A Massachusetts divorce is a challenging psychological experience for those involved. Communication breakdown always accompanies marital conflict. This makes sense as when you are feeling angry, defeated by, or distant from someone, it is difficult to hear them or really listen to what they have to say. No one feels generous when they feel their spouse has disappointed them nor do they feel interested in learning their point of view or seeing things their way. This presents a significant challenge as the best divorce agreements – the ones that really stick and help all family members to move ahead with their lives in a successful manner – are based on three elements:
- The ability to communicate;
- A willingness to try to understand each other’s needs; and
- An ability to work cooperatively
Most people are familiar with the role of the therapist and other mental health practitioners. Divorce Coaching is not therapy, but helps people stay calm and focused on their goals during and after the divorce process. Another goal of divorce coaching is to assist the client in reducing conflict, promoting helpful communications, and promoting the wellness of the client and the children.
While attorneys are skillful in a variety of areas related to divorce and family law, not all lawyers have the communication skills that a coach may have in helping people to work together, communicate well (even though they may feel angry, rejected, or upset ) and stay productive.
Selecting A Divorce Coach
Divorce Coaches are frequently licensed psychotherapists, marriage and family counselors, or divorce attorneys or mediators, but BEWARE - some people without the professional education or experience try to sell themselves as coaches and there are no official certification programs or standards for divorce coaches. Anyone you might consider as a coach should have specific training and expertise in working with strong emotions in the room. Watch out for someone that calls themselves a Divorce Coach but does not have the combination of professional education and experience to go along with the title.
What does a Divorce Coach Do?
Resentment or rage, depression, trust issues, or too much worry about the future can derail the divorce process as clients become unable or unwilling to ‘hear’ and cooperate with each other. These are the exact same issues that often breakdown the divorce process and can lead to difficult and expensively litigated cases!
Skillful coaches keep the environment where negotiations are taking place emotionally safe so that clients can focus in on what they really want or need and articulate this in a manner in which they will be heard. Even couples who have trouble talking to and listening to each other can be helped to communicate more effectively. Coaches routinely help each spouse find their own ‘voice’ and ask for what they need. They also de-escalate tense or conflict filled moments, help the clients focus on the difficult tasks at hand, and keep the process forward moving at a comfortable pace.
When Should You Consider a Divorce Coach?
A Divorce Coach can be helpful before, during, and after a divorce. Are you emotionally ready to divorce? A coach can help you consider the emotional stages of divorce and prepare for what can seem like a crazy roller coaster ride that can last for months if not years. During divorce, a coach provides support and tips to navigate the process, while increasing your confidence and ability to move through your divorce, whether you are in divorce mediation or a Massachusetts litigated divorce. For couples considering the collaborative divorce process, a coach is an important element of the collaborative team.
Post-divorce, a coach can help sift through the turmoil and help improve communications between you and your ex, improving co-parenting and reduce the resultant stress on children due to their direct or secondary exposure to conflict between parents.
If you are interested in learning more about coaching or working with a divorce coach, then please call us (508) 346-3805.
At TDC, we provide personalized divorce coaching services in person, by telephone, or through Skype. Make your Massachusetts divorce go as smoothly as possible by considering the services of an experienced divorce coach. Coaching services are available in both our Bedford & Franklin, MA locations.