Divinna Schmitt is passionate about Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS)— and with good reason; it changed her family’s life. In 2006, sitting in the waiting room of her struggling child’s fourth therapist, she teared up and shared with another parent, “I just need a script!” The parent gifted her with a suggestion that transformed everything: “Read The Explosive Child, by Dr. Ross Greene.” Greene’s approach was revolutionary. Divinna was stunned to realize that all the rewards and consequences in the world could not begin to teach her son the skills he lacked— skills in the domains of flexibility, frustration tolerance, and problem solving. He was not a bad kid after all; and she was not a bad parent. Divinna became certified in CPS with Dr. Stuart Ablon, through Think:Kids, a program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Divinna has worked with children all her life, originally in the areas of education and theater. She has an undergraduate degree in Theater, from Tufts University, and a Master’s Degree in Education, from Lesley University. She also completed the Teacher Training Course at Shady Hill School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
After years of teaching and traveling with a children’s participatory theater out of Providence, Rhode Island, Divinna became involved with radio as an announcer and copywriter. When her children were born, she stopped working outside the home. This proved fortuitous when her son began exhibiting behavioral and emotional difficulties at age six.
Divinna is devoted to sharing the CPS model with parents, grandparents, caregivers, educators, and clinicians. She is a board member of NAMI Shoreline, which supports her efforts to offer this non-punitive, relationship-based approach to communication.