Friday, June 4, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler Divorce...or a Stronger, Healthier Marriage

Today I changed my intake sheet. I just had to do it. My practice is constantly evolving. I learn so much from my clients. I realized that some of them as a couple really didn't want this divorce, they just didn't know that they had any options. Maybe they went to couples therapy and they felt it didn't work. Sometimes they come in for a divorce, and decide that what they really want is coaching for a better marriage. This just reinforces my belief that we need to remain flexible and be creative about our ideas about who we are and what we do. We need to keep checking in with ourselves to make sure we are truly doing the life's work we think we are doing.  A little over a decade ago, I went through training at an online "university" called Coach University to be trained as a life coach.  I truly loved coaching and I found myself applying coaching concepts to my personal and professional life daily. But somehow the business of being a lawyer took over my identity. Eventually I was able to break away and identify myself as a mediator and self-proclaimed "Peacemaking Lawyer." Finally, I have decided to fully embrace the fact that I AM A COACH and it is like coming home. For a little while now, I've been calling myself a "Divorce Coach" which makes sense because the work that I do, either as a mediator or as a peacemaking lawyer, is focused on getting my clients to a better, happier and healthier place. But now I realize that I can add even more value for those clients who aren't sure if divorce is right for them. They are just stressed out and think that divorce is the only answer. Many times it is. But, sometimes it's not. Don't get me wrong, I am not a therapist. What I am is a person who believes in the positive and empowering people to do what is truly right for them. I am really good at motivating and inspiring people and helping them see the possibilities where they thought that all was lost. So here it is, people, although being a Certified Family Mediator and Peacemaking Lawyer is a lot of fun, I now have room in my practice for people who want to explore the possibility of staying together. Maybe they will, and maybe they won't, but at least through marriage and life coaching, we can help them--if they both want--to get to a place of clarity, healing their grief and improving themselves and their relationship, even if that relationship is going to be a post-divorce one. So, I am proud to say I am now a Divorce, Marriage and Life Coach. My intake sheet now has a box under Mediation/Divorce Coaching (and before the boxes for Collaborative Divorce and Uncontested Divorce) of Marriage Coaching. I have also added a "Divorce Readiness" Section to my intake sheet for both husband and wife so that I can find out from each spouse on a scale of 1 to 10--with 1 being "I don't want this divorce at all" and 10 being "I am absolutely positive that divorce is the answer"--how much they each are ready to proceed with "A Kinder, Gentler Divorce."  For those times that both spouses circle low numbers, we can discuss the option of Marriage Coaching, putting the divorce mediation/divorce coaching on the back burner and working--at least for a short period--towards "A Stronger, Healthier Marriage." If it doesn't work out, we can always go back to the Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan later. And if divorce does happen...we still have a kinder, gentler way.  I want to thank my clients for always inspiring me. They and their needs are the ones that determine my practice. With each couple I work with my practice gets better and richer. I love what I do and I love my clients!

Harvard Law, JD
Divorce, Marriage & Life Coach
Certified Family Mediator
Peacemaking Lawyer

1 comment:

  1. Phenomenal Brooke. I am really happy for you and for all the people you are going to be able to help!

    Coach Sonia Gallagher, Esq.
    Time for Life, LLC