Michiana Collaborative Professionals


1. History – Started out in 2007 as a practice group with 4 trained members, including 2 attorneys and 2 mental health coaches. Started to meet as part of the Grand Rapids group but eventually developed own practice group in early 2008. Added one more attorney and 2 MH professionals in 2008. Had one financial specialist trained in 2008 but she was not able to develop a collaborative practice because her employer did not allow outside consulting. Added one new attorney in 2009. This group started to meet regularly in July 2008 and met approximately 8 times in 2009. The group is focused on growing the Collaborative practice in SW Michigan and providing a forum whereby members who do not have an active collaborative caseload can continue to develop collaborative skills.

2. Leadership Structure – One leader is responsible for scheduling meetings and helping to set agendas.

3. Professions – this practice group consists of four attorneys and four mental health professionals.

4. Meeting structure – This practice group is continuing to work to establish meaningful meetings. Geographic disbursement and varying degrees of current involvement in collaborative work have impacted motivation to meet. Our most successful meetings in 2009 focused on skill-building through role-play.

5. Dues – none established at this point. MCP applied for and received a grant from CPIM for marketing activities for 2010.

6. Member goals – stated goals are to develop collaborative practice in SW Michigan through education of other professionals and members of the community and to enhance our collaborative skills through interaction with our professional colleagues.

7. Leadership development – Two attorney members attended the annual advanced training in 2009. One member, Deb Berecz, was a key presenter of the annual CPIM training. One new attorney and one existing attorney member also attended the annual CPIM training.

8. Trainings/Presentations - during 2009, we presented to one Mental Health group and appeared on a local radio station to discuss collaborative practice.

9. Case experience – two attorneys have had a total of 12 active collaborative cases. Two of these used mental health coaches and two have used financial specialists. One member has at least one active collaborative case in Indiana.

10. Focus for 2010: Continue to develop strategy for marketing collaborative practice through presentations to mental health groups, community groups and the public. Build upon skills already existing in the practice. Recruit new members.

Reported by Margo Runkle, liaison for Michiana Collaborative Professionals