Fall is a time for giving and for gratitude. It is also a time for reflection. When I think about the first several months of my presidency of CDT I am filled with gratitude: for the opportunity the collaborative process gives couples, and the professionals who help them, to restructure their families and lives; for the chance to work with the amazing and talented colleagues who share the same vision, hope and commitment; for the members of CDT who support both the process and our organization; and for the CDT Board of Trustees who give tirelessly of their time, their energy, and yes, their money, to support this cause that we all believe so strongly in.
It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, for many of us, the collaborative divorce process is our “baby” and it has taken our entire community to raise it to its toddlerhood. But, we have a long way to go. We have made enormous strides in developing our practice model, our forms, our trainings, and our resources. We are the only state in the country to credential our practitioners, which allows them to distinguish themselves from those who “say” but don’t “do”. We continue to be looked at by the rest of the world as leaders in collaborative divorce, and always as the innovators. The current president of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals is our own home grown Christopher Farish, a Dallas based attorney. So, yes, my friends we have accomplished much in the last 20 years as we have continued to evolve this approach to helping and healing families and we have much for which we are grateful.
During our 2018 board workshop, we updated our Mission and Vision Statements to more accurately reflect our current goals and direction.
NEW MISSION STATEMENT: We are a charitable organization educating families about the benefits of the collaborative divorce process and providing training and practice resources for collaborative professionals.
VISION STATEMENT: To make collaborative divorce the preferred method of divorce in Texas.
These are indeed lofty goals but ones to which your Board of Trustees is completely committed. Over the last three years the focus of our organization has changed and we have demonstrated overwhelming success in our branding and marketing initiatives. If you have not “liked” our CDT and CDT Members Facebook pages, please stop reading and go do that right now. [insert pause] Now that you’ve done that, you will begin to see the efforts being made to educate families about the benefits of the collaborative divorce process. Have you gone to the website recently? If not, stop reading and go do that right now. [insert another pause] How many of your colleagues do you see rotating on the different pages? That, my friend, could be you so find out more about how to advertise your services and market to the audience you most want to reach. Have you submitted a blog to be posted on the website and shared on Facebook? OK…you get the point. There is much that you can be doing to help us work toward our mission and achieve our vision.
And that is my plea to all of you. This baby still has a lot of growing to do and it needs all of our support if the collaborative divorce process is going to continue to develop and expand and if we are to make our vision a reality.
So, the time has come for you to ask yourself: not what can we do for you…but what can you do for us? We need your time. We need your energy. We need your financial support so that we can continue to work towards achieving both our mission and our vision. Our marketing initiatives cost money. Over the next year, you will see our fund raising efforts continue and grow. Please donate when asked. Renew your membership in a timely manner to show support for your organization. We have “Spring Conference” on March 7th and 8th, Basic Interdisciplinary Training on May 2nd and 3rd and Advanced Interdisciplinary Training on June 21st. Please come and continue to learn. Encourage your young associates to become trained, collaborative practitioners at the beginning of their careers. In the next few months you will see requests for volunteers for the many committees that CDT needs to keep it running. Please volunteer. Get involved. Help us help you. Believe me when I say there is ALWAYS something to do.
So, fall is a time of giving and that is what we are asking of you. It is also a time to reflect on that which we are grateful for, so I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to, and for, all of you. Happy collaborating!