Divorce coaching is intended to bridge the gap that occurs from the time a client first considers divorce until they decide to file paperwork and proceed with mediation or litigation. Its primary intentions are to address the emotional aspects of the breakdown of a marriage and to prepare the client for the logistical aspects of a divorce.
As an Edina family law attorney who is also a Jack Canfield Success Principles certified divorce coach, I choose to take a balanced approach. The first phase of divorce coaching is focused on helping the client reach a place of understanding and acceptance about their future. Once my client is ready to move forward with a divorce, we transition into a more analytical approach to help them prepare their financial documents and handle other logistics.
Here are four of the tools I use with my clients early on in the divorce coaching process to help them determine which path they want to travel.
Event + Response = Outcome
This helpful “equation” recognizes that life isn’t always fair; we can’t control the events that happen to us, and they’re often not pleasant (like a divorce, for example). However, we do have control over our response to that event, and our response can ultimately affect the outcome of the situation. I work with my clients to identify how their response to the issues in their marriage will ultimately affect its outcome.
Taking 100% Responsibility
There is a common saying that usually applies to divorces: “There are three sides to every story.” Each spouse will have their own version of events, and the truth about what happened will be the third version.
It can be tempting to focus on what your spouse has done to cause the breakdown of your marriage, but you won’t be able to move on until you address your own shortcomings, too. This doesn’t have to mean you did anything “wrong” within your marriage; it could simply be that you sold yourself short by not realizing you deserved a better relationship. Taking 100% responsibility simply means being honest with yourself about the past, the present, and the future – including recognizing the work you want to put into bettering yourself. The Jack Canfield Success Principles recognize this as an important step toward success.
Examining Your Wheel of Life
It’s easy to feel unbalanced when your marriage is out of whack, but you shouldn’t be forced to neglect other areas of your life because of the struggles in your marriage. Think of all the roles you play: spouse, parent, employee, team member, hobbyist, friend, and more. What would you like the balance between these roles to be? A tool called the Wheel of Life can help you see exactly where you’re directing the majority of your energy, so you can make adjustments that will help you feel more fulfilled.
Any of us can use visualization to illuminate our path in life, but it’s especially important at a crossroads. When one of my clients is considering a divorce, I often use visualization to help them determine how they want their future to look. This may end in reconciliation with their spouse, or it could lead my client to choose to file for divorce. When using visualization as a divorce coach, I encourage my clients to imagine exactly what they want without any preconceived notions. You are in the driver’s seat of your life, so where do you see yourself one, five, and ten years down the line? When you visualize your goals, the path forward will become more clear.
By using tools like the Wheel of Life and visualization, divorce coaching clients will feel confident and empowered to have the tools and knowledge should they decide they want to divorce. In my next post, I’ll describe some of the tools I often use as we begin to narrow down the client’s intentions – often in the direction of filing for divorce.
Learn more about my Edina divorce coach services here or call (612) 564-0137 for more information.