Debra Macleod, B.A., LL.B., is an international marriage author and conflict specialist who offers a fast, focused and no-nonsense alternative to couples counselling. Her extensive experience, unconventional approach and discriminating clientele make her the only choice when it comes to top-tier relationship help. She specializes in cases where one spouse is working alone to save the marriage, or is trying to motivate an unfaithful, uncooperative or apathetic partner to change.
How she started doing what she does: It was while working as a divorce mediator that Debra first realized how many divorcing couples – including those who had tried couples counselling and other approaches– hadn’t received the type of direct and low-conflict relationship help that might have saved their marriages and kept their families together. That is why she founded her couples mediation / relationship coaching practice, Marriage SOS™. Instead of using her education and training to help people separate amicably, she used her skill set to pioneer her unique marriage-saving method and offer clients an alternative to couples “couch counselling.”
Debra’s professional method combines her “hard” background in law, conflict resolution, mediation and communication with her “softer” experience as a marriage / intimacy author and relationship coach. It is an intelligently grounded, pragmatic and proven way to approach relationship issues, one that appeals equally to men and women. It is unbiased, balances the needs and perspectives of both partners, and offers real-world solutions. As such, it is the obvious choice for discerning clients who demand the highest-quality service.
After years of running a successful office practice, Debra streamlined her innovative method into issue-specific course format and expanded her practice online. It is now a premier destination for on-demand marriage-saving “crash courses,” focusing on providing services to the USA and Canada. She also offers telephone consults to clients in North America.
“Informed, engaging and unapologetically good at what she does. Deb’s our fave.” – CITY TV
“Deb’s advice is like that wise but slightly mouthy aunt you go to when you need somebody to kick you in the pants and give you a hug at the same time.” – CORUS RADIO
Debra has a singular reputation for tackling the “tough issues” in a candid yet surprisingly good-humored and compassionate way, and for providing her course-takers and clients with precise, assertive strategies instead of generalized, trivial advice. Her areas of specialization include affairs, inappropriate friendships, midlife crisis situations, marital apathy and chronic arguing. She is also an authority on “oil patch marriages,” which are a unique challenge for energy-sector companies, employees and families. Countless people have benefited from Debra’s top-selling books, media contributions, client consultations and on-demand courses.
Media work: Debra is an expert resource for major media in Canada, the United States and worldwide. Her television credentials include NBC NEW YORK, FOX TV, CBC, GLOBAL TV, CTV, CITY TV and SHAW TV. She has appeared on XM/SIRIUS Satellite Radio as well as numerous local, national and syndicated radio programs across North America and has a weekly radio segment on CORUS RADIO.
Debra has been seen in popular international women’s and men’s magazines, including ELLE, COSMOPOLITAN, REDBOOK, BRIDAL GUIDE, SHAPE, ESQUIRE, MEN’S HEALTH MAGAZINE, WOMEN’S HEALTH MAGAZINE, WOMAN’S ERA (India), TODAY’S PARENT, READER’S DIGEST and ENTREPRENEUR. She has also contributed to various health and industry magazines, from APPLE to THE OGM (Oil & Gas). She is a featured relationship blogger for THE HUFF POST with her blogs appearing in multiple editions including the USA, Canada, Arabi, Korea and Brazil.
In addition, she has been interviewed by the Associated Press and the Canadian Press, and her work has received worldwide coverage in such newspapers as USA TODAY, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE CHINA POST, THE DAILY MAIL, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, THE TORONTO STAR, THE EPOCH TIMES, THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, THE NATIONAL POST, SUN and other local, national and international newspapers.
Debra has also been seen in such popular web destinations as TODAY.com, CafeMom.com, canada.com, CBS.com, msn.com, the Loop by Sympatico, News.com.au (Australia), USA TODAY’s “Happily Ever After” book reviews blog, AskMen.com, SheKnows.com and others. Her articles are often syndicated to multiple web portals and her work is cited in websites around the world.
Academic credentials: Debra holds a Law Degree from Dalhousie University, a Certificate in Interpersonal Conflict Resolution from the Alberta Arbitration & Mediation Society (now the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Alberta) and is an AAMS-trained divorce and family mediator. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) with a major in English and a minor in Classics from the University of Alberta.
Professional memberships: Debra is a member of the ADR Institutes of Alberta and Canada. She is also a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada.
Just in case Debra’s credentials strike you as a little “stuffy,” fear not. There’s a good reason that she’s able to pull so many couples out of conflict or apathy and bring them back to a place of trust and happiness. Not only is she an experienced couples mediator, but her unique approach respects the essential connection between emotional and sexual intimacy within marriage. In addition to her Marriage SOS book series, her work as an intimacy author (writing with her co-author husband) informs her professional method and makes it even more relevant to today’s couples. After all, the couple that plays together stays together.
And personally: Debra has been married (since 2000) to her husband Don: they have one son. In addition to her “day job” as a conflict specialist, she is an avid Classicist and author of historical fiction.