Divorce Coaching and Therapeutic Mediation

What Is Therapeutic Mediation?

Therapeutic Mediation is a consultative service designed to help individuals or couples deal with separation, divorce and discernment (deciding whether to remain married). Dr. Thorpe serves as a facilitator for you as an individual or as a neutral mediator for you and your partner in connection with your marital/family issues.

What is Divorce Coaching?
Divorce is typically an emotionally charged time for the partners involved and consequently any children. Emotions such as anger, fear, love, grief, guilt, blame and sadness can often form road blocks to progressing through the divorce process. Divorcing clients can be helped to keep emotions from making the process more lengthy and difficult and thus more costly through a consultative service called divorce coaching.

Divorce coaching aims to help clients construct a satisfactory settlement in an efficient manner with saving money and time being a primary goal. It promotes a context of respect and cooperation in an attempt to reduce harm during the process and ensure the well-being of the adults and children in their new post-divorce lives. Initially a divorce coach enlists the client into a collaborative problem solving mode.

Clients are further encouraged to be goal directed and focused, keeping emotional intensity down. Training in communication, conflict resolution and negotiation is also conducted. Education about the psychological effects of divorce, on adults and children, and models of cooperative parenting are provided. If children are a focus, the clients are primed to think about co-parenting in a manner that is most beneficial for the well-being of their children. This is a stance that may be difficult for a client to take and maintain.

Divorce coaching may be done exclusively in the coach’s office. Alternatively, the coach may have conference calls with your attorneys and/or attend team meetings in your divorce process.

Divorce Coaching/Therapeutic Mediation are Consultative Services, Not Therapy

  • Some of the same interventions are used but the goals are different.
  • Focus is on the process of discernment/separation/divorce primarily.

A brief history of the marriage and its demise will be obtained but not other details of a client’s life. Therapy explores the past and present in great depth typically and seeks to treat symptoms, like anxiety or depression for example. A divorce coach/mediator may not act as a therapist nor can a therapist switch roles. When and if problems arise in the future for the divorced couple, typically surrounding child issues, the divorce coach/mediator can be utilized again in order to reduce disputes and potential legal problems.

Download Article: The Roles of the Mental Health Professional in the Collaborative Divorce Process

Dr. Thorpe’s Approach and Training:
“As a therapist I view myself as helping therapy clients rekindle and optimize their primary relationship. I also provide services to help couples decide whether to stay together or move on. If separation or divorce is chosen, I help to navigate these difficult decisions. ”

Dr Thorpe has attended Linda Piff’s, Esq. Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training. She has further related training in the areas of parenting, couple’s counseling, and parent coordination. She has a certificate in Mediation Training: Family Law Cases from the NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She has taken numerous advanced trainings to stay current in the field.

Fee Schedule:
Fees for Parent Coordination are $250 per hour on a prorated basis. An initial retainer of $3000 is obtained prior to services beginning. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, each party will be responsible for one half of the retainer and all accrued fees. An additional retainer will be obtained if further services are required. Please see Agreement for more details.

How Can I Find Collaborative Divorce Information and Trained Professionals?

What is Collaborative Divorce? – A New and Better Way to Divorce
“Collaborative Divorce is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.” International Academy of Collaborative Professionals www.collaborativepractice.com

Divorce 101: Don’t Litigate – Collaborate!
Authors: Jody D’Agostini, CFP, Craig Hyldahl, CFP, Amy Shimalla, Esq., and Amy Wechsler, Esq. “Mental health professionals can assist in Collaborative Divorce, either as Divorce Coaches or Child Specialists. A Divorce Coach is a licensed mental health professional with specialized training in Collaborative Divorce and divorce coaching, who, with the other team members, guides parties into a collaborative problem-solving mode, and help them stay goal-directed.”

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