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The Role & Benefits of a Divorce Coach: Is It Right for You?

A divorce coach is a trained professional who is an ally and support for you as well as expert in the field of divorce. As a licensed mental health provider, the divorce coach has received a Master’s degree in psychotherapy, provided thousands of hours of therapy and passed a state licensing exam. In addition, the divorce coach engages in another hundred or so hours of specialized training in divorce.

Getting certified as a divorce coach with no mental health Master’s level training or license is increasingly common. This would be one of the comparison’s you might want to make when choosing your divorce coach. What kind of expertise are you looking for in your divorce? Does your family situation merit that level of education and expertise? If there are intense or multiple mental health needs in the family or a high level of conflict or your mental health has taken a huge toll for any reason, you may benefit from a divorce coach who is a mental health professional.

The other benefit of a mental health professional as coach is that they are all governed by state licensing boards. There are easy ways to validate their credentials as well as make complaints.

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness that divorce is not just a legal process - it is also an emotional and mental process every step of the way. In fact, most challenges that lead to divorce are related to mental and emotional factors. The role of the divorce coach is to tend to those factors and build them up with concrete skills as well as the more nuanced use of emotional regulation. Skills could include breathing exercises, mantras specific to your situation or journaling. Emotional regulation could include listening to your body, identifying signs of stress arousal and designing management strategies.

There are a number of areas that are in the divorce coach’s wheelhouse that assist in creating a more direct route to your final divorce decree:

  1. Goals. Your divorce coach helps you clearly define your goals and stay centered in your goals during the turbulent waters of the divorce.

  2. Communication. You can only control you. Improving your own communication skills empowers you, makes your communication more effective and reduces conflict.

  3. Collaboration. Your divorce coach collaborates with other professionals on your team, with your permission, in order to provide an integrated and comprehensive approach to your divorce.

Lastly, the divorce coach, a licensed mental health professional, is qualified to provide parenting plan options from a developmental perspective. The mental health professional can identify potential mental health challenges in your children (but a divorce coach cannot diagnose or treat) along with options for assessments, use of insurance benefits, Employee Assistance Programs and Health Savings Accounts.

A good divorce coach will keep the children central, be aware of the pitfalls of the conflict of divorce on children and able to educate parents on both of these fronts.

If you would like to know more about the role of a divorce coach for your divorce, I am happy to help you start that journey or just gather information in a 20 minute consult.

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