The Divorce Coach: A Vital Member of the Professional Collaborative Team
As has been proven, the collaborative model works so well because all of the members of the collaborative team play an equally-critical role in the success of the collaborative process. We know that emotions can run high during a divorce. We also know that emotions can get in the way of rational thinking, and the ability to access the cognitive areas of our brain, which is critical for effective problem-solving. Divorce Coaches are best-suited to help clients move past the emotion of a given impasse, and past the high emotions of the divorce itself, and to help clients focus on realistic options to obtain a more favorable outcome for their families.
What is the Role of a Divorce Coach?
A Divorce Coach is a licensed, mental health professional who has specialized training in Collaborative Divorce and Mediation. The Divorce Coach is a co-equal member of the clients’ Collaborative Divorce Team. In a full Collaborative Team, each spouse has a Divorce Coach. In some cases, clients choose to share one Divorce Coach to assist each of them through the collaborative divorce process or mediation.
Perhaps you have already tried counseling. Sadly nothing has worked. One or both of you have decided on divorce.
If you decide to divorce the most important next decision you will make for your family is what process to choose.
Divorce has two tracks and they operate simultaneously. There is the Business Track and the Emotional Track. If the Emotional Track is not handled well it can easily knock the Business Track off course, create enormous damage to your family, including your children, as well as cost you more money and time.
The Business Track generally involves attorneys and financial specialists. The Emotional Track benefits from the expertise of a well trained and experienced Divorce Coach.
In most places, there are four ways to get divorced. Unfortunately, many people only know about two options.
Get an aggressive attorney and fight it out
Try to do it yourself.
These two choices above carry significant risks.
Trying to maneuver your way through a complex legal system without professional guidance can be costly.
Family Law can be confusing and it is easy to make mistakes.
Hiring lawyers to fight it out can become a war. There will be winners and losers in
The word “coach” has many meanings. Collaborative Divorce Coaches differ significantly from the “certified divorce coaches” who have proliferated in the past ten years. In the collaborative divorce process, the Divorce Coaches must hold a license in a state, province, or country that requires an advanced degree in a recognized clinical mental health field, requires continuing education, and is regulated by a governing body under a code of ethics. Their license must remain in good standing with their licensing boards, and they must comply with the highest standards of their licensing boards. They may be licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional clinical counselors, or licensed psychiatrists and must have at least five years’ experience working with couples and families experiencing separation and divorce.
Collaborative Divorce Coaches must have a background, education, and a minimum of five years’ experience post-licensure in:
Family systems theory
Individual and family life cycle and development.
Assessment of individual and family strengths
Assessment and challenges of family dynamics in separation and divorce
Challenges in restructuring families after separation1
Collaborative Divorce Coaches must have completed the following training requirements:
An Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training that meets the requirements