The transition that comes along with divorce often feels minimized and invalidated by our court system. The emotional, financial, and spiritual costs of divorce are significant, and many times decisions are made in the process that are difficult to live with afterward. The outcome can be very disappointing, often leaving families disempowered. After the legal divorce is completed, people often are left with an emotional "residue" of anger, betrayal, and sadness.
My training and experience has been around helping individuals and families create sustainable parenting agreements during divorce, and following a divorce, come to peace with the agreements that have been made in the legal system. There are times when parents must renegotiate parenting plans to meet the needs of growing children, and I work as a mediator and advisor for co-parents who are struggling with changing needs of children and families post-decree.
I am a trained mediator, collaborative divorce coach, parenting coordinator,and psychotherapist. Areas of experience are in child development, family dynamics, and high conflict personalities. As a mediator and parenting coordinator, I work with families pre-, during, and post-divorce to help parents develop and work with existing parenting plans to refocus on the well-being of the children. I have been involved with parents who have significant difficulty communicating and making agreements with each other with regards to parenting.
I am often a referral resource for Dupage County Domestic Relations court when parents are unable to make decisions on behalf of their child(ren) or follow their parenting plans consistently, including court-ordered counseling and parenting coordination. This involves coordinating with other involved professionals, including attorneys, GAL's for the children, teachers, therapists, and extended family as needed and appropriate.
As a psychotherapist, I have experience working with couples to form healthier attachments, teaching communication skills to help with problem-solving and management of historical feelings and patterns of behavior. I have worked with parents to help strengthen relationships with children post-divorce, and those whose children are estranged from them during and after divorce. It is my mission to aid individuals who are grieving during and after divorce, to rebuild a healthier family and new relationships.
As a collaborative practice divorce coach, I help individuals and families maintain focus, dignity, and integrity through the collaborative process. This role involves supporting clients as well as the collaborative professional team in helping couples make their own sustainable decisions about the issues involved in marital dissolution. I've trained other professionals in collaborative practice as a partner in Trainers for the Advancement of Collaborative Practice, TACP.
There is a benefit to having a coach involved when a litigated divorce is in process. I work with individuals who are in litigation to understand and take accountability for their part in the process, develop realistic expectations, and communicate more effectively with their attorneys. In this process, legal issues of marital dissolution are the focus, and emotional needs often are seen as deterrents to be put aside. It is important to have an objective mental health professional who can provide support and guidance. Families and friends are often well-meaning, but may have an adverse effect on the resolution of marital settlement issues. Attorneys are able to focus on the legal issues when their clients' emotional needs are not driving their behavior during the divorce.