Professionals - Child Specialists

A child specialist assists clients in co-parenting and helping children adjust to their new life. The child specialist works with parents to choose a residency schedule and form a parenting plan. This person may meet with the children to bring their perspective to the table.

JoAnne Pedro-Carroll

Dr. JoAnne Pedro-Carroll is a licensed clinical psychologist with 25 years of experience working with children, adults and families. Dr. Carroll has expertise as a coach and child specialist with families in the process of a divorce. She is a clinician in private practice, former researcher at the University of Rochester’s Childrens Institute, and founder of prevention programs for children and parents dealing with family transitions. Her expertise in this area has been recognized with local and national awards, including the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Service. She knows that divorce is a stressful time for families but believes, based on her research, that there are many things that parents can do to help their children thrive. She prefers to work preventively, in close collaboration with parents and other professionals, to reduce the risk of children’s long term problems and foster their resilience. She is the author of a new book , “Putting children first: Proven strategies for helping children thrive after divorce”, which won a gold medal from the National Association of Parenting Publication Awards. Her writing, clinical practice and presentations are filled with messages of hope, healing, and effective practice.

View Profile

Renee O. LaPoint, M.S.

As a neutral coach and facilitator in the collaborative law process, my goal is to assist clients by supporting each of the parties individually and collectively to be both positive and productive in moving forward with a separation or divorce. The separation/divorce process is a very difficult one; emotionally and financially. My role is to help make the experience easier and smoother for everyone. I have a graduate degree in counseling from Syracuse University and received my mediation training at the Center for Mediation and Training in NYC. My mediation practice is located in Rochester, The Mediation Center Inc. I am an Accredited Member of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM) and sit on the board of directors. I am the current President of the Rochester Association of Family Mediators (RAFM), a board member of CLARA (Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester Area), and a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). I am also certified by the Unified Court System of the State of New York and the Center for Dispute Settlement to conduct court-referred mediations.

People who choose the collaborative law process make this choice based on the amount of support they need in the room while they are making decisions in the areas of parenting, child support, and distribution of assets/liabilities. I am a firm believer in the collaborative law process for those couples who have decided that mediation will not provide the best process for them. They need the support of attorneys and neutral professionals in the room, working together for the good of their changing family. I want to support couples in their process choice and keep people out of court.

View Profile

John Sobraske

John Sobraske, based in Rochester, New York, has an MA in clinical psychology and is licensed as a mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist. He has worked as a psychotherapist for 25 years, serving youth, adults, couples and families; as a collaborative facilitator and family specialist for 7 years; and as a mediator for 5 years.

John has extensive training in attachment, object relations and psychoanalysis, with specialties in adoption, foster care, trauma, executive function and autism, and he works extensively with LGBTQ, African-American and Hispanic populations as well as low-income individuals and families. John regularly provides mental health evaluations and has served as an expert witness. He has developed two innovative psychotherapeutic approaches—Cognitive Affective Somatic Therapy and Psychoenergetic Psychotherapy.

His background in natural medicine includes training in botanical medicine, classical homeopathy, Taoist acupuncture and qigong. He is the chief editor for the homeopathic reference series, Materia Medica Clinica, by Massimo Mangialavori, and he has taught courses on natural medicine as an adjunct faculty member at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

John is an international presenter on adoption and collaborative law. For the latter, he regularly provides introductory two-day trainings and advanced trainings. Together with Donna Maier and Diana Deyo Ryan, John founded Interfow which provides trainings on adaptive strategies for optimal outcomes in co-mediation and collaborative law. This group presented in Spanish to the International Partnership Subgroup of the Instituto Brasileiro de Práticas Colaborativas (IBPC). He has a special interest in collaborative team dynamics and innovative ways to combine mediation and collaboration. He has participated on two IACP committees and is the current president of CLARA.

View Profile