How a Divorce Coach Can Help With The Emotional Aspects of Divorce, An Interview with Marc Miller
Marc Miller is a certified divorce coach and non-attorney mediator in Long Island, New York. Marc is committed to helping both women and men who are at various stages of the divorce process to get a better handle on the emotional aspects of their experience so that they can approach the “business” aspects of getting divorced in as rational and “smart” a manner as possible. With his background in clinical psychology and his training as a divorce mediator, Marc brings insight, empathy, and knowledge to his work with clients as a divorce coach.
Marc Miller was interviewed by Divorceify Co-founder, Sonia Queralt.
Queralt: Please tell me about what your role is as a divorce professional.
Miller: My background is in psychology and I was a therapist for many years. I switched my focus to coaching, and I am also a trained non-attorney divorce mediator.
Queralt: Tell me about your role as a certified divorce coach.
Miller: I see my role as a divorce coach as emotionally helping the individual who’sgoing through any aspect of the divorce. Divorce is one of the most emotionally stressful experiences anyone can have and people have compared it to the death of a loved one. In some ways, divorce can be even harder to deal with emotionally than the death of a loved one. I help clients sort out what they’re feeling and how those feelings are necessary for them to feel, but can get in the way of them focusing and being as logical and rational as they have to be to get the best settlement and agreement possible.
I specialize in helping clients sort through their feelings, mourn the loss of their marriage, and address the issues that are going on within them that can prevent them from thinking as clearly as they need to for optimal resolution and agreement.
Queralt: What does a divorce coach bring to the table for a particular client that other divorce professionals do not?
Miller: My area of expertise, as a divorce coach, is to address emotional issues that are normal for people going through a divorce to experience. It’s not abnormal to feel sad or to feel angry, resentful and hurt, but my role is to help that person process those feelings, understand them, and mourn the loss of what was, so that they can move on and address the financial and parenting issues facing them in a clear and rational way.
As a human being, when you’re emotionally upset, when you’re feeling threatened, rejected or hurt, you go into fight or flight mode and you’re not thinking clearly.
I help people understand what’s going on inside of them, what’s being triggered and what the emotional triggers are. I help people understand these are natural reactions and help them deal with the divorce negotiations in a positive way, so that things can get resolved as equitably and amicably as possible. This also allows people to be able to move forward with their lives.
Queralt: As a divorce coach, do you have a long-term relationship with your clients, or do they reach out to you when certain parts of the process feel overwhelming?
Miller: It really varies. Some people seek me out because they are aware of my services and are feeling stuck, so our relationship can be relatively brief and just consist of a few sessions. Other people want the ongoing support and help that I provide as a coach because the divorce process is not usually discrete or short, and has many different phases to it. So, for those people who recognize the value of coaching (and can afford to make this special “investment” in themselves) in helping them and their children move forward optimally, it can be a longer-term kind of relationship.
Queralt: As a non-attorney mediator, what is the one piece of advice that you find that you give the majority if not all of your clients?
Miller: As a non-attorney mediator I work with both parties at the same time, and (as a “neutral”) giving legal advice is not what mediators do. However, the advice that I do give to both parties is kind of easier said than done: the more calm, polite and respectful that clients are with each other, the more this process is going to succeed and reach a positive resolution for everyone concerned in the quickest possible time.
To the degree that clients can keep their emotional triggers under control, the more the mediation can get back on track as quickly as possible, and the more the clients’ children will benefit from the fact that their parents are not fighting. You definitely need two participants who are going to approach the mediation process in a positive way and who are going to try to set aside their hurt and anger and agree to work together to get divorced in a way that is as positive and amicable as possible.