Category Archives: Websites

Problem Gambling – What is it? How to Identify it in Yourself and Others? What Resources Available?

I’m excited to introduce this post because it includes a very helpful video interview (see below) regarding Problem Gambling.

This is an update to a post that I did on Problem Gambling back in 2009 and another post I did about National Problem Gambling week back in 2010. This time, we’ve got video!

You’ll also want to also check out the Minnesota Institute of Public Health “Gambling Problems Resource Center“.

Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline Number   1-800-333-HOPE.

Paula Detjen

Compulsive gambling has a major effect on Minnesota families. I have recently been learning a lot about problem gambling and how it affects families from Minnesota therapist Paula Detjen. Continue reading

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Can Emails or Texts Be Used in My Divorce/Custody Case? (Video Interview Carney Forensics)

Modern technology is changing the world more and more every day. People are finding their spouses through online dating services, pro-democracy groups across the Middle East are organizing via Facebook, and nowadays everything from your cell phone to your coffee pot has a computer chip in it. And the more our lives become digitalized, the more relevant digital evidence becomes to family law cases. That was the topic of my interview with John Carney, the founder of Carney Forensics, which helps attorneys, companies, and investigators gather digital forensic evidence. Watch the full video interview here:

So what is digital forensics? The most basic example would be threatening text messages from your ex, which can be used as evidence in family court. In fact, phone records, text messages, Facebook posts and emails can all be subpoenaed in certain cases. But beyond that, things can start to get complicated. What if you can’t figure out how to access all those old text messages or emails? Or what if a critical piece of evidence is hidden deep within a hard drive? That’s where Carney Forensics comes in.

After three decades in the technology sector, John Carney obtained a law degree and branched out into the growing field of digital forensics. He is listed as a Minnesota Qualified Neutral according to Rule 114 by the Minnesota Supreme Court, and can even testify in court as a digital forensics expert. Here’s a neat video that John Carney did with WCCO TV related to the Murdoch phone hacking scandal.

So, if you want to make sure you and your attorney can present the most important information — perhaps even if it has already been deleted from a computer or phone somewhere — then call the technological super-sleuths at Carney Forensics.

More info at:
Or call (651) 695-1757

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Ex Spouse Communications – Video Interview with Founder Joan Pechauer

Joan Pechauer, LMFT

Do you have trouble communicating with your ex-spouse about co-parenting issues? When you see that you’ve received an email from them, do you get that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like you just drank a glass of motor oil? Well never fear, Ex-Spouse Communications is here! Founder Joan Pechauer says, “Send us your ex’s nasty email and we’ll write an effective response for you. ” That’s right: they will draft you a response letter that will express your concerns without starting a fight. This is the solution you’ve been waiting for. Watch my interview with Joan here:

Imagine this situation: your ex sends you an email saying they want to change this week’s parenting time schedule. Again. And as always, they couldn’t be more demanding about it or more inconsiderate of your scheduled plans with the kids. What you might find yourself doing in this situation is writing a strongly worded email back, telling them how rude they are to wait until the last minute to make this request, backing up your arguments with examples from when they have done this sort of thing in the past, maybe taking a shot at that new person they are dating who thinks they can contradict your rules for your kids, and totally putting them in their …STOP! That approach is not going to get you anywhere, and you know it. Your ex-spouse will never be persuaded that they’re wrong, no matter how good you think your points are. All that’s going to do is get you into another exhausting fight. So instead, just take a breath, and let Ex-Spouse Communications help.

You know what? If it helps you vent, go ahead and write your angry letter and send it along with your ex-spouse’s email to Ex-Spouse Communications. They will translate your belligerent rebuttal into an emotionally neutral response that is much more likely to actually get your ex-spouse to consider your legitimate concerns — and that’s really the goal, right? And if you need more than just an email, Ex-Spouse Communications also offers phone consultations and coaching.

To learn more about Ex Spouse Communications or if you are just looking for some free tips on what to do and what not to do when talking to your spouse, or free samples of effective letters, check out

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Daisy Camp – Video Interview with Founder Jennifer Morris

Click for Daisy Camp website

I’m especially excited about this post about Daisy Camp founder Jennifer Morris. Not only is it regarding a great topic, Daisy Camp. It’s also one of the first interactive videos that we’ve recorded through Skype. We hope this will be a start to a series of interviews with helpful people like Jennifer Morris regarding helpful divorce/separation topics, like Daisy Camp. If you have ideas for future videos, let me know by commenting below or emailing me at

In the video, I ask Jennifer Morris how Daisy Camp started, what Daisy Camp is about and who is a typical Daisy Camper, among other questions and answers that will give you a good sense for whether Daisy Camp is right for you!

Here’s a Daisy Camp Seminar Aug 2011 retreat.

From the Daisy Camp website:

Daisy Camp was founded in 2006 by Jennifer Morris, a local realtor who emerged from her divorce with a belief that women need more support to help them through this important transition. Jennifer’s unique idea of helping women through a “camping experience” has captured the attention of local and national media and has changed the lives of many women. Today, hundreds of “Daisies’” throughout Minnesota and beyond continue to gather regularly and help each other make the most of their new, “ever-expanding lives”.

You can go to the Daisy Camp FaceBook page by clicking here.

To contact Daisy Camp, email or call and talk with Marlys Ousky at 952-405-2060.

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Child Care Support BACK IN BUSINESS By Court Order

I’m happy to report that Child Care Support–which was shut down as part of the Minnesota State Government shutdown–is back in business by court order dated Wednesday, July 13, 2011.

See the relevant article at Minnesota Public Radio, here.

Here’s the Child Care Assistance page on the Minnesota Department of Human Services Website (but I don’t see the news listed here, just basic Child Care Assistance info).

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Mediation Works North Offers Online Parents Forever Course

When ending a marriage, sharing custody of your children means learning to work with your ex-spouse. Sometimes this can be difficult, especially during — and after — a long divorce process. Luckily a new non-profit called Mediation Works North is making it easier than ever to build strong co-parenting skills – and now you can build those skills without the hassle of driving out of town. Check out my recent interview with the founder of Mediation Works North, Lois Warner:

Minnesota law requires parents going through divorce to take co-parenting classes. Here’s the punch line: in many Minnesota counties, these classes aren’t even offered. So to comply with the law you’d have to find one of these classes in another county. You’d have to make a long drive (in the snow if you aren’t lucky enough to get a divorce in the summertime.) You might have to miss work and pay for childcare.

Or, instead you could take one of the online Parents Forever classes offered by Mediation Works North. These classes offer informative content and skill-building, but without having to leave the comfort of your home and without having to drive to another county. They are interactive classes with a live facilitator teaching in real time. Classes are two hours long, and it takes two class periods to complete the course.

And remember: this is a genuinely valuable resource, not just a court order. You’ll learn to avoid putting the children in the middle of conflicts you might have with the other parent, to adjust your finances to the changes brought on by divorce, to communicate with the other parent, and more. The Founder of Mediation Works North, Lois Warner, started this non-profit because she realized that the law is quite a blunt instrument for dealing with co-parenting conflicts. Her Parents Forever program allows parents to learn to resolve potential conflicts outside of the context of a legal battle.

So if you are going through a divorce and would like to get some advice on how to peacefully resolve co-parenting issues but need more convenience than the traditional classes offer, then check out the Parents Forever online classes from Mediation Works North.

Here’s their contact information:
Mediation Works North
Phone: (218) 263-7307

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Child Care Assistance Victim of Minnesota State Shutdown

07/14/2011 – SEE UPDATE HERE

Child Care Assistance is one of the victims of the Minnesota State Shutdown.

From a Friday, July 7, 2011 article from Minnesota Public Radio:

Twenty-six thousand Minnesota families received notice from the state that their child care subsidies would be cut off in a government shutdown. But the money comes from a pool of federal, state and county dollars. A judge could decide if those dollars can be sorted, and possibly distributed toward child care.

The article continues…

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton did not include child care subsidies in his original list of what he considered essential government services.

Ramsey County judge Kathleen Gearin agreed with Dayton in her ruling last week that state child care subsidies are not critical core services. But she also ruled the state was obligated to deliver programs paid for with federal dollars. Dayton this week amended his list of essential services to include child care subsidies. Gearin hasn’t yet ruled on this request.

As it stands, Gearin’s current ruling complicates the issue, because Minnesota uses federal dollars from a program called Temporary Aid for Needy Families to partly cover child care subsidies. Mary Nienow with the statewide advocacy group Child Care Works, hopes for a decision soon.

“Where the confusion lies is that all child care assistance has elements of TANF funding within it, and it’s mingled with state and local dollars and there’s just no way to separate the funding pools in order to provide child care assistance,” Nienow said.

The court-appointed special master, Kathleen Blatz, will hear more testimony Thursday on the child care issue. Families and their providers in the meantime are figuring out who pays.

Cisa Keller, of the Minnesota Child Care Association and New Horizon Academy, said some centers are still accepting children whose parents receive subsidies, but the families must pay if the state doesn’t.

It is unclear when a judge will rule on the request to begin payments for Child Care Assistance and it is unclear — when that ruling is issued — whether Child Care Assistance payments will be one of the few government programs that will be granted special status to continue operation even while the rest of the state government is shut down.

Click below for the audio or go directly to the article at

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Minnesota Fathers and Families Network: Making Fatherhood a Little Less Scary

“Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.” That truism is from a speech by Barack Obama on Father’s Day 2008. Fatherhood means taking responsibility for the development of another human being, and that takes guts. This is especially true for people who hadn’t planned on being a dad, or who are separated from their spouse, or who — like the President — didn’t know their own father. But luckily there is a growing network of dads and people who love them who are trying to make fatherhood a little less scary: the Minnesota Fathers & Families Network (MFFN), which encourages healthy father-child relationships by giving “men-with-children” the resources to become fathers.

Kids don’t come with an instruction manual …until now. MFFN has a whole list of free guidebooks with tips on how to be a dad. Like “The Daddy Book.” For each month of your baby’s first year in the world, this helpful guide offers: parenting advice, developmental milestones you should expect, and safety tips –plus fun stuff like games you can play with your baby and toys you can make from things you’ve got laying around the house. And The Daddy Book is just one of the many parenting resources offered on their website.

But in this rough economy, dads who are struggling to pay the bills are going to need more than a guidebook. That’s why MFFN is connecting fathers across the state to a whole host of services that help dads support their families: employment assistance, childcare, housing and more.

This Father’s Day, Obama called being a dad “my hardest, but always my most rewarding job” — and that’s coming from a guy who’s other job is no walk in the park. The struggle against terrorism is easy compared to the struggle to get a young child to sleep peacefully through the night. Arguing with John Boehner is nothing after you’ve tried arguing with a teenager. But at the same time, raising a child is the most gratifying endeavor you can ever engage in– that is, if you’ve got the courage to be a father.

For more information check out

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