Dr. Michelle Golland: After hearing Jon say that he despises Kate and could not even sit next to his soon-to-be ex-wife on a sofa, I want to implore them to get a divorce coach. This is very different from couples therapy; the purpose of a divorce coach is to help the divorcing couple manage the process of the divorce, with the best interests of the children kept at the forefront.
A divorce is a major life transition with financial, legal, and emotional ramifications. All of these areas impact a divorce. A divorce coach will help guide the couple in a collaborative model, rather than a combative model. Attorneys that use divorce coaches find that they settle with better outcomes and less expenses because the couple is not using the attorney to wage an emotional war, which is what can really get the paper flying in a divorce case. Which, of course, increases the lawyer fees on both sides.
A divorce coach works for the best outcome for the children. He or she helps manage the intense feelings as they arise in the process of the divorce. Each person must trust and buy into the role of the divorce coach for it to be beneficial. The coach always has in mind how the intense feelings during a divorce can interfere with making reasonable decisions. If the divorcing parents make heated emotional decisions they regret, these can go on to impact the children for years to come.
Even though a divorce coach is trained as a psychologist or other mental health professional, he or she does not operate from that position. Divorce coaches are not there to "understand" the feelings, but to "manage" them. They can also help deal with the personality factors that can get in the way of making settlement possible. They are experts at keeping the intense emotions from derailing the collaborative process.
A divorce coach can keep the lines of communication open between divorcing spouses. He or she will hopefully make a new line of communication that never even existed, and will help the couple with the most challenging of conversations, discussions, and negotiations. A divorce coach may be used not just in the beginning steps of a divorce, but as difficult and challenging issues arise along the road of co-parenting.
|Dr. Michelle Golland is a USC graduate and a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY#16974). She works with adults, teens and is an expert in the field of marriage and relationships. Dr. Michelle Golland has given her expert advice on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox news. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two wonderfully exhausting children.|