Author Archives: Deborah Clemmensen

Deborah Clemmensen

About Deborah Clemmensen

Deborah Clemmensen, M.Eq., Licensed Psychologist was a child and family clinician for many years before her discovery of Collaborative Team Practice in 2000 motivated the transformation of her professional role from therapist to Neutral Child Specialist. This work---hearing the voices of every family member during a divorce or break up, keeping children at the center and out of the middle, and assisting parents in the creation of developmentally responsive parenting plans---is both a passion and a privilege. Find out more about Deborah's work at

January 13, 2018

Three Stories of Empathy

Empathy is the word for the capacity to understand another person’s perspective or experience without necessarily agreeing with it.  Empathy allows humans to be in synch and resonate with each other in spite of differences.  There is plentiful scientific and Continue reading…

November 26, 2017

Parenting in Divorce

  Children deserve the best, safe parenting they can get from both their parents.  This is a fundamental guiding principle for my work as a neutral child specialist.  It sounds intuitiveand obvious.  But in the context of separation and divorce, Continue reading…

April 19, 2016

The First Agreement: Words Matter

The Four Agreements is a best-selling book by Don Miguel Ruiz that articulates principles people can choose to follow to stay out of conflict with others.  These principles are extremely relevant and helpful for parents going through a divorce or Continue reading…

March 23, 2016

Reaching Agreement

In an election year, we are exposed to an abundance of rhetoric.  As candidates debate and advertise to convince people to vote for them, I listen for words reflecting respect, dignity, the ability to listen deeply and the capacity to Continue reading…

March 9, 2016

Transitions: 5 Tips

In my work with families making the shift from one to two households for their children, I often remind parents that transitions between homes are typically bothersome for kids.  I use the personal example of going on vacation to explain Continue reading…

March 3, 2016


Categories: Divorce

Several experiences this past weekend got me thinking about the meaning of a true apology.  On Sunday, I read Gail Rosenblum’s column in the Star Tribune about whether women, in particular, are socially conditioned to say “I’m sorry” too often.  Continue reading…

February 10, 2016

What I’m Not Saying

Listening to the voice of the child is increasingly becoming a mainstream concept in family law.  This is a welcome development, as careful attunement to children’s perspectives and needs can guide resolutions and parenting plans that are truly in the Continue reading…

January 26, 2016

Childfocused Resolutions

Categories: Children in DivorceDivorceParents

Here are five suggestions for how divorcing parents can provide support to their children in the new year: 1.  Keep expectations realistic.  Children go through a grieving process just as their parents do when the marriage ends.  Their energy and Continue reading…

October 14, 2015

The Second Agreement

Categories: DivorceMental HealthParents

Some time ago I wrote about The Four Agreements from a book by the same name by Don Miguel Ruiz. Ruiz believes we can stay out of conflict if each person makes the following agreements with him or herself: 1.  Continue reading…

October 5, 2015

The Third Agreement

Categories: Children in DivorceDivorceParents

In his book about how to avoid human conflict, Don Miguel Ruiz suggests these four agreements that a person makes with himself or herself: 1.  I will be impeccable with my word. 2.  I will not personalize the anything the Continue reading…