Decoding Your MN Divorce Dynamics: Navigating the Role of a Divorce Therapist vs. Divorce CoachDec 09, 2023
Divorcing when you have children comes with so many worries and struggles. There are so many decisions to be made, different professionals that you can hire, and then you have the emotional weight too. This week on the podcast, I spoke with divorce coach Jill Barnett Kaufman, who had some incredible insight on navigating your MN divorce with children, how to work through a difficult co-parenting relationship ( keeping the focus on the children), and the difference between a divorce therapist and a divorce coach. I can’t wait to share more about our conversation with you.
Jill started off our conversation talking about her experience going through divorce. She and her husband had gone to counseling for years, but things weren’t able to get better, so they ended up going through a divorce when her children were 12, 16 and 18. She struggled a lot emotionally, felt ashamed, and didn’t have a strong support system. After hiring an attorney and going against their advice when it came to finances, and ultimately ending up in divorce, she was led to shift from therapy to becoming a divorce coach.
We discussed in the episode that sometimes, regardless of how painful the divorce will be, it is necessary. It’s going to be painful to watch parents get divorced, but it is also painful for children to be in a household with two parents who are not getting along and may be fighting every day.
Therapists and coaches roles can get confusing for people, so I asked Jill to break down the differences between the two. She explained that therapists work on your long term issues, such as childhood issues, anxiety or depression. If there is a diagnosis or issues that you go in for, they’ll look at your background and explore those things as they help you process the emotion and go deep into that process. A coach is different in that they talk about what’s happening now and going forward. They work on practical things, tools that can help you function productively now, as well as tools to stay organized and develop your own priorities.
I asked Jill what parents can do to protect their kids through a divorce, and I want to highlight this, because I think it can be a breath of fresh air for parents in the thick of it. She said that she’s seen studies that look at kids who go through divorce vs intact families, and there is the opportunity for both to come out equally healthy. The biggest difference between the two groups is the relationship between the parents. Figuring out how to have the best relationship possible with the co-parent will allow your children to come out of the experience healthier. Jill also highlighted that children who go through divorce also come out with some strengths such as more independence, flexibility, as well as a stronger relationship with each parent independently.
Lastly, Jill wanted to highlight that divorce can be an opportunity to step back and really take a look at what you want in your life for the long term. It’s an opportunity to do something that you’ve never done, to change your life in a positive way and take advantage of that opportunity. Look at the times that you were happy as a child or when you were a young adult, and add those things back into your life. Don’t spend your time focusing on the negatives or getting really frustrated, instead look at it as an opportunity to make your life what you want it to be.
If you are in the midst of a divorce and are looking for a divorce coach, please reach out to Jill! She also has a great freebie on the 8 Guidelines for Separated and Divorced Parents. Check out my free co-parenting masterclass to learn about co-parenting. I am also taking on new coaching clients, so reach out to me if you are seeking divorce support, coaching support or co-parenting support.
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