In a divorce, it often feels like your whole life is being turned upside down and your future is completely obscured. While there is always an enormous amount of jubilant support from family and community at wedding time, during a divorce, couples rarely get any assistance. This is where a divorce coach can be extremely helpful.
What is a Divorce Coach?
Divorcing couples often get into a conflict vortex, leading them to go in circles instead of achieving relationship repair and resolution. A divorce coach can gently interrupt this cycle and guide them through their uncoupling process. A loving, supportive voice with no agenda of their own, the coach only has their best interests at heart.
The Somatica Method teaches relationship repair – and also how to configure a relationship for improved happiness. Sometimes, that can involve divorce. People are often at their most vulnerable when facing a divorce, and it’s a good time to have professional help to unpack all the intense emotions that accompany the process.
What Does A Certified Divorce Coach Do?
In my book Best Breakup Ever!, I talk about how difficult the ending of a relationship is on our sense of self. Divorce is a time when we need to come back home to ourselves and who we are, even when the ground below us seems shaky. There is so much to unpack with the help of a good listener.
When looking for a divorce coach, you may want to make sure that they have a divorce coach certification or a certification in relationship or intimacy coaching. This way you know that they have the proper training to help you get through this difficult time.
A certified divorce coach can help you with:
- Moving from blaming and shaming to taking responsibility for your part in the relationship break down. Instead of being caught in a cycle of “who started what,” a divorce coach helps you put the attention back on yourself – and what you can control, change, or improve.
- Changing patterns so you can move away from co-dependency or giving your power away.
- Letting go of regret and shame around “How did I let it get that bad?” and move you to acceptance and self-compassion.
- Organizing an ongoing relationship with your ex-partner, in case of children or deep financial entanglements. Sometimes it’s also worthwhile exploring if it’s possible for you to move from being in a partnership to some kind of other connection. While not everyone wants this, and it sometimes requires a clean break first, many divorcees are eventually able to move on to friendship or effective co-parenting.
- Making some of the logistical decisions, including looking at the emotional conflicts underlying them.
What If I Need a High-Conflict Divorce Coach?
What brought you together may have been intense love and affection. But in the end, the relationship dissolved into high conflict and acrimony. This can be harmful to both partners, and even more damaging to your children. It’s the perfect scenario for hiring a high-conflict divorce coach.
In high-conflict divorce coaching, you may need to begin by working with your coach individually, instead of as a couple. This will give you some time to offload your anger and frustration about your ex-partner, and perhaps even find empathy for them in the process. In the very least, your coach can help you find pathways of communication that are gentle and beneficial to the goal of shifting your relationship with as little financial, emotional, and familial damage as possible.
Divorce Recovery: What is Post-Divorce Coaching?
Divorce recovery is the process that moves you from pain, hurt, and financial stress back to a sense of self and optimism. Instead of working with both you and your ex, post-divorce coaching is all about you.
After going through a marriage where you made many shared decisions and spent significant time with your spouse, getting a divorce can give you the opportunity to reconnect with your own desires. It allows you to determine how you want to spend your time now that you’re no longer with your partner.
You may want to hire a divorce recovery coach, attend a divorce recovery workshop, or join a support group. Here, you can connect with other newly single people who are dealing with the same big life transition.
How Do I Find The Perfect Divorce Coach For Me?
Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you may want to find a specialized resource that caters directly to your unique community. Perhaps you want to seek out a Christian divorce coach, or work with someone who is familiar with BIPOC or LGBTQIA issues.
The Somatica Institute maintains a global directory of highly-trained coaches, fluid in a large variety of skills and equipped with specialized expertise. You can find a divorce or divorce recovery coach by searching the directory by specialization or location, or specify in the intake form that you are looking for a divorce coach.
How Do I Become a Certified Divorce Coach?
If you are looking for a divorce coach certification, it is imperative to study a coaching method that teaches in-depth tools for working with relationship and intimacy conflict.
The issues that come up in divorce can be quite unique, so your training should teach you to relate to intimacy problems in an open and non-judgmental way. As a divorce coach, it is imperative that you never take sides.
Your certification training should also extensively cover intimacy and relationship coaching, repair, and how to shift relationship dynamics. The Somatica Training, for example, offers a dual-modality curriculum that includes all aspects of sex and relationship coaching, including divorce and reconciliation.
READY TO EXPLORE MORE?
About the Author:
Warm, approachable, and experienced, April Hirschman works with couples and individuals to achieve a satisfying sex life and connection to their body. With April, you enter a safe and welcoming space where it is your time to explore bringing more authenticity and intimacy in your life. She is a committed sex and relationship coach, trained as a Somatica Coach, certified Life Coach, yoga instructor, and massage therapist.
She is also the author of the Best Breakup Ever! – a self-help book about bouncing back from your breakup or divorce with humor and dignity. April hosts the relationship, dating, and memoir podcast Heart Centerfold, and sees clients in Sonoma, CA and San Francisco.