As a Divorce Coach, I work with client(s) to help them overcome difficult emotions that could stall or prevent her/him from reaching a reasonable divorce agreement. I help client(s) communicate in a more productive way with the person s/he is divorcing, instead of repeating old patterns of negative interactions that usually end up in the same old place and get nowhere. There are new and better ways to negotiate and find solutions that enable each person to feel better about the whole experience. When there are children, we work on the Parenting Plan together; it is then passed to the attorneys, who include it in the Divorce Contract. Divorce coaching is not therapy; it is a brief process which concentrates on the present and the future. If therapy seems indicated, a referral may be offered. The Collaborative Divorce Team tailors professionals’ roles to accommodate the individualized needs of each couple. There are times when I act as the sole, neutral, facilitating Coach, for both parties and, in other situations, when useful, I am one of two coaches. As part of the Collaborative team, the Coach helps the attorneys better understand the emotional factors involved, so they can more efficiently focus on the legal tasks.
As a Collaborative Child Specialist, I help inform the Divorce Coach(es) when they write up the Parenting Plan, which includes everything relating to the child(ren). Often children can get ‘lost’ during this trying time when parents are trying to maintain their own equilibrium. Children are frequently upset, confused, angry, frightened, depending on their age, personality and relationship with each parent. Often children need some assistance in sorting through their fears, reactions and feelings. I see the child(ren) to better understand their needs and wishes (it can be difficult for children to tell their parents certain things because of the deep feelings involved) and then help parents think about how they want to plan for their children. This is not therapy, though referrals can be made, if indicated. Our contact is brief and focused on the best way for the parents to move forward in planning for the family’s future.