Welcome to my website. I set this up as a convenient place to store ideas and papers that I had written over the last few years. I hope you find something of interest and value here. It was originally only about law – relating to children cases – but has since been mainly about therapy – and a combination of those two subjects – articles and workshops about psychological and therapy issues for lawyers and judges. I have sometimes labelled these as about Stress Management as that is language that is recognised and accented. In fact it is about emotional health and resilience.

If you have logged onto this website in a state of stress or distress you may like to look immediately at the article Five minute stress reduction note

And – excuse the dramatic note if it doesn’t apply to you if it is more urgent that that – the Samaritans are on 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org

Back to a less dramatic tone…

A bit about me: For over 30 years I have been a solicitor, initially with a more general practice, but for a long time specialising in childcare work – which with tragic irony actually means legal work around child abuse and neglect.

I have written a certain amount about that, run some workshops and contributed to various government enquiries. That material is tucked away at the very end of this website.

About 15 years ago I also trained as a psychotherapist with Spectrum Therapy and I started to bring some therapeutic aspects into my work with legal clients as explained in Article in Family Law September 2010 (Please excuse the rather boastful sounding introduction – it was insisted on by the editor.)

I have also offered those ideas and increasingly ideas about stress management and emotional health to people through working one-to-one with clients, many of whom are lawyers. My most recent development is running workshops for lawyers – see below

Even more recently I have been writing articles for legal journals and one of those interested my friend Steve Biddulph who has recently published a new book called “Fully Human“ which contains many of his really interesting and valuable ideas. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jun/03/supersense-secret-steve-biddulph-become-healthier-happier-more-fully-human

He has kindly given a bit of a plug to some of my ideas and it is possible that someone looking at this website might have come here because of that reference.

He introduces me as a friend and colleague and says “One of his most intriguing ideas is that trauma does more than just cause massive anxiety it also may act as a break in our development. Trauma can freeze us at the age when it took place, at least on some dimensions of maturation which requires trust, learning and physiological calm to proceed well. As a consequence we see many adults today who are emotionally frozen in an infantile stage of development, for example, or an adolescent one. If this is very widespread, then the whole society can be skewed towards certain kinds of immaturity.… we have a somewhat adolescent culture today.“

This is a partial summary of some ideas which are contained in one of the articles on this website – Our culture of permanent adolescence – anger, stress and other addictions By the way, I am very aware that this article is long and dense. Too much so for a website. So I have now inserted a much shorter summary at the beginning of the article.

Parenting note:

This idea fed into my note about parenting on this website. Having benefited hugely from attending a parenting course many years ago, (as well as reading books and attending a workshop with Steve) I went on to train and then deliver such courses at various schools and organisations. The notes that I used and offered to participants are at Some ideas about parenting

The most recent development has been running workshops. These were initially within my own firm and subsequently for other firms and barristers’ chambers and national organisations like the Association of Lawyers for Children and the Family Law Bar Association (FLBA) and Immigration Law Practitioners Association. These offerings were initially along the lines of a somewhat simplistic “stress management model“. Please see the various articles here on stress busting or “How to be a Happier, Healthier, more Efficient and Ever Youthful Workaholic!” Stress and looking after ourselves – a 15 minute read

More recently the workshop for the FLBA was recorded and is the first article on the website My first webinar 6 May.

As it says at the beginning, this is my first webinar and is really amateur, with rather unhelpful interruptions by various people and some really retro visual aids – paper and felt tip! (The next one had PowerPoint which can be a mixed blessing and happily wasn’t recorded.)

Most recent event was a workshop I ran for judges. Text of the presentation with additional material is at: Stress workshop with judges: 5 November 2021

Finally I have written some articles for the FLBA Journal including for the Christmas Issue examining the emotional side of the law and asking Why are we so stressed? Why are we family lawyers anyway?Article in the Christmas Edition of Family Affairs, the journal of the Family Law Bar Association (Answer in brief – we are fascinated by family dysfunctionality in other people and having put it in those terms may suggest the obvious idea that we hope to bring order to it because of aspects our own formative experiences in childhood; experiences that we are in denial about partly because they are so normal. And that is why the article will make such uncomfortable, even unacceptable reading for some people.)

I would welcome feedback to me at dj@milesandpartners.com