Managing Strong Emotions with a Divorce Coach

by Madeline Muise, LCSW, LMFT, Mediation & Therapy Associates, LLC

Divorce is a challenging crisis! This transition raises strong emotions-  anger, fear, sadness, loss, guilt.

These strong, but normal emotions come in waves-often unexpectedly.

One moment you’re feeling as if everything is going in the right direction and the next you’re in a black place feeling depressed and hopeless. One moment you might feel euphoric at the realization that you have a chance to start over, the next you’re in a rage at your spouse who no longer wants the marriage, or panic at the thought of going back to work fulltime.

Yes, your life will change. Some changes will be more difficult than others. Some changes will bring unexpected gifts-relief from fighting, more autonomy.

The collaborative process has an important resource for you- a Divorce Coach.

A Divorce Coach is a licensed mental health professional who has been trained in the Collaborative Divorce Process. The Coach will have experience with couples counseling and knowledge of the stages of divorce, child development, and healthy family functioning.

A Divorce Coach can help in the following ways:

1) Help you express your feelings and give you techniques to work through and manage some of your stronger feelings. Although it is important to be heard angry outbursts can slow down the process and turn off the other spouse.  A Coach can teach you how to say what you need to  in a way that can be heard by the entire team.

2) Help you clarify what you want from your divorce. This is an important task. Your future whether or not you initiated the divorce depends on you setting goals and visioning the future.

3) Help you develop a better communication style.  Why bother you might wonder. The answer is because if you have children together you will need to communicate the rest of your life with each other.

4) Help you craft a healthy Parenting Plan  that addresses everyone’s needs – those of you and your spouse and the needs of the children.

The Coach will help you with a plan that moves you from one nuclear family to a bi-nuclear family.

Though divorce is a challenge that is never easy, couples who have used the Collaborative Process for divorce are very often satisfied with the outcome –they have put their children first and they have a civil relationship. This is a good start for the next phase of their life!

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