services are right for you or if my lists are full I will try to refer you to someone more suitable.

Payment for the set of sessions is in advance and you can pay with a debit or credit card via a website link I will send you. I do not offer refunds once the coaching has started. Sessions must usually be completed within twelve months. I have an online booking system and you can choose your own appointments and rearrange them via my calendar.  Most of my appointments are during the day but I have limited number of early evening slots, although they tend to go quickly.  I currently see clients every other week and so we will speak either fortnight or monthly as you choose.  

If you are a coaching client (rather than if you are having only a one off emotional readiness session) you will get my contact details and if something arises that cannot wait until our next session you will be able to send messages to me between sessions at no extra cost. If I can deal with your message quickly I will respond as soon as I am able. Please bear in mind, however, that I might be with other clients and not able to respond immediately and also that I never answer messages on Friday afternoons or on Saturdays.  If it requires a longer discussion I will suggest we carry it forward to your next session, that we bring our next session forward if possible or you may wish to book a short extra session. I very much encourage clients to email text or Whats App me if you have good news to share and celebrate between sessions! 

How do I arrange to work with you?

You may either email me or arrange a free 30 minute talk by clicking on the boxes below. That will allow me to check that I offer what you need and that I have availability to take you as a client. It also allows you to decide  whether you wish to work with me. there will be no sales pressure on you at that meeting. I look forward to speaking with you or reading your message!

WHAT I DON’T DO

I do not give legal advice or help you conduct court proceedings. I do not offer services as a McKenzie friend. I am not a therapist. 

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