A Collaborative Communication Coach
is a licensed mental health professional who has experience in issues related to separation, divorce, and remarriage. The Coach has training and expertise in family dynamics, communication skills, mediation, and the Collaborative law process. The Collaborative Communication Coach helps prepare each client to participate effectively within the collaborative process.
The Collaborative Communication Coach does not act as a therapist. However, the coach uses professional training and experience to assist you in managing emotional or psychological issues that might otherwise get in the way of a productive discussion.
Research has shown that divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can face. It is a major life transition and can be a very disorienting experience. For most people, getting divorced involves loss on many levels. These can include loss of control, loss of a dream, loss of trust, loss of stability, loss of a best friend, loss of financial security, loss of connection to shared friends and community, and loss of identity as a married person, among others.
Given this level of life disruption, powerful feelings of anger and grief about the end of the marriage are common. These thoughts and feelings are normal as divorcing couples go through this transition. Nonetheless, they can and often do hinder the divorce process. For example, one spouse’s anger at the other spouse may prompt acting out in an effort to retaliate. Fear of the unknown may cause them to stall the process. Grief about what has been lost may hamper their ability to visualize and move toward a different future. Many people feel ruled by their emotions at this time that can keep them from making sound decisions.
Collaborative Divorce Coaches help clients:
- Identify and prioritize their goals and concerns
- Identify strong emotions that might interfere with their ability to participate in the collaborative process
- Develop strategies to present each client’s ideas and concerns and to advocate for themselves, so they will be understood
- Understand their spouse’s concerns so they feel heard
- Identify ineffective communication patterns and create better communication
- In families with children, the coach helps develop parenting plans and co-parenting strategies to support the transition to two households
- The Coach works with the team to address roadblocks to resolution