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Dr. Carol R. Hughes , Ph.D., LMFT

Divorce Coach/Child Specialist Dr. Carol R. Hughes
23441 S. Pointe Dr. Suite 130 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Work Phone: (949) 855-2740 Work Fax: (949) 855-1388
Photo of Dr. Carol R. Hughes Ph.D., LMFT


Unbeknownst to me at the time, my father and mother planted the seeds for my journey to peacemaking when I was a mere three and a half years old. At that tender and innocent age, I experienced my parents’ bitter divorce. During the ensuing years, peace was not a word I would ever associate with the people I called Mom and Dad.

As a psychotherapist in clinical practice, I have worked with divorcing couples and their children since 1983. My professional mission statement has been to assist as many people as possible heal and empower themselves. The Collaborative Divorce and Team Co-Mediation processes are especially suited to facilitating healing and empowerment since they are based on mutual respect and alleviating the current and future traumas that are so common in divorce.

I have extensive training in collaborative divorce, mediation, domestic violence, chemical dependency, eating disorders and trauma recovery and for ten years I served as an associate professor of Human Services at Saddleback College training prospective counselors, therapists and others pursuing professions in human services.

As a peacemaker, I am passionate about the Collaborative Divorce and Team Co-mediation processes because they offer to families hope that they can transition through one of life’s most difficult and painful times and emerge more whole than often happens in other divorce processes.

I am the co-author of Home Will Never Be the Same Again: A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce published by Rowman and Littlefield.

“Peace is the only battle worth waging” ~ Albert Camus


Additional Information

Type of Profession: Collaborative Divorce Coach, Neutral Child Specialist, Psychotherapist, Mediator


  • California Coast University, Santa Ana, Ph.D., With Highest Honors, Psychology
  • California State University, Fullerton, School Psychology Program
  • California State University, Fullerton, M.S., With Highest Honors, Counseling Psychology
  • University of California, Irvine, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Goethe Institute, West Germany, Fulbright Scholar
  • Goethe Institute, West Germany, Fulbright Scholar
  • University of Colorado, B. A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Activities:

In 2003, I was a founding member of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County and since 2007 I have served on the Board of Directors, including as President and Training and Education Chair. In 2009 I was a co-founder of the Collaborative Divorce Education Institute, a non-profit training and education institute, whose mission is to provide excellent training for collaborative divorce and mediation professionals and education for the public about peaceful, respectful, out of court solutions for families who are restructuring before, during and after the divorce process.

In 2011, I was honored by Collaborative Practice California with the Eureka Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions and demonstrated an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining Collaborative Practice in California. I am a frequent trainer at the annual conferences of Collaborative Practice California and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, as well as other professional conferences throughout California.

In 2020, Rowman and Littlefield published the book Home Will Never Be the Same Again: A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce that I co-authored with a colleague.


  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Member (IACP) (2003-present)
  • IACP Professional Development Committee (2011-2013)
  • Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal) Board Member (2012 – 2014)
  • CP Cal Professional Outreach Task Force Co-Chair (2011-2013))
  • CP Cal Public Education Committee Member (2012 -2013)
  • CP Cal Delegate (2010-2012)
  • CP Cal Co-chair, Southern California Delegates Conclave (2013)
  • Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC) (2003-present)
  • Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association
  • CDSOC founding member (2003)
  • CDSOC Training and Education Committee Member (2009-2012)
  • CDSOC Chair of Training and Education (2008-2009; 2011-2012)
  • CDSOC Vice President (2009-2010; 2012-2013)
  • CDSOC President-Elect (2013-2014)
  • CDSOC President (2014-2015)
  • Collaborative Divorce Team Training Train the Trainers Program (2010 – 2013)
  • Co-founder of the Collaborative Divorce Education Institute (2009)
  • California Association of Marriage and Family and Therapists (1983-present)
  • EMDR International Association
  • Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association
  • Institute of Noetic Sciences
  • Published author, 1985 – present

Professional Licenses:

  • California Licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist
  • California Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
  • California Community College Teaching Certificate
  • California Lifetime Secondary Teaching Credential
  • California Lifetime Pupil Personnel Services Credential
  • Pegasus Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist

Professional Training in Collaborative Process:

I am dedicated to my own training, as well as to training other professionals in Collaborative and mediation practice. To view the complete list of my training, please visit my profile page on

My specialty training includes:

  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Addiction and Competency Concerns for Professionals and Clients
  • Protecting Children in High Conflict Divorce
  • Nondefensive Communication
  • Advanced Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Wanting “Yes” and Getting “No”
  • Mediation in a Time of Changes
  • Divorce Recovery

Areas of practice:

Alternative Dispute Resolution, Child Custody and Visitation, Child and Adolescent Therapy, Collaborative Divorce, Collaborative Practice, Cooperative Divorce, Co-Parenting Issues and Visitation, Divorce Mediation, Domestic Violence, Family Therapy, Individual Psychotherapy, Mediation, Relationship Counseling

Additional Websites:

IACP Profile:

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23441 S. Pointe Dr. Suite 130 Laguna Hills CA 92653 United States

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