Preparation for divorce

How is a divorce coach different from a therapist?

Imagine you are packing a travel backpack. On the way you meet a therapist. You talk to each other and begin to open the rucksack, word for word. Together you look at the contents. The therapist helps you to understand what you can do to fit more things in the rucksack, or how you can arrange your clothes so that they are not too wrinkled. You may need to remove or rearrange something because you’ve been putting your underwear and toiletries together in an old habit. Now imagine you are meeting a divorce coach. You’re carrying the same backpack, but instead of unpacking it, the coach asks you where you want to go. Then you start exploring the map together, the possible routes to take, the train and bus timetables, so that you arrive at your destination in the best possible time. Can you already see the difference? I hope this analogy has shown you which areas a therapist focuses on and which areas a divorce coach focuses on.

The therapist’s main role is to help identify and resolve problems arising from the past. The psychotherapist uses a process-oriented approach to help identify patterns of thinking and behaviour that hold us back. The focus is on feelings in relation to psychological and emotional issues. In the context of divorce, he or she will help us to identify our feelings and explore what past experiences may have caused problems.  

The divorce coach, on the other hand, aims to guide us through the practical aspects of divorce and push us towards the next steps necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Coaching is future and goal oriented. The main focus is on specific actions and desires. The whole process is about identifying needs and focal points in order to move forward using our strengths. A divorce coach is trained to understand the business and emotional side of divorce and how to educate so that you know what to expect. The aim is to guide you through the practical aspects of separation, with as little emotional interference as possible in the decisions you make.

Psychotherapy and divorce coaching are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes, in order to move forward, we need to look inside our ‘travel backpack’. Identify your needs, values and goals. And remember – the choice is yours!