Do You Need A Divorce Coach Or A Therapist? Maybe both

 Jill Barnett Kaufman
July 13, 2020

Do You Need A Divorce Coach Or A Therapist?
Maybe both.

Jill Barnett Kaufman

When you’ve decided to divorce and are looking for support, you may look into hiring a divorce coach or finding a therapist. Both a divorce coach and a therapist can be very helpful when you’re going through divorce and feel overwhelmed and stressed by the process. But many people don’t understand the difference between the two and which would be better for their individual situation.

A divorce coach is very different than a therapist. It’s important to know the differences because choosing which one to hire is dependent upon what you’re struggling with and what you need. You may even need to hire both in certain situations.

A therapist must be licensed and have at least 6 years of schooling after high school, pass licensing exams and take continuing education to keep their license current. Therapists are regulated by state boards. A therapist focuses on your past and how you got to where you are now. A therapist determines a diagnosis and treats mental health issues. A therapist helps you work through emotions such as grief and loss and helps you manage mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

A therapist does not typically walk you through the practical steps of divorce. Therapists will help you identify challenges that are a result of the divorce and will help you overcome them. Therapists help you dig deep into the issues that you’re having and find the root causes so that they don’t hold you back in the future.

Being a divorce coach does not require official schooling, although most divorce coaches do have advanced schooling and certifications. Most states do not have licensing standards or regulations for divorce coaches. Divorce coaches do not identify mental health diagnosis and are therefore appropriate for individuals who don’t have a history of mental illness but are in need of support through their divorce.

Divorce coaches educate you about the divorce process, focus on the present and the future and how to achieve your goals, help you manage other divorce professionals, help you communicate with your spouse (or your ex) effectively even in high conflict situations and teach you how to co-parent with your ex. Divorce coaches are goal-oriented and flexible using a coaching process that helps motivate, support, and guide you. They provide you with effective problem-solving skills and strategies which will help you to make informed decisions throughout your divorce.

A divorce coach can save you time and money. Working with a divorce coach has benefits:

  • You’ll learn about the various divorce processes and which one would be appropriate for your situation. 
  • You’ll efficiently prepare for meetings with attorneys, mediators and other professionals.
  • You’ll have clarity on your goals and priorities and how to negotiate your divorce. 

Both therapists and divorce coaches can make you feel less overwhelmed, more confident and help you make the best choices for you and your family. Choosing the right professional for your individual situation can be instrumental in helping you navigate the challenging process of divorce with more ease and less stress.

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