2017 Veterans Stand Down

2017 Veterans Stand Down

williams No Comments
  Announcements

Here is an announcement letter from the Stand Down Executive Director. All Veterans and Veteran Supporters please join us!!!  For more info go to the Stand Down Facebook page.

**************************************

Dear Community Supporter

The 9th Annual Delaware Veterans’ Stand Down event will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017, commencing at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 2:00 p.m., at:

 

Schutte Park

10 Electric Avenue

Dover, Delaware 19901

 

A Veterans’ Stand Down is a one-day outreach event, for all Veterans and their guests.  Agencies and local service providers across the state volunteer to participate and provide critically needed assistance in one convenient location for our veterans.  Services include housing, medical, dental, flu shots, behavioral health, VA eligibility and benefits, haircuts, legal service, hot lunch, warm clothing, employment readiness assistance, camaraderie among fellow veterans and much more!

At last year’s event, we hosted 130 organizations that assisted 1,100 Veterans’ and Guests.  Of the 1,100 attendees, 92 were HOMELESS or at risk for homelessness!  In addition to the services, our Delaware Veterans’ were excited about being served a hot meal.   The Stand Down event is organized, planned, and carried out by a 100% volunteer committee.  The Stand Down is a rollup-your-sleeves-and-serve volunteer event to help those who served our country.

This September, we are expecting at least 1,000 guests to attend the Stand Down event, and we simply can’t do it without the financial support and in kind donations from our community!   We are currently seeking donations to offset event costs; especially the hot meal served.  We hope you will make a generous donation – All donations are tax-deductible and made payable to the ” Delaware Veterans Stand Down.”  Donations may be mailed with the attached form and addressed to the above address.  Every little bit helps and “Thank You” for your consideration and commitment to our Delaware Veterans!

 

Respectfully,

Elizabeth A. Byers-Jiron

Executive Director, Delaware Veterans’ Stand Down

Syllabus for Our Post Relationship, Co Parenting Education Seminar

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Check It Out.

It is tried and tested.  We are on the verge of graduating our first class.  We call it our PRCES seminar (pronounced “Purses.”)  This seems appro pro given the emphasis we place on The Currency of Relationships.  We are here, for the first time, releasing our syllabus that we use for the seminar.  You can download it and present it to your co-parent, your Attorney, or even a Judge.  As we said it worked with a family that was very troubled.  We proved no family is impossible to work with.

**This program will be largely presented by Videoconferencing.  You will need a computer and computer camera.

If interested, call us at 302.235.3048.

Syllabus

To PreRegister complete this interest form.

PRCES Interest Form

This is a form you can use to express interest in our PRCES seminar for Co-Parents.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Education Fund

Ronald Williams-Garcia No Comments
  Announcements Blogs

Abilene Christian University

Friends and family,  I need your help. I need to attend a residency in June, at The Abilene Christian University, in Dallas TX. This is for my academic work in Conflict Resolution. I believe I have been called to help families and people reduce their conflict and to practice what we term Peacemaking.

I took my first class this Winter, at ACU, and completed it with a 96% average. This confirmed my call. In addition, it is exciting to see the faces of the people when I tell them about my Center for A Positive Humanity.

I completed ten years as a Psychotherapist and this was rewarding.  However, I suspect no where as rewarding as getting to use all my education and experiences in a way that serves the children of God.

I need assistance in raising the funds for travel and lodging. A full accounting is available upon request.

I need your help. I need to raise $1600 by June. The residency starts June 25. Please help if you can. No high pressure, just high prayers.

Help spread the word!
To contribute: Abilene Christian University

 

Spring 1 – Negotiation and Mediation Final Grade Report

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After a 10 year gap, I decided to return to Graduate School.  My goal was to tie my Therapy background with my Law background.  What I came up was the Conflict Resolution Consultant.  After researching several schools, I found one where the Faculty was trained by the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law.

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is a nationally ranked program.  Two-thirds of the faculty at Abilene Christian University (ACU) were trained at the Straus Institute.  In other words, I can get a Straus education without paying the 42K that program requires.

The flagship class at Abilene Christian University is the Negotiation and Mediation class.  It is the only class in the program that offers six graduate credits.

My goal is to earn the credentials of the Alternative Dispute Resolution professional.  I have the experience but I thought I need the ticket.  ACU offers a Masters degree.  However, with two Masters, I did not think I need another.  So I am completing the Graduate Certificate Program (http://bit.ly/2ndXeaf).  I will take all the same classes as the Master candidates.

I am on a roll.  I may not have the money to complete the program.  However, I am hoping for help from my friends and supporters.  A fundraiser may be in the works.

Imagine the work I can for the Kingdom of God.  A Christian Peacemaker in the making and I am on a roll.  Check out this grade report.  Final GPA 96%grades

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

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In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you

I Thessalonians 5:18

 

On this Thanksgiving, I just wanted to give thanks to God, to my family, to my friends, and to my supporters.  This has been an especially blessed year.

Last January, I met Mr. Frank Leo, Meridian Bank, he promised to get me into a house that I would own.  He introduced me to Cashea Kelly and Shonda Kelly, Keller Williams Realty.  The three endured a very trying time with me.  However, at the end they put me into a very beautiful home.  I am very thankful.

I used to not like lawyers very much, even though I am an Attorney.  However, lawyers do help people.  Perhaps this was made most clear by Ms. Barbara Broadway, Esq.

In September I left my job with the government.  I was filled with anxiety and fear for the future.  I was sure my house would be in jeopardy.  However, more friends would come forth.  First, Dr. Gitlin, at the Veterans Administration, reminded me I was eligible for additional government benefits.  I immediately applied for SSI.  Then I met with Abe Velez, at the DAV.  Abe helped me file for increased VA compensation for my disabilities.

Between these two sources of income, I should be ok.  The blessings continued.

I ran into snags at the SSI.  I called Mrs. Dot and Judge Stanley Smallwood.  Dot would do her thing and a day later I was being called by the SSA.  I received my first SSI check yesterday.  It will pay my mortgage for the rest of my life. God, Dot, and the SSI saved my house.

Emotionally through all these changes, I was supported by MSGT James Toland, who is also a US Marshal.  I would have had a much harder time without Jimmy.  He has been phenomenal.

I am now spending my days planning and advancing the career for which I believe God was preparing me.  On Tuesday, I preached a sermon called, “Be A Peacemaker.”  That is what I am doing.  I am God’s peacemaker.  Thanks to Mr. Gary Dawkins, a long-term friend, for helping me with this.

Helping with this endeavor is the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce.  Through the Chamber I am networking in a significant way.  Imagine an introvert, with a general feeling of inferiority, out there actively networking.

Then I met Pastor Clarence Patterson a friend who is encouraging and supporting me along the way.

I am truly blessed.

God has placed these wonderful people in my life.  He is a promise keeper.  He has sheltered me and protected me.  He is faithful if you put your faith in Him.  I keep asking, “where would I be without my God in my life”?  My new Pastor, Reverend Earl Fowlkes, has been reminding me of this as well.

For sure there have been troubled times as well.  But at the end of every storm was a rainbow and I thank God.

Perhaps my greatest blessing is I still have my parents.  My mother has been my rock and I am so thankful and grateful.  More, I have my Magai.  Without my Magai, I would not be here today.  Every day I am greeted with a kiss and enter a new day of unconditional love.

My friends, God is not a respecter of persons.  What He has done for me, He will surely do for you.  He is ready, willing, and ABLE.  Yes, my God is ABLE.  All you need do is invite Him into your life.  Let Him take residence in your heart and mind.  Learn to trust Him and love Him.  Then watch what He will do.  He is a way-maker.  All we need do is work with God.  Read, recite, and believe Romans 10:9-10, that is all it takes.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:9 – 10

 

If you are still not sure, call me at 302.480.4940.  Together we will enter your new life in Christ and the beginning of your everlasting life.

God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving.  My prayers are with you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Currency of Relationships

williams No Comments
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Golden currency symbols isolated on white with clipping path

The Constants

In any relationship there is the presence of two constants.  The first is the concept of quid pro quo. This is a Latin term meaning “something for something.”  In a more common understanding it simply means a barter for an exchange.

Quid pro quo in its simplest form is no more than the common exchange of “good morning.”  Party A extends this greeting and the return is Party B saying, “yes, good morning”.  This is an exchange and it began with what we call a common courtesy.  Of course, quid pro quo can be far more complex than this.  My only point is every relationship has the constant of quid pro quo.

A Barter for an Exchange

Now some may ask where is the barter in that example?  Well, barter is defined as the action or system of exchanging goods or services without using money. Some definitions use the word commodities instead of the word services.  A commodity is something of great value.  Who can argue common courtesy is not something of great value?

So yes, every relationship has a constant of quid pro quo.  Now one may say “I do what I do with no expectation of return”.  That is not quite honest.  The expectation, in this instance, is your actions will bring a visible and sincere joy to another.  There is the exchange, your actions bring joy to another.  You in return get to see the other’s joy.  It becomes even better when the other demonstrates their appreciation.

The Other Constant

Which brings us to the other constant.  That is reciprocity. Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for a mutual benefit. In other words, I do for others with the understanding that later in time they will do for me.

Now do not confuse this.  We do not do for others always with a hidden agenda or motive.  Often we do what we do out of kindness. However, the act of kindness towards others often motivates the desire to do for you.  That is how we come to the phrase, “I owe you one.”

So Why Currency?

So what does all this have to do with currency?  Currency, or money, is simply a symbol of the constants above. However, I would submit currency is more than a symbol.,. It is a phenomenon.

We accumulate currency so that when we need something we have something to offer for what we need.  It is that simple!  It works the same in relationships.  We accumulate currency by doling deeds for or giving desirable objects to another.  One very desirable object is appreciation and or gratitude.  Gratitude expressed through an attitude of thankfulness.  If we practice this, we are building currency.

With sufficient currency we can often get what we need or even want.  So the idea is to make frequent deposits so that when we need to make a withdraw we have currency available.

Conflict and Currency

I have clients that are in conflict with each other.  Conflict places burdens on the constants.  When one is in conflict it mitigates against the free flow of currency.  It replaces the constants with a concept called Entitlement.  Entitlement is the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges).  There is no need for reciprocity or even quid pro quo. This idea of entitlement often exists whether merited or not.  Hence, giving way to the cycle of conflict.

Conclusion

My suggestion!  Think of your checking account.  You deposit currency so when necessary you can make withdraws.  No deposits, no available currency.  Then just when you want, or need it, the most, instead you get that dreaded Notice of Insufficient Funds.

That is the currency of relationships.

 

 

6822448-3x2-700x4671

 

 

 

My How Far We Have Come

williams No Comments
  Announcements Uncategorized

forfamilies1When I went through a family dissolution about twenty-six years ago it was a real mess.  My ex was a Deputy Attorney General (PA) and I was a Family Law practitioner.  We fought like arch enemies – we were.  It was amazing.  Just a few years before we had promised, before God, to love one until death do we part.  Now here we were using every dirty trick we learned as Attorneys on each other just to gain what?

But What About the Children

Perhaps an even greater tragedy was there was an innocent child involved.  The child was relegated to the status of a favorite painting.  Never once did we give way to the best interests of the child.  This went on for seven years.  We subjected our child to a series of indignities at a very tender age of twenty-four months.  Our only care was to hurt each other.

You Would Think

You would think the Attorneys would reign us in.  The reality was we were an Attorney gold mine.  Imagine billing at $200 an hour for two Attorneys dead set on destroying each other.  No less than six Attorneys eagerly jumped into this matter just to get a piece of the pie.  Looking back, it was ridiculous.  We each wound up with no less than $85,000 in Attorney bills.  For what?  Life went on, our child became a man, and we wasted what could have been a significant contribution to his college costs.

Turning the Hands Ahead

Fast forward time to the year 2000.  Now there are a number of programs dedicated to help high conflict families.  Yes, there are still families like ours only now we have some new tools.  

One such tool is the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program.  According to the National CASA program they are; volunteers appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

While CASA is not necessarily a Family Law specific program, the value of a CASA volunteer in a high conflict family, that gives little regard to the children, cannot be understated.

Another very exciting program is called Parent Coordination.  According to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Parent Coordination performs the following,

Parenting coordination is a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process in which a mental health or legal professional with mediation training and experience assists high conflict parents to implement their parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of their disputes in a timely manner, educating parents about children’s needs, and with prior approval of the parties and/or the court, making decisions within the scope of the court order or appointment contract.

The overall objective of parenting coordination is to assist high conflict parents to implement their parenting plan, to monitor compliance with the details of the plan, to resolve conflicts regarding their children and the parenting plan in a timely manner, and to protect and sustain safe, healthy and meaningful parent-child relationships. (AFCC, 2005)

Imagine, now the Court can appoint a trained professional, often possessing legal and/or mental health training and education, to do what Attorneys will not and Courts cannot.  That is to assist the family to focus on the needs of the child.  These professionals can teach parents how to make better decisions in regards to their children.  They can help parents reduce the destructive conflict that can be multigenerational and can have intergenerational implications.  Perhaps the greatest advantage is it reduces the financial burdens on families that are often at their financial low.  Parent Coordinators can help the family move ahead when it is easy to get stuck in the cycle of vitriolic litigation.

Always a Critic

As one should expect Parent Coordination is not without critics.  One article entitled, Parenting Coordination Issues – Pros and Cons. Parenting Coordination is a Bad Idea, Why: (The Liz Library, 2009), presents the most frequently raised objections.  Many of the arguments in this article border on the absurd.  Anyone who has experienced a family dissolution knows these assertions are without merit.

However, as an Attorney, I understand the reaction of many bar associations.  It is not unlike the reaction of the National Association of Social Workers when states began to offer licenses to other types of Mental Health Providers.  They are simply not comfortable with other professionals offering viable alternatives at often a lower cost.

The question remains, however, what is better for the family?

We also Have Supporters

One of the staunchest supporters of Parent Coordination is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).  The AFCC is the premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.  AFCC members are the leading practitioners, researchers, teachers and policymakers in the family court arena.  AFCC members include;

Judges, Lawyers, Mediators, Court Commissioners Court Administrators

Psychologists, Researchers, Academics, Psychiatrists, Counselors, Social Workers

Custody Evaluators, Parenting Coordinators, Parent Educators

Financial Professionals

Together they write, Parenting coordination is appropriate for high conflict cases dealing with child-related issues, such as when  (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2011);

 

  • there is a high rate of litigation, especially concerning the implementation of a custody order or parenting plan;
  • mediation has not been successful or has been deemed inappropriate;
  • parents need assistance developing, modifying or implementing their parenting plan;
  • parents have difficulty communicating information about their child’s welfare;
  • parenting are unable to agree on substantive issues concerning their child;
  • there are complex child-related or family issues that require intensive case managing; and
  • parents can afford to pay for the parenting coordinator’s services or the services can be provided at no expense.

 

More, to insure Parent Coordination remains a viable program and to address some of the criticisms of the Parent Coordination Process, the AFCC has proposed model guidelines for Parent Coordinators.  In the preamble they write.

The purpose of these Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (“Guidelines”) is to provide: 1. detailed guidelines of practice for PCs; 2. guidelines for PCs regarding their ethical obligations and conduct; 3. qualifications for PCs, including relevant education, training and experience; 4. assistance to jurisdictions that are implementing parenting coordination programs by providing guidelines of practice that they can adopt; and 5. assistance to jurisdictions, professional organizations, educational institutions and professionals in the development and implementation of parenting coordination programs.

In Conclusion

In February 2013, a man entered the New Castle County Courthouse in Delaware.  There he proceeded to murder two young women and wound two Delaware Police Officers.  He was ultimately killed by the Police that morning.  It turns out the gunman was the father in law of one of the murdered women.  They were all on the way to a Family Court proceeding.

A few years earlier, 2005, a Family Court Judge was shot and wounded in a Nevada Courthouse as he stood near an open window.  The accused shooter was alleged to be a litigant before this Judge.

Again in 2005, a Judge was murdered in an Atlanta Courthouse.  Perhaps most noteworthy were comments from a Georgia Attorney that said,

You’re dealing with people who are not happy with something and have sued someone or are potentially facing jail or are fighting over custody of children, the kind of things that bring out the raw emotions that can cause problems,” (emphasis added).

Finally,

I would be surprised if a judge doing criminal cases, or family-law cases, or certain civil cases, hadn’t had somebody make a threat against them,” Judge Gayle Nachtigal, president of the American Judges Association”.

All that can be said is if these cases are producing this sort of public violence against our Judges and Police Officers, we have to acknowledge there is something fundamentally wrong in the way we are handling these matters.

These are not isolated, unusual, incidents. Rather this is a very real reality in how the system is currently addressing the reshaping of our families and the consequences thereof.

This should clearly tell us the status quo is not working.  What do we have to lose by trying new approaches.  Especially new approaches designed expressly for the purpose of working with high conflict families.

_______________________

Bibliography

AFCC. (2005). Guidelines for Parent Coordination. Retrieved from Association of Family and Conciliation Courts: http://www.afccnet.org/Portals/0/AFCCGuidelinesforParentingcoordinationnew.pdf

Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. (2011). Understanding the Parent Coordination Process. Retrieved from Association of Family and Concilition Courts: http://www.afccnet.org/resource-center/resources-for-families/pamphlet-information/categoryid/1/productid/10

The Liz Library. (2009). PARENTING COORDINATION issues – pros and cons . Retrieved from Liz Library: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/parenting-coordination/parenting-coordination.html

 

 

 

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