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Shely Polak

PhD, MSW, RSW, Acc. FM.

Dr. Polak holds a Master of Social Work and PhD from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. She has been awarded the designation of accredited family mediation (Acc.FM) by the Ontario Association for Family Mediation. Her mediation and negotiation training also includes Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Negotiation and Leadership Program.

She is the Founder and Director of Mackenzie Clinic a private practice offering clinical and specialized services related to families impacted by separation and divorce including parenting plan evaluations (S.30 assessments), family mediation, reintegration therapy, voice of the child reports, parent coordination, and therapeutic services for children and families impacted by divorce.

Dr. Polak also holds a lecturer position at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work University of Toronto.  Her research focus is on the practice of reintegration therapy in cases of parent-child contact problems post-separation and the intersection of social work with the law. Dr. Polak has published in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on topics related to separated/divorced families involved with the court system. She is a frequent presenter at national and international professional and academic conferences in the area of high conflict separation/divorce and parent-child contact problems.

Dr. Polak was the recipient of the Nicolas Bala Award for Excellence in Children & Family Law in October 2016. She is Past President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Ontario Chapter. She is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers, Ontario Association of Social Workers, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and the Ontario Association of Family Mediators. She is an Editorial Board Member for the Family Court Review and is the Co-Chair of the Professional Development committee of the international AFCC.