And This Too Shall Pass....
Facilitating Collaborative Divorce is a direct outgrowth of my work with couples.  Through this difficult work, it has become clear to me that the ending of a marriage, a relationship, a love, a family unit, needs as much attention and care as we give to the process of saving and rebuilding.  Couples do not come to this decision lightly, and rarely without a lot of pain and regret.  Through Collaborative Divorce, I have come to see that the legal field respects, honors, and embraces the complex histories and emotions that go into such a difficult and painful decision and process.  The collaborative process also incorporates a coach as therapists having an important and essential role to offer to the process to maintain respect, dignity and compassion.  The dual concepts of divorce and healing don’t usually go hand in hand.  But in the Collaborative Divorce process, there is dignity and respect, and often some healing too.  What cannot be resolved in couples therapy may instead be reframed as principles applied to separate well.  This approach offers both parties a compromise or solution that allows each to move forward with hope.

The Collaborative Divorce process is a team process, usually involving a coach, two collaboratively trained attorneys, and sometimes a neutral financial professional.  Using a team approach, the 5 or 6 participants together work through the difficult and painful but necessary aspects of divorce.  The legal process belongs to the team, and reflects the team, and is meant not only to include the separating partners, but to uphold each of their wishes in the best way possible.  This approach tends to be quicker, less expensive, and the most supportive for a family, particularly one where children are involved.  

The professionals in this practice have turned away from a litigious and hostile approach, toward one that manages this painful juncture without increasing the dual hostility and aggression.  The goal is to end a partnership with dignity, with fairness, with compassion, and with the most reasonable outcome for a family in crisis.  

Collaborative Divorce is for almost anyone, but for couples who remember that they used to love.  It is for folks who strive to remember that even in the worst of times, when our worst selves come out, that our best selves are still part of who we are, and can emerge through this process to help guide us through.  

The role of Collaborative Coach is to provide support and coaching to both parties, to the team, and to facilitate and shepherd the legal process.  As a coach, I strive to maintain the balance between understanding the conflict and managing heightened emotion, with working it through and moving it forward toward the best possible resolve.  If you are considering a separation or divorce, would like to hear more about this process, or would just like to meet and talk, I welcome your call, and would be available to help.
Amy Friedman Ph.D.