“Northwestern’s Divorce Mediation program really opened up a new area of my practice that I enjoy and have a passion for,” says Tammy Daniele, director of Daniele & Associates, a counseling and mediation service in Naperville, Illinois. Before she attended Northwestern, Daniele, who earned an MSW degree at Washington University in St. Louis, was a member of a group general counseling practice and often dealt with the psychological fallout of divorce. But she wanted to start her own practice and include mediation as a specialty. “Northwestern prepared me to do that,” says Daniele. “My practice took off in a short amount of time.”
Daniele chose Northwestern’s program for the quality of its instruction, its comprehensiveness, and its intensive 40-hour format. Her classmates included attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals. “As a mental health clinician I was able to contribute a different perspective than an attorney — and I was very interested to hear what the attorneys had to say,” says Daniele.
In her practice, which she began shortly after completing Northwestern’s program, Daniele offers both mediation and counseling services. Although she keeps those services separate and does not counsel couples whose divorce she is mediating, she says her counseling background gives her a better understanding of human interaction and how people communicate. “I’m able to educate families about how divorce affects children, and that’s very valuable for couples,” says Daniele.
“Mediation helps families maintain dignity and respect throughout the divorce process and helps them heal after divorce,” says Daniele. “It’s a good way to help individuals solve conflicts, especially when children are involved. The public is becoming more and more aware of the benefits of mediation.”