There is no doubt that the divorce process is painful and emotionally difficult. Even an amicable divorce marks the end of a marriage that was once full of promise and love. As the old song says: breaking up is hard to do.
Enter the divorce coach. The role of a coach is to assist an individual who is experiencing the divorce process and to help with certain non-legal aspects of the process. Specifically, the divorce coach acts as a sounding board for emotional concerns, fears and pain. He or she provides suggestions on effective communication for negotiation and future co-parenting and he or she addresses any other emotional or non legal aspects of the process.
By the way……the divorce coach is a trained mental health professional.
Your acceptance of the need for a divorce coach might have just evaporated as you thought, “But I don’t need therapy” or “I’m not crazy”. Both statements are likely true. The divorce coach does not provide therapy and certainly cannot assist the severely mentally ill. But consider that a mental health professional has significant training and experience in human emotions, family structures and communication.
Just as you might employ the services of a career coach if you found yourself unemployed, using the services of a divorce coach when you are going through the difficulty of divorce is simply good self care. It is also smart business. Your divorce attorney, while hopefully kind and willing to listen, is not a trained communication or emotions specialist. Your attorney has special training to get you through the legal aspects of you divorce. You certainly need that. But divorce is much more than a legal process. Gwyneth Paltrow recently described it as “uncoupling”. There is a definite emotional aspect to it that deserves your attention and with which you may need assistance. The time you spend working with a divorce coach is time not spent airing your emotional issues to your attorney who is not trained to assist with those issues and whose billable rate is not conducive to spending lots of time listening to your valid pain and hurt.
To get a referral to a divorce coach, start by asking your attorney. You can also visit www.collaborative–divorce.org for a list of trained coaches.