In our posts on the Collaborative Divorce Team, we have already discussed the Child Specialist and the Financial Specialist. This week we focus on the Collaborative Coach as an important part of the Team. How does this important professional help divorcing individuals and their families through the process?
A Collaborative Divorce Coach is, according to the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, “a mental health professional who helps the two [divorcees] recognize, negotiate and communicate emotional concerns during the divorce process.” These professionals may come from the fields of psychology, social work or marriage and family therapy. No matter what their chosen field, they should have specialized training in the collaborative process. It is important to note that as a coach, he or she must not function as a therapist for anyone in the family. Family members are encouraged, however, to work with a therapist outside of the legal side of divorce proceedings.
According to Robert A. Simon, Ph.D., writer for About.com Divorce Support pages, there are a number of areas of expertise provided by Divorce Coaches, such as: working though current emotional and practical challenges, helping negotiate the divorce settlement, and focusing the entire team’s efforts. The coach accomplishes this by promoting healthy communication, encouraging respectful dialogue, advocating empathetic listening, assisting with goal setting, and supporting both parents in putting their children’s needs ahead of their own. In addition, coaches help couples, “deal with the ‘triggers’ and psychological/emotional challenges that invariably come up in the course of a successful Collaborative Divorce,” says Dr. Simon.
Simon sums up the benefits of a divorce coach well when he says, “As complex and difficult as divorce is, one of the major advances and advantages of Collaborative Divorce is the inclusion of Coaches on the team. The recognition that healthy divorce is far more than a legal process represents how Collaborative Divorce is truly a value-added process that looks at the whole person and the whole family.”
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A.The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.