Separation & Divorce Coach

In BC, approximately 10,000 marriages end in divorce annually.  The current trend in the divorce rate amongst couples aged 45 and older is triple that of several decades ago.  Currently, there are different approaches towards resolving family law disputes which are embedded into the Family Law Act in order to encourage non-adversarial processes.  According to a study by Payne and Payne (2001), 86% of  divorce cases are able to negotiate a settlement.  A collaborative process is when lawyers, counsellors and financial planners work as a team to support clients through the legal, financial, emotional and social aspects of divorce. However, in some situations there may not be an option and clients are faced with going to court.  During this transition, supporting clients with their emotional and psychological distress is beneficial in order to increase clarity on how to proceed.  

​Advanced Training/Certificates

  • Mediation (CLEBC)
  • Parenting Coordinator Training (CLEBC)
  • Family Law for Mental Health Professionals (BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society)
  • Family Violence: Impact on Separation & Divorce (JIBC)


  •  Okanagan Collaborative Family Law Group/Executive Member (2016-2019)
  •  International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (2012 - 2019)
  •  North Fraser Collaborative Family Law Group (2012-2015)

EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

EMDR is an 8 Phase process that may include eye movements, bilateral sounds or tapping, which helps to stimulate the information and allow the brain to reprocess the experience, so that it is not upsetting any more. While you are reprocessing the memory, you may experience intense emotions. The timeline of the 8 Phases in EMDR varies upon an individual's history, trauma and experiences.  EMDR targets the past, current and future upsetting experiences.

Joan Spence

Counselling & Coaching Services Inc

Counselling & Coaching Services

  • Individual Counselling 
  • ​EMDR Therapy
  • ​Life Transition Coach
  • Parent Coach/Child Specialist
  • Child Coach
  • Youth Coach
  • Grief  Coach
  • Relationship Coach
  • Stress Coach
  • Divorce Coach

Student Education Coach

  • Student Learning - Alternative Strategies for Learning 
  • Student Transitions - K-12 and Post Secondary
  • Self-esteem and self identity as a learner


  • The BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (#11873)​
  • EMDR Canada and EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)

Gottman 7PP or BBH Workshops are not currently being offered through my services due to COVID-19

Gottman Seven Principles Program Educator

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the acclaimed culmination of four decades of the research of Dr. John Gottman, made widely available for couples like you who long for better relationships.

Couples who participate in a Seven Principles Program Coaching can expect to learn:

  • ​Deepen your knowledge of one another
  • Build friendship and trust
  • Recognize and respond to bids for emotional connection
  • Be open to influence
  • Understand and work with both solvable and difficult problems
  • Get through gridlocked conflict
  • Create a special “Story of Us”
  • Maintain your relationship


Gottman Bringing Baby Home Program Educator

Bringing Baby Home was developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman; leading experts in the fields of marriage and early parenting. Unlike many other programs, Bringing Baby Home is based on best practices supported by research findings and has been shown to increase the chances that a couple will successfully navigate this stressful period in their relationship.

Couples who participate in a Bringing Baby Home Coaching can expect to learn:

  • How to remain better connected to each other emotionally through the transition to parenthood
  • The importance of co-parenting,
  • Strategies for managing conflict and
  • What the research says about behaviors that are best avoided to ensure a continued strong and thriving relationship. ​