Rachel is a nationally registered psychologist and the author of two picture books that assist a child’s emotional adjustment as they navigate a new family structure - ‘Max’s Divorce Earthquake’ and ‘Harriet’s Expanding Heart’.
Rachel has work in a range of private, public and non-government organisational settings across New Zealand, United Kingdom and Australia. For the past 17 years she has worked with, and supported, children, young people and their parents/carers who are in situations of family conflict, separation and divorce. She also has a keen interest in stepfamilies and in supporting parents, stepparents and co-parents who are adjusting to shared care arrangements.
It is through her work with families in the process of reorganising themselves after divorce or re-partnering that Rachel learned how important it is for adults to provide their children with both the language and opportunity to talk about their feelings when experiencing changes in family structure. She also enjoys reading and believes that books can be a tremendous help in explaining significant (and often difficult) life events to children.
Originally from New Zealand, Rachel now lives in Sydney with her family, which includes her beloved pet schnauzer 'Maxie'. She currently consults privately from The Relationspace in Sydney’s CBD to families facing transition, loss, growth and change. She provides crucial support and guidance not only to children, young people and their parents, but to lawyers, judges and others who are often on the front lines of family break down.
You can connect with Rachel on Facebook and Instagram @kinshipbooks
At Kinship Books we know that research tells us that reading and storytelling with children from infancy through kindergarten and beyond, encourages and supports brain development and imagination, teaches children about language and emotions and empathy and strengthens their relationships. It can also help build resilience and mental strength.
We believe that by reading books with young children about issues such as divorce, post separation parenting/shared care and stepfamily living, parents and carers can have a positive influence on how their children cope. We aim to write books about these types of sensitive issues to help pave the way to improved emotional expression in children, enabling them to move through their feelings (what ever they may be) and towards adjustment and resilience.
Rachel specialises in writing books for children between 4-8 years of age that have experienced changes in their family situation as a result of divorce, separation or a parent re-partnering and stepfamily formation. Max’s Divorce Earthquake is Rachel’s first book. Her second story, Harriet's Expanding Heart was published in Australia in 2020 and in the United Kingdom in 2021. A story about a girl named Milly and her experiences of frequent changeovers between her two homes is on track for release in 2024. Entitled, Milly's Parent Airport, this will be Rachel's third book.
Introducing a new story or book about a specific, sensitive topic such as divorce can be particularly helpful for young children because it can help to clarify feelings, provides words and language enabling a child to more easily talk about feelings, and assist in validating a child’s experience. Books and stories can also reassure children that what they are feeling in response to a stressful situation or event is normal, give them ideas about how to handle feelings as well as foster an awareness that they are not alone in their feelings or the first/only one to encounter a particular problem.
The messages contained in our books are ultimately positive: children are reassured that all of their feelings are normal; that there is no right or wrong way to feel; that their parents still love and will care for them no matter what; and that their changed family circumstances are neither their fault nor their problem to fix.
Our books also contain basic tips for parents/adults/carers about how they can emotionally support their children when change happens within a family as a result of parental separation, divorce, a parent re-partnering and/or stepfamily formation.