Whether you have decided to divorce through litigation, mediation, or are interested in pursuing a collaborative divorce, the use of a divorce coach is often considered to be an investment in your best decision-making during one of life’s most difficult and emotional processes. It’s important to recognize that divorce coaching is not therapy – we don’t delve into past issues or examine why your feelings exist. Our focus is only the divorce process itself and the goal is managing your feelings to help you think clearly; to achieve your best decision-making and most effective communication in divorce negotiations.
What do I Do as Your Divorce Coach?
- I work to get you focused on want you need for the future and help you make decisions in light of those needs.
- I help you think through, define, articulate, and refine your goals in a safe, supportive, environment.
- I teach you how to manage your feelings and we actively plan how to handle emotionally charged issues that arise during the process.
- I work with you before, during and after meetings with your attorney to help you articulate your needs and provide an emotional sounding board for you other than your attorney.
How is coaching different from therapy?
- Divorce coaching is a consultative service while therapy is a treatment. Coaching is designed to help an individual, couple, or family deal as effectively as they can with the process of divorce. There is no diagnosis or psychological evaluation as there would be in a psychotherapy.
- The evaluation in coaching is designed to understand how you are being psychologically and emotionally impacted by the process and to determine the best methods by which to help you participate most effectively in it, especially during meetings.
- The methods utilized in coaching are here-and-now, pragmatic, and often take the form of an instruction.
- Many people already have a therapist they are working with and I can establish communication (with your permission) to educate therapists about the divorce process and goals of coaching. If I assess that you are in need of therapeutic services and you are not currently in psychotherapy, I will make that recommendation and provide referral(s) to you.
- Unlike psychotherapy, divorce coaching is not an insurance-reimbursable service.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
- Collaborative divorce is a specific process where a team of divorce support professionals representing the main components of divorce (legal, financial, and emotional) work with you and your spouse to achieve agreements reflective of everyone’s needs.
- While you retain your own attorney during this type of divorce; all the involved professionals function as a team, use processes to promote effective communication between partners, and work to preserve the positive aspects of the relationship so that the odds for long-term cooperation is improved. This approach has been shown to yield long lasting benefits; making agreements that will be kept rather than broken.
- Collaborative Divorce professional teams are developed to meet the specific needs of the couple. Divorce Coaches can assist an individual or the couple.
- I am a Fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and adhere to the Principles and Guidelines of Collaborative Family Law.
How do I function as your Divorce Coach in a Collaborative Divorce?
- I do the work and provide the personal support described above.
- In addition, I function as part of the Collaborative Divorce Team. When you and your spouse meet with all or parts of the team, I work to encourage respectful listening, help each of you gain perspective on other points of view, and assist in formulating goals for your individual futures. If children are involved, I help you both prioritize their needs.
Can a coach be used before a divorce begins? What about after we are divorced?
Coaching is a useful service at any point in the divorce process; before, during, and after. Here are some examples:
- Pre-Decision Consultation
Education: Which process is right for us? How does it all work? What will it cost? How long will it take?
Problem-solving: How do we tell the kids? How do we find attorneys? How do we divide everything up?
Preparation: What do we need to do now?
Conflict Management: We’re angry all the time, how will we talk to each other during the divorce? I don’t want to get divorced but she does, what can I do?
- Post-Divorce Coaching
Grieving and sadness
Communicating effectively with each other
Co-Parenting in Reality: Implementing the Joint Parenting Agreement
Achieving consistency in parenting styles between homes: what’s needed versus what seems like control?
Moving on: Traversing the distance between “over” and “next”
- As Time Passes: Adapting the Joint Parenting Agreement To Handle New Situations
Children getting older: new schools, new behaviors, need for new rules
New significant others
Cohabitation or re-marriage
The first step is to contact me, I prefer email to firstname.lastname@example.org as I can often respond more quickly. I will usually get back to you within a few hours.