The end of a relationship and a divorce normally includes experiencing a wide array of emotions, which can include grief, anger, relief, pain, confusion, gratification-seeking, indignation, depression, anxiety, happiness, hopelessness, loss, neediness, frustration, attention-getting, withdrawal, loneliness, lifelessness, negativity, and more. If you are experiencing some or all of these emotions, then congratulations -- it means you are normal. Even though almost half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, studies have shown that divorce can also be one of the most stressful transitions that most people will ever experience.
Divorce is one of those times in life when professional counseling is a very wise investment, because of the intensity and wide range of emotions. Usually, lots has happened that led to this point, and the guidance that a good mental health counselor can provide includes helping you make sense of the emotions you are experiencing, processing and releasing the intense emotions, and becoming centered again. Good divorce counseling can include helping you achieve clarity and hope by helping you process your emotions faster without staying stuck.
Divorce counseling is different from collaborative divorce coaching. Collaborative divorce coaches are trained in and focused on assisting the collaborative divorce process. Coaching is mostly limited to identifying communications patterns, skill-building for the collaborative divorce process, providing insights so the team can better facilitate reaching agreement, and some other narrow tasks during the collaborative process. Unlike a counselor, there is no privilege or confidentiality between coach and other team members; in fact, a coach must provide information to the other team members for the coach to provide full value.
Therapists are licensed mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts and social workers who work with patients who have diagnosable medical and mental conditions. They often examine the patientís past to find root causes of current problems and helps the client heal, recover and resolve issues. On the other hand, coaching is not clinical in nature, is not based on a diagnosis and does not usually delve into the past except for background information. The focus of coaching is forward momentum. Remember, coaching is not therapy. Clients are ultimately responsible for all of their own choices and decisions in their lives that are discussed in coaching sessions.
The work you would do with your own therapist, with whom you would have confidentiality to the maximum extent allowed by law, will also differ from the work you do with your coach. Most people who have counseling during their divorce feel that it helps them greatly.