Leland Clipperton

Monday, August 13, 2012


Marital Separation is often the most difficult and challenging time in a person's life...  Help is Here!

Are you or someone you know going through a separation? This is often a confusing and stressful time...

Most people in this situation have many questions and are concerned about going through the process in an economical, timely and respectful manner.
Questions like, What about the children?, Who gets what?, What about support? What do we tell the kids?... need to be answered.

Couples often want help to resolve their differences in a respectful manner as quickly as possible so that you can move forward with your lives. Most people don't want this to take a long time, go to court, or spend a lot of money.
Mediation is the best way to help you resolve your questions through assisted negotiation. As a neutral third party, I help you develop a solution, called the settlement agreement, which you will both support.
This agreement is far more likely to continue to be supported as it has been developed by you. The mediation sessions are private, flexible and informal.

A major concern when working with couples separating is the effect that your separation can have on your children. Even though people may choose to not be married, they do not choose to divorce their children and often need help in re-forming their relationship from a marriage to being co-parents. I will help you with developing an appropriate parenting plan and work on your parenting relationship.

Benefits of mediation are:

1. Where children are involved, the focus is kept on the best interests of your children, to develop an effective plan for the children involved.
2. The ability to resolve issues in a way that suits you and enables you to directly affect the outcome.
3. An opportunity to speak directly to the other person about issues of concern in a neutral and safe environment.
4. An opportunity to learn skills for better communication and cooperative problem solving for the future.
5. Often more cost effective, less time consuming and simpler than court processes.
6. Can reduce tensions and alleviate an adversarial atmosphere.
7. The process is private and confidential.

Mediation promotes open and respectful communication. The process allows you to examine your interests and concerns, explore a variety of creative options and develop your own solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner. Issues of co-parenting, asset division, spousal support, child support and blended families will be addressed as required.

Separation Counselling

I also provide counselling to support those people who are going through this process who may be using an alternative to mediation. It’s often helpful to speak with an objective, non-judgmental person.

If you know of someone who may be going through a family breakdown, have them call or email me to set up an appointment.

There is more information available on my web site as well as other helpful links. Just click on the web site link below. I have been educated and trained through York University (Alternative Dispute Resolution), George Brown College (Counselling) and the Ontario Association of Family Mediators (The Mediation Centre) and have conducted mediations for over 20 years
(705) 999-2107
(905) 510-9117

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

12 Steps to True Happiness

Happiness seems to be an elusive and yet desired state for many. People want to be happy as a direct result of being/feeling unhappy... they may feel that something is missing in their lives or that things are going wrong. Remember my old question... if you don't have what you want in your life, why not?

The following are steps to follow which will help you find the happiness you seek:

1. Write down what you are unhappy about. This will help clarify what's important to you and how you describe your personal happiness. Each item on your list needs to be addressed differently than you have previously or else you'll likely keep getting a similar result.

2. Recognize that you have, in some way, contributed to your unhappiness and can therefore do the same to contribute to your happiness! We don't make ourselves unhappy on purpose... so we need to make a conscious effort to contribute to changing that.

3. Make a decision to be happy. You need to allow for room in your mind to believe that you can and will make things different in your life.

4. Develop a daily plan and write it down with a clear objective to achieve your daily goals. It takes time and effort to create a thought change... creating and being committed to a behavioural change is something you can do, sometimes in spite of how you feel... like going to the gym or taking a walk. Create some momentum with your plan. It is true that the more you do something, the easier it gets to do it.

5. Our bodies are chemical factories and are meant to function in a certain way. Be aware of what you are putting into and change what you need to in order to optimize its appropriate operation. For most people minimizing carbs, sugars and fats will help. Talk to a holistic nutritionist and read up on what's recommended for you. What we put into our bodies can directly effect mood, energy, motivation, focus and commitment.

6. As our bodies need to be fed properly, they also need to be exercised. Our bodies are designed to move... this does not mean you need to be a marathon runner... start by going for daily brisk walks, doing some stretching, etc. Do something you enjoy doing... that makes it easier to NOT do it!

7. Check your attitude... Write what where your thoughts typically lead you. Are they positive, negative, neutral???? Work on making your approach more positive first by being aware of the thoughts you are having, then interfering with what is your normal process by consciously focusing on a more beneficial thought.

8. Be grateful. There is always something you can be grateful for. Write them down and refer to them at times when you need to be interfering with an ungrateful or "poor me" time.

9. Develop a support group of friends. People who you can comfortably spend time with and ask for feedback on questions, enjoy activities with and laugh with.

10. Smile more, whistle, skip, laugh... Provide yourself with experiences of happiness.

11. Forgive others and yourself for all the harms that have be done. We are all just walking through our lives trying to do what we think (or have been taught) we should do. The biggest crime we may commit typically is thoughtlessness. Forgiveness stills the heart and quiets the mind.

12. Get help. It is normal that any change is difficult and challenging. Having professional help will speed up your progress and help you look at areas you may be more reluctant to look at yourself as well as providing accountability and support.

Happiness is within your grasp. Reach out to find it.

Until later,

Leland Clipperton
705 999-2107
905 510-9117

Saturday, May 12, 2012

12 Reasons Why Mediation Works

Mediation is a process where a neutral, unbiased person (the mediator) assists the parties in dispute to negotiate a mutual, supportable resolution that  they have had challenges doing themselves. It is very effective for marital separations.

The following are ten reasons why you should consider mediation (also known as alternative dispute resolution or A.D.R.) as part of your separation process.

1. The process is private and confidential. The only information others need to have is put into the resultant settlement agreement.

2. The issues are discussed and decisions made by you, together. Isn't it better that you have input into your own settlement rather than being told by lawyers, judge or well-intentioned family members or friends?

3. Where children are involved, the focus is kept on the best interests of the children, to develop an effective plan for the children involved. 

4. Mediation is typically much faster than going through litigation.

5. An opportunity to speak directly to the other person about your issues in a neutral and safe environment.

6. You will learn skills to develop improved communication and cooperative problem solving for the future. This is particularly useful when you have children and need to continue your relationship as parents

7. Often more cost effective and simpler than a court process.

8. Can reduce tensions and alleviate an adversarial atmosphere by encouraging a mutual process.

9. Experience has shown that settlements reached through mediation are far more likely to be supported by both parties than those reached through an adversarial battle. It is an agreement that you have developed together

10. Mediation promotes open and respectful communication.

11. The process allows the parties in dispute to explore their interests and concerns and look at a variety of creative options.

12. Issues of co-parenting, asset division, support and any other issues will be appropriately addressed as required.

When your mediation is complete, a settlement agreement will be prepared for your review so that each will have a clear understanding and record of your agreements created during mediation.

If you know someone who could benefit from mediation or have questions, just call or email for more information.

Until later,
705 999-2107 (office)
906 510-9117 (cell)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Your Mind is a Projector

We all project our hidden, underlying beliefs into the world. It is a form of a psychological defense mechanism which exists to relieve anxiety caused by those beliefs.

An example of this is when we blame someone else for a perception of failure, inadequacy or incompetence. This way, we avoid the discomfort of being consciously aware of our belief in a "self-fault" by keeping those feelings unconscious and  deflecting responsibility to another person.

Our mind is the projector... the world is our screen!

You may see how this can be a major issue in relationships... each person projecting their "faults" onto the other! ... and we believe what we are projecting really is the other person's issue!

Then we gather experiential evidence to justify the projection... often to the inevitable end of separation in the relationship. Because it really is the other person that is the problem!
So we may think...

This is not evident to the individual, but is usually evident to a therapist. It is impossible to be objective about the function of our own minds. We cannot see what we are denying.

There are methods that can help. To start with, write down issues you believe others have that disturb you.  A "what I don't like about you is" list. Like it or not, many of those issues are evident because of your own sensitivities, often coming from your own underlying beliefs.

This is a process... it takes times working with a professional to sort through the process...Remember, your projection and denial will be kicking and screaming to stop the process... which is why you need to take your time and work with someone who knows what they're doing...

The process brings awareness, understanding and relief. You will have other options open up for you and this changes your life!

Until later,
705 999-2107
905 510-9117

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

12 Reasons To Get Online Counselling

Why Online Counselling Works

1. Easy to contact. Just email, call or text. (see below) 
2. Easy to book. Appointments booked within 24 hours.

3. Easy scheduling.  Book at times that work for you.

4. Getting help is easier. People who may have a social
     stigma, fears, anxiety, depression or other concerns 
     may not have reached out before now.

5. Convenient. You can have your appointment without leaving your home, office or hotel
     room using Skype, phone or messaging.

6. Transportation challenges are not a concern - No travel time, gas expense or weather

7. Confidential. You conduct your appointments in private, whether at home, office or on the

8. Easy payment. Made by a secured email money transfer.

9. There are no geographical boundaries. Clients can be anywhere in the world. Internet access
     is all that's required.

10. No physical challenges. Clients with physical or mobility challenges can easily access help.

11. Remote areas. Clients that live in more remote areas can access help that may not otherwise
      be available.

 12. Online counselling costs less. Sessions are $45 for half an hour and $85 per hour.

Find out yourself about the convenience of online therapy today. Book your appointment for more information. Others have found it convenient and beneficial.

Leland Clipperton, H.S.C.

www.CounsellingndMediation.com                 705-999-2107 (office)
www.lelandclipperton.blogspot.com               905-510-9117 (cell)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Choose your focus!

I've written previously on the importance of conscious choice and this information is very helpful in supporting why it's so important.
It's like we are watching a show or movie on tv that we don't like or aren't interested in...

What can we do? Change the channel!

You can choose what to focus on. What we focus on becomes our life...


Until later,
705 999 2107
905 510 9177

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pre-Marital Counselling


Marriages are still failing at alarming rates!
Getting married is a decision that effects your whole life and should be considered carefully and thoughtfully. Attending my pre-marital program will allow you to better understand your relationship by developing a practical plan which is specific to the two of you, based soley on your mutual needs and wants.
Find out how to get the love you want! You can use your mutual vision for your vows and the rest of your life.
Spend 4 hours creating a marriage manual that works… well worth it for a lifetime committment! Call or email today to set a personal appointment.
Until later,
705 999 2107 (office)
905 510 9117 (mobile)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Silent Killer - Depression

I was asked recently to provide CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for a client with depression by her psychiatrist... which prompted considerable thought and discussion. I do not believe that, for the most part, depression is something that you can out-think! In fact, believing this can cause more problems and collude with the belief that there is "something wrong with me", "there's no hope", "it's not worth it" and "why bother, nothing will work".
To me, using CBT for depression is like using it for diabetes... There is however, a place for CBT in helping people increase their awareness and understanding of their depression and assisting in their recovery.

There remains considerable mis-information regarding what depression is, it's cause and it's "cure". 

The more I work with people who suffer from depression, the more I seem to realize that it is often more genetic than circumstantial. Most clients have already attempted to manage or deal with their quiet suffering, to no avail. Providing them with yet another list of to do's to "correct" the problem can only add to their belief. Essentially, depression contributes to the "why bother" mantra that rings constantly, regardless of effort or method... which leads me to the conclusion that for some, in spite of their best efforts and knowledge and intelligence, when depression hasn't been "corrected" there must be another reason. People don't ask for this condition!

The exact cause of depression is not known. Many research clinicians believe it is caused by a chemical imbalance in neurotransmitters in the brain. This can be further exacerbated by traumatic life events. Most people feel the need to place external fault on their depression. i.e. it's because I lost my job, I'm over-sensitive, my marriage broke up, my Dad died, etc. ....
Some types of depression run in families. But depression can also occur if you have no family history of the illness. Anyone can develop depression, even kids.

Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you.
People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.

Symptoms of depression can include:
  • Lack of motivation
  • Sense of apathy
  • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability (anxiety is often experienced with depression)
  • Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss or appetite
  • Very difficult to concentrate and focus
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
  • Becoming withdrawn or isolated
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.
If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.

What we do know is that depression is very serious and it is, in most cases, not self-correctable! The obvious behaviours that may help are attempting to bring your body back into stasis through proper nutrition, exercise and sleep... having challenges with this is normal... Being able to create a " thought buffer" around your depression is also helpful... understanding it as a chemical imbalance, not part of your who you are or your self-identity.

This may provide you with an ability to provide yourself with options in how you see yourself or a particular situation...

These are management techniques, not corrections.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty with depression, contact me or another specialist to discuss this more. Do not dismay, there are alternatives. You do not have to continue to suffer!

Until later,

705 999 2107 (office)
905 510 9117 (iphone)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Doing Good... Doing Harm?

None of us want to believe that we would consciously do ourselves harm... in fact, consciously we often focus on the opposite! We want to create positive things in our life. And yet, sometimes harm seems to occur seemingly in spite of our good efforts!

When we receive information or feedback that is disturbing in some way it is often an indicator that requires further exploration...

Yes, while it remains important to provide ourselves with options in how we respond to situations that are undesirable and to make appropriate informed decisions, it is also an opportunity to look further... to explore what we may be contributing to creating the events of our lives or our responses to those events...

Until later,
705 999 2107 office
905 510 9117 iphone

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Identical DNA!

Fascinating article about some of the genetic history of humans!
As much as our egos would have us believe we're different... we're really not!

Until later,
705 999 2107 (office)
905 510 9117 (iphone)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

20 Ways To Improve Your Relationship

It seems to be a kind of insanity to believe that the person in your life that you care about the most can be the most threatening... in a visceral, defensive, hurtful, angry way. It doesn't make sense... really, that they would wake up in the morning thinking of ways to get you that day...

and yet, we all can have that gut-wrenching feeling that indicates that that is happening... and then the conflict or struggles begin. We go off into defensiveness and out comes the "you always", "you never", comments or the "ya but you" or "you're not listening" or "you don't get me".... all of these reactions implying an attack of some kind that requires a defensive response rather than asking the basic question. "why is this person saying this?".

Here are some ways to address the frailties of a relationship and build strength and connection...

1. Remember that we are connected and if we're not experiencing that, we need to look within.

2. Cheer lead each other... be kind, supportive and encouraging.

3. Learn to communicate differently with each other... start by asking questions, not stating opinions or trying to be right all the time.

4. Know that if you've made it wrong... you can make it right!

5. Stop repeating the same behaviour, expecting different results.

6. Stop blaming the other person... be more accountable for your part.

7. Learn to compromise... being assertive is helpful in accomplishing this rather than a passive (I give up/in) or aggressive (I always am right) approach.

8. Make your relationship a priority.

9. Make the other person feel special.

10. Find out what's important to them and support that.

11. Mutually develop goals and plan to get them accomplished.

12. Try something new together.

13. Develop a common financial plan and budget.

14. Demonstrate respect for each other.

15. Play with each other.

16. Have a regular date night.

17. Maintain physical connection through touching , caressing, lovemaking.

18. Be curious about each other.

19. Focus on what you enjoy about each other.

20. Get help when you need more information or are experiencing difficulties...
if you don't have what you think you want, you probably need help getting it!

Until later,

Leland Clipperton
705 999-2107
905 510-9117

Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

28 Ideas To Get Started

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Surround yourself with the right people. It certainly makes sense that we are influenced by those people that we surround ourselves with. Remember, we have a choice who those people are!  Choose your friends, not the other way around! Choose supportive, encouraging, honest people who will standby you... for better or worse. People who will gently guide you when you may be off track and encourage you to celebrate when you are on track.  

Face your problems.  Problems are the most likely to present the best opportunity to learn the most about yourself and how to develop discipline, courage and confidence.  It is only our perception (misperception) that tells us that a task is too difficult, too hard, we don't have time, we're too tired, there's no point... etc.  In most cases we contribute to the creation of the problems we face in the first place... Start with the decision that you're going to tackle one thing... find a solution, create a plan with a timeline attached, create some accountability with someone else, and implement your resolution.... in spite of the messages in your head that will be telling you to stop!  The idea is to build confidence and discipline that you can change your life in small steps.

Tell yourself the truth... and listen!  We all, in some ways, portray an image in our world, however, we also have that little voice in our heads that knows (and believes) our perception of the truth. There is a huge benefit to being aware of and understanding our own truth. You may feel like you're lying to everyone in the world, but don't lie to yourself.  Have a look in the mirror, particularly when you feel the world is out to get you... that you are being victimized in some manner. Be self-honest first!

Identify, clarify and put your needs first.  Stop pretending that you are doing things for someone else. If you feel you are, are you getting the results you're looking for? When you identify your real needs it will help determine what your motivations are... and help create the result you want. Even when doing for others selflessly, we gain the benefit of feeling good about ourselves.

Be who you are.  Everyone I have worked with thinks that they physically have some part of their body that is too big or too small or in the wrong place! There will always be others who are better looking, not as good looking, smarter, not as smart... Our ego's job is to differentiate one from another and this is partially accomplished through focusing on differences. When we compare, we are often looking for more negative evidence to support our existing belief, that somehow we don't measure up. Our real job is to be the absolute best person we believe we can be, not to be a clone of someone else.

Live in the present. Now is the only time we can do anything about changing our lives, not in the past nor in the future. If you find you are re-living the past or dreaming about the future, make that thought present so that you can do something about it. We are constantly writing our futures by what we do right now!

Learn from mistakes.  Yes, mistakes are normal, however, please understand the nature of "mistakes". Most people make decisions based on information and experience they have at the time they make their decision... what appears to make it a mistake is more often information that is acquired following the point of decision. Get into the practice of "thinking through" your decisions to guestimate potential outcomes... Is there more information that would be helpful in your decision? Our goal is to make informed decisions and not minimize or negate information that may help us accomplish that. Every mistake we seem to make is an indication that there is additional information we need to pay attention to next time

Be kind to yourself.  When things happen in your life that feel uncomfortable, learn to be accountable for your part (easier said than done) rather than beating yourself up or adding to your list of evidence to justify an underlying (or not so underlying) belief, identify your regret... your struggle... your mistake.... Be aware of the messages you play in your head... what channel are you watching?

Be grateful. A sense of peace comes with gratitude... being ok where we are at this point in time... There is always something we can find to be grateful about. What truly brings us joy is more often free... love, laughter, connection with others... This sense cannot be bought or falsified by temporary measures. Find what you can be grateful for, don't just make something up... make it real, then write it down... accumulate your personal list to remind yourself at times when you may not be feeling so grateful.

Be happy. (Don't worry) Happiness is a one person job. Others do not have the power to provide you with happiness nor do you have that same power. The psychological state of happiness comes primarily from making a decision to be happy... then there is more tendency to notice and focus on gathering evidence to be happy. We've heard it... happiness is an inside job. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

Be active. Start being proactive in your own life, not waiting for someone else to motivate you. Make an informed decision about what you want to do, consider your decision, make your plan and stick to it. Taking small steps is important. You don't want to overwhelm yourself and then have a reason to not move forward.

Thinking that you're ready.  There is often never an opportune time to start something new.  Everything begins and ends with a thought... which is a good thing... it means that we can always do something... even if it means stepping outside of what you're familiar with.

Choose the kind of relationships you want. Be conscious of suitability, compatibility and joy.  Just because someone seems to want to be with you, doesn't mean that you need to be with them.

Be open to new relationships. You never know, the person you've just met, could be your best friend (or spouse). Relationships reflect our inner projections and we need to be willing to risk new ones. It's an ongoing learning process.  

Life isn't a competition. Focus on being the best you can be... trust me... you'll know. Challenge yourself to continue to grow without comparison to others. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

Be forgiving. Forgiveness is not condoning another's hurtful behaviour, it is so that we may remind ourselves that sometimes people are inconsiderate, thoughtless, etc. It is a process of specifically identifying a wrong and through forgiveness, enabling yourself to not carry the hurt. There is a saying... if you are prepared to shoot a person, dig two graves... Remember to forgive yourself! We are always participants in our lives.

Maintain a positive standard. Be who you are without the need to measure up to or down to someone else's level. You do not need to accommodate another's standard.

Watch your need to explain. There is no need to be reactive in the attempt to defend a behaviour statement or position.  You have probably found that it really doesn't do any good anyway.  If you feel a need to defend yourself, it indicates a sensitivity that you could work on in a different way.

Take a break. If you find yourself trying the same thing and expecting a different result... take a break. You will likely be getting the same result as before... and perhaps blaming or finding fault with someone else as the cause. Taking a break will help you reposition yourself, give yourself a different perspective.

Smell the roses. Enjoying the life journey as you move through it is important. Don't miss a child's smile because you're busy being angry about something. It is the accumulation of small things that we remember.

Progress, not perfection. Perfection is an ideal that is often a moving target and unachievable. Reward yourself for the small steps that you are accomplishing and be mindful f the need to use the lack of perfection as a reason to not do something.

Challenge your challenge. Our resistance to do something different is an indication of our sensitivities. We will think that it's too hard, I don't have time, too tired, other things to do, won't work... whatever! Our sense of accomplishment is often directly relative to the resistance to do something. Taking the "right" way can feel like using a machete to hack your way through the jungle as opposed to taking the autobahn freeway with n speed limit and no traffic. Be extra-ordinary. Step outside of what seems familiar to you.

Be real. Assume that whatever is on your mind is there for a reason and needs attention and further thought. If you're upset or off balance about something... pay attention to that. There are no bad or good feelings, there are only indicators.

You are responsible. None of us have strings attached, controlling our movements and thoughts. There isn't anyone else living in our heads. Like it or not, in the end, we are individually responsible for our lives. Being responsible means not blaming or finding the external cause. This does not mean that we cause ourselves harm consciously... but that we are fully responsible for the conscious directions our lives take.

Pace yourself. Watch the tendency to contribute to your overwhelm. Continuing to add more than you can chew will not end well.  You really can only do so much and have so much time...

Plan ahead. Procrastination is usually not about whether we're going to do something or not... it's adding concern and stress by listening to the reasons (excuses) to not do something. If you're worried or thinking about something repeatedly, write it down with a timeline... not a "to do" list.

Focus on what you want to happen. If you find yourself drawn away by your focus, take note of what that is and then bring yourself back to your focus. Practicing this will create a different level of self discipline.  Welcome your day with your focus!

Seek help. Most of us run into roadblocks from time to time that make it difficult to move forward on our own Call for help and be open to the help you ask for.

Until later,




705-999-2107 (office)

905-510-9117 (iphone)

skype - counsellingandmediation

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Federal Child Support Guidelines

The Federal Department of Justice announced changes to Federal Child Support Guideline Tables, effective Dec. 31, 2011. The following link will help provide more info for you. 

Until later,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year?

Happy New Year!
This is a common sentiment heard by many over the last 6 days. It signifies a marker in time... in our history... that we metaphorically begin... again! An opportunity to make desired change in your life!

Are there issues or concerns that you need to be addressing? Things that you have been procrastinating? Not sure of how to approach this new year?

I am aware of two truths... when what I'm thinking isn't creating the desired result or outcome, I know that I have to do something different! But... why haven't I already done something different? There is often a significant block indicated by this that needs to be identified in order to move forward with the "something different". It is often a result of a fear of some kind that seems to impair our ability to create a different outcome.

This year why not vow to yourself to find out what that may be? Make creating a new plan easier...

We have the most say in what will happen in our individual lives this year (as always)... being specifically pro-active and dealing with those reasons and justifications that may crop up in your minds differently will help.

Learn to accomplish more of what you want by finding out why you may not have done that before... I can help you get there. Don't wait! only 359 days until next year!

Imagine what you can do in a year!

Until later,
705 999-2107 (office)
905 510-9117 (iphone)