I wish I'd known before I started the divorce process the many benefits of having a divorce coach. The reasons are simple: I would have increased my self-esteem, lowered my overall stress, spent less on attorneys, and probably gotten through the overall process a heck of a lot faster. Instead, I tried going it alone, with a little help from a therapist.
Don't get me wrong, I had good legal representation and therapists are great folks -- but just not what I really needed at that time.
My divorce was a marathon - or more accurately, the divorce was quick but the modifications became a marathon that provided me with 10 years of hard-fought experience with the family court system in two states. Armed with this experience and a great deal of personal exploration and growth, I have come to realize that a Divorce Coach would have saved me time, money, and heartache. In fact, this experience is what prompted me to leave a 25 year career in high tech to help others going through divorce by becoming a Divorce Coach!
Each time another mediation or court date would approach, my attorneys would tell me to "relax and not let the opposing side get to me." But the "how" to do that was entirely up to me. I feel proud of the job I did in terms of having a set of goals and staying focused on my children. I was never motivated by vengeance or greed, it was always about what I believed was best for my children.
That said, where I needed coaching was in understanding and communicating the priority of my goals and more importantly, in understanding why my goals were important to me in the first place. Too often I would swing at a pitch in the dirt from my ex or his attorney because I believed there was a point that needed to be clarified or "set straight." Other times, I thought there might be a perceived connection between what had been said about me and the outcome of the case. My swinging at nasty pitches was a no-win situation, but I didn't see it at the time.
Had I had a coach, I would have also had a firm grasp of my values, a clear vision of my future, a set of goals to reach my vision, , and trust in myself. Armed with this insight, I would have brought my best self to every court and mediation session, to every attorney meeting, and to every co-parenting interaction. I also would have spent far less reacting and fighting. That wouldn't have meant getting my way any or every time, or avoiding all of the issues, but much like a personal trainer, a Coach would have helped me stay focused on MY vision and goals, and I would have not gotten sucked into someone else's definition of success. I now have the pleasure of helping others going through the divorce process navigate it with grace, and it is some of the most fulfilling work I get to do.
The above is an excerpt from an interview with Chris St. Clair, Head Divorce Coach at Honorée Enterprises. You can find out more about her, and the Divorce Transformation Coaching Program here.
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