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Shely Polak

Clinic Director

Mackenzie Clinic

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

Dr. Polak’s private practice provides specialized services related to families impacted by separation and divorce including: parenting plan evaluation (S.30 assessments), family mediation, reintegration therapy, voice of the child reports, parenting coordination, and therapeutic services for children and families impacted by divorce.

Her doctoral research focused on the practice of reintegration therapy for children who resist parental contact post-separation. She 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 is a past speaker at the Family Law Summit, the Six Minute Family Law Lawyer, and the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts.

Dr. Polak was the recipient of the Nicolas Bala Award for Excellence in Children & Family Law in October 2016. 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 Past President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Ontario Chapter.