by Jann Glasser, LCSW, MFT
Divorce is just as much a life transition as marriage. Divorce is not about the division of property; it is about the division of lives.
Closure rarely comes with the decree of dissolution issued by the court. Closure can come more easily through Collaborative Divorce, where a team of Collaborative professionals helps you to facilitate peacemaking in a private, respectful process out of court instead of waging war in a courtroom.
Depending upon the needs of the transitioning couple, various professionals are selected to be part of the team assisting spouses in a healthy positive transition from their lives together into two separate households. One of these professionals is the Divorce Coach, a licensed mental health professional who is a specialist with clinical experience in human behavior and family systems. We help families learn new skills in conducting themselves in times of stress during the Collaborative Divorce process.
Our role as Divorce Coaches during a Collaborative Divorce is assist people through the transition process, to provide a soft landing spot for clients to deal with the range of emotions that are inherent in any marital breakup. Coaches can help you to determine what is truly important in the divorce process, for both parents and children. Coaches can also help you release the negative emotional energy that can be part of any divorce, by helping you to develop skills in open communication, self-management and creative problem-solving.
As coaches, we help our clients focus on questions about their personal ethics and conduct, rather than winning and losing. After more than 30 years in the field of professional counseling and mediation, I have learned that divorce is one of the most painful emotional experiences most people can endure in their lifetime.
As a part of your Collaborative team, a Divorce Coach will assist you in separating highly volatile emotions so they do not interfere with sound decision-making. Together, we will create goals to address each area of concern, highlighting strengths as well as identifying challenges.
One of our most important and lasting goals as coaches is helping couples who are parents create co-parenting agreements that will work by helping to focus on the real issues of the future, not past angers and disappointments. Coaches guide couples to turn their issues into mutually shared interests, as they learn new problem solving skills for conflict resolution and post-divorce parenting for the restructured “family apart.”
By choosing to embark upon the road of Collaborative Divorce, and with the assistance of a Divorce Coach to guide you along the way, my hope is that at the end of this journey, you can embrace the spirit of these words found in Genesis 13:8-9: “let there be no quarrel between us for we were once family; let us separate gently; if one goes north, may the other go south; if one goes east, may the other go west. May your house be your house; and may my house be my house, and may strife and contentions not rule our hearts.”