Based on an interview between Amber and Manuel Mora Fernandez, Amber Law’s Client Wellbeing Collaborator for many years, a Family and Systemic Constellations Consultant and direct pupil of Bert Hellinger, the German psychotherapist associated with a therapeutic method best known as Family Constellations and Systemic Constellations, now practiced by Judges in 19 States in Brazil’s Family Courts.
“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose” Dr Wayne Dyer.
“When we form heart-centred beliefs within our bodies, in the language of physics we’re creating the electrical and magnetic expression of them as waves of energy, which aren’t confined to our hearts or limited by the physical barrier of our skin and bones. So clearly, we are speaking to the world around us in each moment of every day through a language that has no words; the belief-waves of our hearts”, Gregg Braden.
“No-one can hurt you without your permission”, Mahatma Ghandi
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” Eleanor Roosevelt
The AUJ say of Amber’s Holistic Law Model, “Perhaps the time will come when this approach is the norm”
Featured in the Alliance for Unitive Justice June 2022 Newsletter!
"Many Lawyers represent clients who have a legal problem as a consequence of their childhood traumas. I travelled to Sofia, Bulgaria to meet internationally renowned trauma expert, retired physician, best-selling author and speaker Dr Gabor Mate. His vision is, “to bring compassion, respect, acceptance, insight, healing, freedom and connection to humanity through an international community of skilful Compassionate Inquiry practitioners”.
There is nothing to change.
I invite you to let that sink in if you will.
There is nothing to change.
Your thinking mind might now be saying things like:
“But I need to lose weight!”
“I need to get along better with my children – boss – direct reports.”
“I need to be a better leader.”
“I need to change careers, make more money, get a raise, pay off debt.”
“I need to ….” You fill in the blank.
And why do we want to change any of that? Usually, it is because we want to feel better in some way: happier, more peaceful, more fulfilled, more loving, more secure.…
Mike Kasdan explores the parallels between dominance-based masculinity and traditional law firm culture and its effect on diversity, inclusion and equity, as well as mental health.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the parallels between dominance-based traditional masculinity (AKA “toxic” or “Patriarchal” masculinity or “the Man Box’) and traditional law firm culture and the internalised lawyer identity. One of my conclusions is that this connection has a lot to do with law firms’ continuing struggle with diversity/equity/inclusion issues and individual lawyers’ continuing struggles with relatively poor mental health and well-being.
by J. Kim Wright
“The only other time in my life when I felt such intense stress and imbalance was when I was in the army in combat. In many ways lawyering is just as stressful if not more stressful. Let that sink in… Lawyers’ stress levels are fairly comparable to what a veteran experienced in combat. As lawyers we go into combat every day and the stakes are very important”.
The Institute of Well-being in Law, USA celebrated its first ever annual conference held online, with over 500 participants from all over the world, on the 19-21st January 2022. I was delighted and grateful to be in attendance and spent those 3 days happily scribbling notes from 4.45pm to 11.15pm CET! There was opportunity to interact with the speakers and other participants in the chat boxes and time for Q&A at the end. The experience was validating to me as a Holistic lawyer practising in wellbeing for myself and my clients. It was inspiring and uplifting!…
As a barrister of 17 years’ litigation practice mainly in the field of family and children law, I fully understand that the adversarial process does not work for families. Not only does it not work but the process is, in my view, mentally and emotionally damaging for all involved, particularly for children. Children do not belong in court rooms. Children should not be subject to interviews with well-meaning social workers at a time when their stability and life as they knew it has been rocked to the core and they are suffering the pressures of split loyalties. "It isn’t right. There has to be another way". This was my thinking practically from the start of my family litigation practice. My aim in every case was to keep families and children away from court rooms as much as possible; to encourage the use of my Holistic Well-being Network to explore (really and truly explore) the possibility of reconciliation and, if this was not possible, for my clients to learn tools to peacefully co-parent moving forward.…
"Until one has had a relationship with an animal, part of one’s soul remains unawakened” (Anatole France)
"Covid19 ‘lockdown’ is an excellent opportunity for many (who are blessed not to be ill) to use the time as a pause for reflection; a time to contemplate where we are at and how we got there! Importantly also, a time to reach out to like-minded professionals to research and learn more about their work in the world. One such gentleman I was very happy to reconnect with, is Psychotherapist and Coach, Fabio D’Apice".
Fabio D’Apice is a Psychotherapist who uses an “integrative humanistic approach,” to his work, meaning that he draws from, “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Existentialist Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy and Transactional Analysis and Psychoanalysis”. He works both in London and Gibraltar, where we first met.…
CLUBHOUSE GIBRALTAR - MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Clubhouse Gibraltar offers mental health support in the community through its work-based programme available Monday to Friday. They can be contacted via telephone, email and Facebook:
Call: +350200 68423
I have great respect and admiration for Emily Olivero MBE who is responsible for advocating and campaigning for better services in Gibraltar for those suffering from mental health problems since 1992. Emily has a Bachelor’s degree (BScPsych) and a Master’s degree (MScPsych) in Psychology and is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society.
Amber Law has since it opened its doors in March 2013, been a supporter of Gibraltar Clubhouse, Mental Health Support Charity which was founded by Emily on 30th June 2011 as Charity No. 213. We have included its services on our website for our clients and other website visitors.…
During the month of April 2020, I signed up to one of Westend’s/ Broadway’s Choreographers, Xena Gusthart’s aptly titled online Coffee Mornings called, ‘Pivot Through A Pandemic’. I first met Xena at Judymay Murphy’s Elevated Women Event at the Ritz Carlton, London in May 2019 and we instantly connected!…
Following on from my attendance and participation at the first meeting held by the UK Chapter of Therapeutic Jurisprudence at Milton Keynes University last June 2019, founded by Dr Emma Jones and Dr Anna Kawalek, I was honoured to be invited to be one of the four Guest Speakers accompanying the Keynote Speaker, David B Wexler at the UKTJ Chapter’s very first UK Conference. Lawyers and Authors David B Wexler and the late Bruce Winick are the Founding Fathers of Therapeutic Jurisprudence, born in the mid-1980s. https://intltj.com/event/3727/…
In 2013 I took a leap of faith in myself and my abilities as a Holistic Lawyer and Barrister and opened the doors to Gibraltar’s first Holistic Law firm, ‘Amber Law’. ‘Amber’ because it is my name and it made sense to make it easy for people to find me as I had until then, been working for and at other Lawyers’ Firms; ‘Amber’ also though, because it is the name of a healing stone and this fits in with the Holistic Law philosophy of providing clients with the mental, emotional and physical support they may need during the Legal Process/ when in dispute.
Having spent my first 7 years as Amber Law at my Main Street Gibraltar offices, it is now time for change and growth! I didn’t realise how attached I’d become to my office! The next stage of Amber Law’s development required that I move to a location where I have greatly improved Boardroom and Conference Meeting facilities, reception support and a wonderful management team led by the very elegant, stylish and professional Vanessa Adamberry.…
Elio Cruz (1931-2019) was a Gibraltarian playwright who wrote in English and what we in Gibraltar call, ‘llanito’ which is a dialect. Mr Cruz is responsible for creating two of the most successful plays staged in Gibraltar in the 1960s: ‘La Lola Se Va Pa Londre’ and ‘Connie Con Cama Camera en el Comedor’.
When my dear friend Patrick Sacarello asked me whether I’d like to attend an event to commemorate Elio Cruz’s life’s work, I was delighted.…
The Charity Dignity At Work Now, Raises Awareness about Workplace Bullying during Bullying Awareness Week.
This years’ Workplace Bullying Awareness Week saw local Charity and trailblazers on Workplace Bullying in Gibraltar – Dignity At Work Now- come onto Main Street for its Flag Day. The Charity was supported by all of Gibraltar’s Unions, with representatives of each coming to assist at the stand throughout the day. Amber Law whose work also involves Holistically resolving cases of Workplace Bullying, donated £100.00 to the much appreciated Charity.…
One of the most exciting opportunities travel has to offer, is the potential to meet new people anytime, anywhere! I was standing outside the Hotel foyer when I saw a gentleman I had spotted the previous evening outside the hotel lifts. He was impossible to miss. I had felt drawn to his presence and magnetic energy. It reminded me of the kind of power of presence William Jongeneel Brand had described at Judymay’s Elevated Women Event! I thought to myself, “This man is definitely doing something good in the world because I can sense his positive energy fill the room!”…
“Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace”. Dr Martin Luther King
The legal profession is globally facing an unprecedented mental health crisis and the layers of plaster that historically covered over the cracks is finally coming undone, exposing the fissures: alarming rates of lawyer stress, anxiety, catastrophic thinking, insomnia, substance misuse, depression, suicidal ideation- the list goes on. In the context of this tragic reality, is it audacious to envision a better future for lawyer well-being? I say it is not and what is more, it’s URGENT that we do so; it’s our moral and social responsibility to do so and I do not say this lightly, for humanity’s sake. Lawyer well-being impacts client well-being. Client well-being impacts those with whom they are in relationship with including children. During one lawyer’s career, s/he can serve thousands of clients, impacting hundreds of thousands in the ‘ripple effect’.…
“Pain that is yet to come, can be avoided!” Nalanie Chellaram.
“The basic thing is to love yourself so totally that the love overflows you and reaches others”, OSHO.
The Extraordinary Eric Rowbottom’s E-M-Power Challenge 2022!
“One Disability, Many Abilities…”
An important element to the eventual success of anything we do is the feeling quality we bring to the activity. Yet, many of us pay very little, if any attention, to what we feel. We often have to be still to notice, smile. Instead, we stay busy, turn on the television, get on the phone, get on email and aren’t aware of our experience.
Meet Omar Madhloom, Senior Law Lecturer at the University of Bristol, Solicitor and author, friend of Amber Law
Omar Madhloom LLB (Hons), BSc (Microbiology), LPC, PGCE, MPhil is one of the trailblazers of our time. Omar is responsible for creating the space for law students to access more expansive conversations about innovative ways in which we can integrate well-being tools in the study and practice of law. I only wish my fellow students and I had enjoyed such visionaries in my time at law school!
Surianne is one of those rare people you meet who leave a lasting impression on you. She radiates positivity, always greeting you with a smile even on a cloudy day and emits a very pure energy of genuine love and passion for the work she does in the world and all the people she selflessly serves by it. I have known Surianne for the better part of three decades and what is truly admirable about her is that she has used her music and creativity as a platform, or a conduit to promote love and hope and to support worthy charitable causes and people in crisis. That is, to foster connection, facilitate healing and do good in the world.
Many pursue careers in law from a passion to create a safer, more just world. Paradoxically in this pursuit, many of us end up working in highly stressful environments. Over a long period of time this leads to chronic stress which negatively impacts our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health: anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, brain fog, depression…
How then can Lawyers be at their best to serve their clients and attain justice for all? Integrating ‘Mindfulness’ in our daily practice and importantly during client conferences increases the likelihood of a ‘just’ outcome for ourselves and our clients-come register for this event and I’ll share why and how!…
Our latest news on Amber Law’s Collaborator Marie Fox of Artful Remedy, providing an emotional outlet to youngsters in need
Art therapy classes will be held later this month for those in need and will aim to give youngsters a healthy medium to understand and process their emotions.
Identifying the 4 Main Relationship Stages
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this Blog, until I met London based International Life Coach and Speaker, Judymay Murphy, I was only familiar with the, ‘extraverted,’ or ‘exhibitionist’ Narcissist. Those who you, ‘see coming,’ given their haughty and arrogant behaviour. I did not know about the, ‘covert,’ or, ‘closet’ subtypes, who are not so easy to spot, as they disguise as sensitives and empaths, are charming and seemingly generous. I had most likely come across them but not identified them as Narcissists. With coverts, it can take months or years to ‘uncover’ them. The same pathological traits are present in both types; it is only the manner in which they express the traits that changes.…
Nalanie Harilela Chellaram
Nalanie Harilela Chellaram is a modern spiritual teacher, a true soul doctor, dedicated to selfless service. Nalanie founded the Integral Yoga Centre in Gibraltar in 1989. She is also the founder of the George Harilela Hall in Sotogrande and gives satsangs locally and internationally. In March 2008, Nalanie received an award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II being recognised for her ‘Services to Humanity’.
For many years, I have referred Family law clients to Nalanie to support them: with their mental and emotional health; to work through their personal problems; and to reach a space of clarity and peace; regardless of whether the couple decided to separate and co-parent, or work at saving their marriage.…
It is great news that the alternative practices of Meditation and Mediation are being taught early on to Law students, creating a positive mindset of collaboration and peace-making, as opposed to the adversarial negative mindset of competition and conflict. This teaching will shape young minds and the young are the key to evolution in the Law.
When I first heard attorney and mediator Bradley Roth speak about the “Mediation and Meditation” course he teaches as an Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York—I was very excited! Bradley and I met on the Project for the Integration of Spirituality, Law and Politics (PISLAP) Zoom Community call in May 2020, during Coronavirus (COVID-19) ‘lockdown.’ UK and European subscribers of The Conscious Lawyer online magazine were invited to this PISLAP community call, the aim of which is to give people, “the opportunity to share about our endeavours, aspirations and the challenges we each face in moving the legal culture in a more healing direction, and integrating spirituality into law and politics. “…
The Law and Mental and Emotional Health
Having represented clients from all walks of life and all ages and stages of mental and emotional health and wellbeing, I am always seeking out mentors and coaches from whom to learn more. In this way I can better serve my clients, because when you have greater awareness, understanding and empathy, you can enjoy a more powerful connection with your clients. In this way, as their Lawyer you are better able to support them in their positive transition throughout and even after the Legal Process. This is Amber Law’s mission statement, “Positively Transforming Family Life”. I say ‘Family’ because none of us is an island. We all belong to a ‘Family’- a biological family, a family of friends, a family of work colleagues, a family in our community.…
I have a lot to be thankful for to Lawyer, Author and Global Legal Change Maker J. Kim Wright, who I affectionately refer to as the Mother of the Integrative Law Movement. In her website she says,
“Legal Systems Change: Grow, Connect, Inspire, and Learn
I am an advocate for systems change in the law, particularly focusing on a set of values and models called Integrative Law. I’ve arranged my life to follow my passion and values and to connect with lawyers who are changing how law is practiced by following theirs.…
Led By Keynote Speaker, Co-founder Of TJ, Professor David Wexler
Following the success of the first TJ in the UK meeting, Dr. Emma Jones, Dr. Anna Kawalek, and Penelope Welbourne (Plymouth University), are hosting the first *official* conference for Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the UK.
This will take place at Plymouth University on 16th April 2020.…
Workplace Bullying sadly but unsurprisingly remains, very much a ‘live’ issue in many places of work and business.
As regards Gibraltar, the issue was not formally addressed until Francis Buttigieg, a target of workplace bullying himself, was courageous and decided that, ‘enough was enough’. Francis started a Charity in 2005, which he appropriately called ‘Dignity At Work Now’ (DAWN). It then took another 9 years’ of lobbying and campaigning until the Gibraltar Government finally drafted laws to protect against workplace bullying in the, ‘Employment (Bullying At Work) Act 2014’.…
When my friends Jason and Allison Desoiza contacted me to invite me to Gibraltar’s first Gender Diverse Awareness Training, I was genuinely interested to attend and learn more. I know some of their personal story and the challenging journey for their transgender son. I admire their strength and courage to be the very first, the trailblazers, to bring education and awareness to this subject in Gibraltar.…
As Lawyers, most of us will have studied the Law of Contracts as part of our undergraduate Law Degree or Diploma. What we are taught however, is restricted mainly to the ingredients of a Contract i.e. the terms of the offer made, consideration (i.e. payment or other form of exchange), acceptance and so on.…
Having spent the day at the Purposeful Values Based Contracts Workshop in London, led by American Bar Association Author and Lawyer J. Kim Wright, we then hopped in a Black Cab and made our way to the evening Global Legal Changemakers' Café! The Café was led by UK based lawyer Rhiannon Thomas, originally of South Africa and part of Forrest Webb, a Legal Organisation that has collaborated to set up Global Legal Changemakers Cafés. I interviewed Rhiannon and asked her to please share the reason the Café was set up, what its aims are and how it works?…
“The essence of trauma is disconnection… So, the real question is: how did we get separated and how do we connect?”
“Self preservation is the first law of nature”, Samuel Butler.
What Children See in Childhood, The Inner Child in Their Adulthood Repeats An Awakening About Domestic Violence
“We choose not randomly each other. We meet only those who already exist in our subconscious”, Sigmund Freud.
Lawyers As Guardians of Light, Standing by Portals
“As you do anything, is how you do everything” T Harv Eker
The Extraordinary Eric Rowbottom’s E-M-Power Challenge 2022!
“One Disability, Many Abilities…”
Let’s Collaborate’s Lundi Mqina invites Amber Turner as Guest Speaker for Law Students in South Africa
“A human being is a human being because of other human beings”
In January 2022 I attended the Institute of Well-being in Law (USA) First Annual weekend conference (online due to Covid19) where I first met Judge Steve Hornsby, JD, CLC and Family Lawyer Cindy Pensoneau, JD, YTT. I was struck by their powerful joint presentation on a subject close to my heart: vicarious trauma/ secondary trauma and other detrimental impacts on the mental health of those practising in the legal profession.
Meet the amazing Peggy O’Neal, friend of Amber Law. A USA based lawyer for 12 years turned life coach who has for a few decades helped people know who they truly are and with that as a foundation, discover and express what they feel called to do.
Benji Borastero is a force of good to be recognised! He is a young, compassionate Gibraltarian wheelchair user who initiated the idea of creating a wheelchair marathon to raise funds for Little Smiles charity. This, whilst juggling University!
Little Smiles was set up by the parents and carers of children attending St.Martins School to raise funds for the benefit of the students with physical and learning difficulties, as well for the benefit of disabled children attending the Early Birds Nursery.…
Founder & CEO UK Mediation
As Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. I think this quote was intended for those who find themselves in challenge and controversy ‘unintentionally’. Mike has chosen a career where he 'intentionally' steps into these difficult situations and in so doing, makes the world a better place for us all.
Mike has dedicated his life to guiding people from all walks of life from a place of conflict (with the mental and emotional pain that carries) to a place of clarity, peace and healing. Mike is a kind, compassionate and empathetic human being. His devotion to serving others from a place of integrity, humility and truth has guaranteed his success as UK’s number one Mediator and Mediation Service provider.…
The Most Dangerous Narcissists Who Disguise as Empaths and Sensitives
Narcissism is a huge topic to which I cannot do justice in only a few blogs; but one which it is imperative for any Lawyer -actually every person- to learn about. The likelihood is that you will come across many Narcissists in your lifetime, be it in your personal, ‘romantic,’ or workplace relationships.
Knowing about the subject can literally save your and your clients’ mental, emotional, physical health and wellbeing and finances. In some cases being aware and recognising the red flags can literally save lives as in extreme cases, targets suffer anxiety, depression and may even die by suicide.…
The Project for Integrating Spirituality, Law and Politics emerged in 1996 from a gathering of 1,800 social activists who attended the first, ‘Politics of Meaning’ conference in Washington D.C.
It is, “an international network of lawyers, law professors, law students, legal workers and others who are seeking to develop a new spiritually-informed approach to law and social change…”
PISLAP., “…begins with the belief that human beings are fundamentally motivated by more than material needs and economic interests”. Ahh… I’m home!…
During Covid19 ‘lockdown’ there was an excellent opportunity for many (who were blessed not to be ill) to use the time as a pause for reflection; a time to contemplate where we are at and how we got there! Importantly also, a time to reach out to like-minded professionals to research and learn more about their work in the world. One such lady I was very interested and privileged to connect with via David B Wexler’s kind referral, was Francisca Fariña Rivera.
My interest in speaking with Francisca was due to her extensive research, work and programs about Family and children law, including domestic abuse- also her championing Mediation and the education of children from a very young age, in peaceful dispute resolution.…
The first time I met Neurolinguistic (NLP) Coach Sara Haboubi, was in late October 2017 on the beach of Lumut, Malaysia, on the fringes of the jungle where we were about to both spend the next 5 days with another 400 people, pushing ourselves way out of our comfort zones!
Sara is one of those humans who you are instantly and naturally drawn to. She has big, intelligent, blue eyes and a friendly smile that make you feel instantly at home with her. We exchanged our backgrounds and some life experiences which had led us to register for the Enlightened Warrior Training Camp- we instantly connected. We each support the other’s life mission and vision to positively transform lives. Sara through her NLP Coaching and online courses, me through my practice and teaching of Holistic Law.…
As The Hon Samantha Sacramento, Minister for Justice and Equality said, it has taken a woman Justice Minister to create an event for all the women lawyers at the Gibraltar Bar! The event celebrates 100 years since the very first woman lawyer was called. Mrs Donna Seruya Sackman a Lawyer herself and one of the first few women to be called in Gibraltar’s history, generously sponsored the dinner which was hosted by the University of Gibraltar.…
The reason that practising Holistic Law is so logical and natural to me, is that we are all of us, lawyers, judges, mediators, clients- human beings; with all our complexities of human emotions. Our emotions have a full range and can be positive or negative. They can drive us to moments of extreme elation, or drown us in darkness, towards suicidal thought.
I’ve never understood how we are supposed to take emotion out of the law; to ‘divorce’ the legal problem or dispute from the client’s emotions. They are in my view, inextricably linked. Why is someone in a toxic and abusive relationship? What made the bully, bully? That is, what truth lies underneath the surface and what triggers what manifests in law-breaking and harmful behaviour?…
As a Lawyer, one of the key skills we are trained in is Negotiation. I prefer to call it the ‘Art of Negotiation’ because that is what it truly is, an Art!
Some of the best teachers on negotiation skills I have met are to be found not only at Law School, but in the Souk (market-places) in Tangiers, Morocco! I never lose an opportunity to hone my legal skills and negotiating with the local tradesmen and shop owners is of itself, a wonderful learning and enriching experience.…
Leadership is one of my favourite topics because in truth, it is not something confined to any one person, or position, or profession. We can all be leaders no matter what age or stage of life we are at. We can lead at home (raising children well requires leadership skills), at school with our peers, at work with our colleagues, within our group of friends especially when any are facing challenges, in our local sports, charity and other associations and organisations. To lead in my opinion, is about supporting in other’s growth. As a Holistic Lawyer I hope to lead in supporting my clients’ personal and professional growth, whenever and wherever possible.…
As a Law Student back in 1997-1998, I applied to become a Member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. I recall being so grateful to the late Sir Joshua Hassan QC, past Chief Minister of Gibraltar, for writing my reference for entry. I hold fond memories of the Dinners (and lunches) attended at the Middle Temple during my Bar Vocational Course year at the Inns of Court School of Law, London. Twelve Dinners were compulsory ahead of final exam qualification and being called as a Barrister-at-Law to the Bar of England and Wales. Call Day was a momentous occasion, celebrating the culmination of many years of study and work. Over the years I have sporadically visited the Middle Temple for lunch, very much enjoying the architecture and surrounding Fountain Court.…
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- Elevated Women Event Hosted by Judymay Murphy at the Ritz Carlton, London
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- Gibraltar’s Literary Festival
- Gabriel Moreno’s Book Launch, ‘The Passer-by’, London