The Divorce Team: Divorce Coach or Therapist

If you are thinking about or in the process of going through a divorce, you may be wondering who you can turn to for support, to vent, to process and maybe for some directions on what steps to take next.


At Foundations Divorce Solutions, we firmly believe that both a divorce coach and therapist are essential as you take steps to dissolve your marriage.  Some may wonder what the purpose of one is over the other.  Today, we will take a moment to review at a high level the work and benefit of both a therapist and a divorce coach.


Have you ever wondered why you keep repeating the same patterns, no matter how much you want to fix the issue, you keep choosing the same steps and ending up in the same place? Whether the pattern is in your marriage or you find yourself feeling stuck in other areas of your life, working with a therapist individually and maybe even separately as a couple, may be an option for you. 


For many who seek the help of a therapist, a therapist can work with an individual to help break these cycles by working through the past and identifying areas where a person may be stuck and why they became stuck.  They help you take steps into your past and help you discover where there may have been traumas you may have experienced – whether these traumas are ones you are already aware of or ones you have not recognized and identified as a trauma. 

And once the trauma is identified, you can work through some of the mental and emotional blocks around this. This is where the healing begins and where breakthroughs happen.


The work into the past is important. Without getting too scientific, we have what is called the limbic system which stores all the data that dictates why we do what we do, why we make the choices we make, and the patterns in our lives which are on autopilot. Yes, this is the autopilot center of our lives and will forever be on autopilot, making the same decisions as we have all our lives unless we pause and scramble the signals just a little bit in order to create some new patterns and new habits.  A therapist can help you scramble the signals and create some new ones in order to break the cycles and help create the present and future you so long for.


So speaking of present and future.  Yes, a therapist can help you take steps but for those who are at the turning point of their lives and either considering, in the middle of or just coming out of a divorce, a divorce coach may be someone you may want to consult with.


A Divorce Coach is someone who is specially trained to work with an individual who is going through a divorce. They work with their client in the present and work towards looking at the future.  As you take steps to dissolve the life you and your spouse have built over the years, even if the decision to divorce was yours, there will still be emotions to process, thoughts to think through and possibly some venting.  Whether you are working with a financial neutral mediator or a divorce attorney to handle your divorce, you may need someone to turn to who is on your side and can meet you in your sorrow, your anger or even your frustration, at times, through the entire divorce process.  As much as your mediator may want to be the sounding board and the advocate, if they were hired to be a neutral to help both you and your soon to be ex spouse, they cannot be this person.  And if you have a divorce attorney, you hired your attorney to be your advocate in the negotiations against your soon to be ex and their attorney.  If you are leaning on your attorney and their team to be your sounding board, you may be racking up the billable hours without even realizing the time accrued.  Working with a Divorce Coach will help you come up with clear and concise questions to ask your attorney and mediator.  Your coach can meet with you prior to your mediation sessions to help get you focused and grounded on what your objectives will be.  

Something else a divorce coach will help you with is your soon to be future.  What I describe to my clients and prospects alike who are entering into the steps to divorce is that divorce is hard on the heart, the mind and the body.  Sometimes divorce is a marathon and not a sprint.  And because it is a marathon, you need something to look forward to.  Your divorce coach can help you think about what your near future can look like. Most people who are at divorce’s doorsteps are not able to think about what life may look like post divorce but this exercise is pertinent to being able to move through the divorce.  Even in the most amicable divorce scenarios, the mental and emotional drain can take a toll and you may want to just throw n the towel.  Working with a divorce coach to help you with the endurance is paramount to your future.  When you are making decisions which can effect your short term, medium term and long term future, you need to stay focused.


Please know that whether you work with a therapist or a divorce coach or both, the process of divorce is emotionally and mentally taxing. The work you do with your therapist may drain you after each session but don’t give up. And as with any relationships, whether personal or professional, whoever you choose to work with as a therapist or divorce coach has to be the right fit.  Consult with a few. You may need to have a couple of sessions with each to see if this is the right person to help you either with the past or your present and future.  They do not have to be your best friend.  It is best if they are not but they have to be someone who feels safe to you and someone you trust to have your best interest at heart and someone you know you are able to be vulnerable with.  Without the safety, trust and vulnerability, the good work which will come about will not have the chance to develop.


If you need some recommendations, please reach out to us at Foundations Divorce Solutions.  We have resources in both therapists and in divorce coaches who can walk with you through this season in your life.


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