New York Association of Collaborative Professionals
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2023.11.30 NYACP Annual Business Meeting and Training
Thursday, November 30, 2023, 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM EDT
Category: Events

Keeping You on Top: Avoiding the Collaborative Avalanche
Presented by Dr. Deborah Gilman

Moderators: Nancy Kaye, CFP, CDFA, RIA and Melissa Goodstein, Esq.

Thursday, November 30, 2023
Brae Burn Country Club
39 Brae Burn Dr, Purchase, NY 10577



Continental Breakfast ~ Business Meeting ~ Networking Lunch ~ Professional Training ~ Evening Reception

CLE and CFP Credits will be available by NYACP
CE Credits for Mental Health Professionals via FamilyKind
FamilyKind is an approved NYS provider of Continuing Education Credits for Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Psychologists


NYACP Business and Membership Meeting

Keeping You on Top: Avoiding the Collaborative Avalanche

In nature and in Collaborative Law, there are few things scarier than an avalanche! With the growing Collaborative Law movement, more and more couples head out of the traditional boundaries of court in search of a process that supports their unique needs. In the Collaborative “backcountry”, terrain is neither patrolled by the Court nor controlled by the confines of the law, creating its allure. Beyond the boundaries of the court-system, the ever-looming threat of [emotional] avalanches ending the process is very real. Around our table, the conditions are vastly different from those found within the more regimented confines of a court process and all-knowing Judge. A humbling reminder of human nature, conflict at the Collaborative table, like an avalanche, can easily obliterate anything unfortunate enough to be in its path and risk the successful outcome of the Collaborative Process, and wound professional egos along the way. While the techniques for predicting and avoiding Collaborative avalanches are generally reliable, anyone who ventures into the “backcountry” will never be completely safe from the threat of an avalanche. The goal of this course is to help professionals make an informed assessment of avalanche danger and make smart decisions to minimize the chances of having to deal with an avalanche and know what to do in the event one occurs to dig out from the collapse. Out here, avalanches accommodate no one -- by the time an avalanche is triggered, you’ve already made all the mistakes.

Course Objectives

Using the Metaphor of staying alive in avalanche territory, Dr. Gilman will guide Collaborative professionals through basic awareness of human factors associated with the most high conflict and/or complex cases that are often at high risk for kicking out of the Collaborative process.

Before we head to the slopes, we need our team.

Know Your Group

One of the most important elements of your day is your group. Human factors play a major role in many avalanche accidents. How members of your group interact with each other can affect how decisions are made. Icebreaker and teamwork game.


Participants from the three disciplines of Finance, Mental Health and Law will gain insight into his/her/their own personal experiences and share experiences and skills with the practice group. Participants will learn how to pay attention to emotional clues – which can unearth unacknowledged feelings, concerns, and priorities – that can be central to resolving the conflict if they are understood their importance communicated. Combining external dimensions with the internal world (attitudes, relationships, feelings) professionals will learn the skills to recognize avalanche terrain and then can determine the best course of action for all parties involved.

  • Get the Forecast - complexity
  • Plan the trip – who is on the team
  • Check you gear – what do you bring to the table & strengths of the team


Here's what NYACP Member, Family Specialist and Collaborative Professional Bob Raymond, Ph.D.,
has to say about this program:

"Deb’s training Avalanche metaphor takes you through the entire collaborative process, from lacing up your boots,, through team building skills, to negotiating the bumps, then unbuckling after a successful journey.  You will learn new skills and get fresh insights.  You don’t want to miss this training!"


10:45am - 12:00pm: ANCHORS OR OBSTACLES?

Participants from the three disciplines of Finance, Mental Health and Law will focus on process management, using resistance and “debris” the clients give off to move the process forward. We will discuss avalanche “characters” and problem types. Participants will learn to identify his/her/their own triggers while in avalanche territory. Techniques for rolling with resistance will be explored to use the clients’ own motivation and movement through the process. Skills for rolling with resistance will be taught and practiced.

  • Verify Conditions – team pre-meetings and ongoing case management
  • Use Good Travel Habits – Skills for Resistance. HCP, conflict management
  • Evaluate Slopes– How are we navigating the process?
  • Reflect on the Day – Importance of the team debrief and giving/receiving feedback



Participants will get a crash course in the Neuroscience of conflict. Participants will learn the biology behind the way that the brain processes conflict, so that they can experience conflict with a clear-mind and learn to make effective choices, instead of making choices that are driven by the chips on our shoulders or the unspoken frustrations that can drive our behavior in the short term. Calm Decision-making can be the most critical tool in your survival kit.



Participants will learn the difference between burn-out and compassion fatigue. Strategies for building resilience and equanimity will be explored so that each individual develops his/her/their self-care plan for maintaining professional quality of life. Equanimity – the secret sauce – will be explored at a deeper level, so that practitioners learn with complete openness to experience, without being lost in his/her/their own reactions. The key to achieving equanimity and surviving avalanche territory is to be present in each moment.
Squad-care and team resilience will also be explored in depth.

5:00pm - 7:00pm
NYACP Member and Guest Reception and Holiday Party!

Be sure to plan to stay for the after training party with live music by The Devonshire Players, delicious food and best of all, wonderful company!



The Devonshire Players

It all began one day in my apartment in Pelham, NY. I was just starting out as a musician and trying to figure out ways to build my career. I remembered how much fun I had playing for weddings with a group in college, and thought I’d give it a try. I rustled up some friends, we read some music together, and TDP began! I had no idea how much joy this decision would make in my life. I absolutely love making music with these wonderful women, and I am so proud of the diversity and quality of music that we offer. Moreover, it is so exciting to connect with couples during one of the most important times in their life, and it is thrilling to help make part of their dreams come true!

– Lakshmi James

Donations of gift cards and toys will be collected to benefit
My Sister’s Place and the CASA/GAL.
Please visit their websites for these organization's important missions.

Gift cards should be in the $10 to $30 range and for places such as Target, Walmart, Amazon, or other “general” categories; and
Toys should be unwrapped so that parents can select items their kids will like.



EARLY BIRD BEFORE 10/2/23 - Member Reg Annual Meeting - Full Day & Evening Reception - $195.00
Member Reg Annual Meeting - Full Day & Evening Reception - $225.00
Member Reg Annual Meeting - Day Only - $175.00
Member Reg Annual Meeting - Evening Reception Only - $150.00


EARLY BIRD to 10/2/23 Non-Member Reg Annual Meeting - Full Day & Reception - $295.00
Non-Member Reg Annual Meeting - Full Day & Reception - $325.00
Non-Member Reg Annual Meeting - Day Only - $275.00
Non-Member Reg Annual Meeting - Reception Only - $250.00


Dr. Deborah Gilman is a licensed psychologist, mediator, child specialist, coach, and national/international  trainer & speaker on the topics of child development, trauma, and parenting. Dr. Gilman maintains both a clinical and forensic practice; providing individual, couples and family therapies, in addition to a myriad of forensic  interventions. including, Parenting Coordination, Co-Parenting Therapy, Parent Coaching, Mediation, and Family Interventions in which a child resists contact with a parent. 

 Dr Gilman has special expertise working with children, adults,  families, schools, businesses, communities, and other organizations  impacted by trauma.  She obtained her doctorate (Ph.D.) from Tulane University.  Having trained at premier pediatric settings, including a residency at Johns Hopkins Medical School/The Kennedy Krieger Institute & 3-year fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital/The Ohio State University, Dr. Gilman is a recognized expert in Pediatric Mental Health. 
As a coach & mediator, Dr. Gilman uses dispute resolution techniques to help define the issues and gain understanding, discover hidden interests and create options for breaking impasses and improving conflict resolution and interpersonal communication skills. Dr. Gilman facilitates communication among the parties so that the parties can independently sets goals and objectives together for mutual implementation.  Dr. Gilman tailors interventions  to the specific needs of each individual's situation incorporating some combination of the following: Cognitive Restructuring, Relaxation skills,  Assertiveness skills, Emotion and behavior regulation skills, Healthy lifestyle habits, Improved behavior patterns, Improved self-worth, Relationship skills, Resolution of painful emotional experiences linked to traumatic events, Organizational and Learning Strategies, Play & Art Therapy.






Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Michael Kislin

Katherine Miller and Kathryn Lazar


NYACP Sponsorship Opportunities will be Available Soon for 2024!


Brae Burn Country Club Information

  • Website
  • Directions
  • Parking: Complimentary Self Parking for the day
  • 4 miles from the White Plains train station