By Liz Becker
A Life Coach is someone who has had some kind of training and experience to be able to help you achieve your goals, motivate you, plan out what it is that you actually want, and guide you in getting there. Having one by your side can be of great help when going through life transitions, such as divorce. There are many different coaches out there with different trainings and certifications. As a Licensed Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner and Certified Life Coach, I utilize various NLP techniques and methodologies to help people either cope with change they are experiencing, or learn how to create change at certain life stages. In my practice, I do specialize in separations, divorce, and parenting, primarily due to my personal experience as well as my passion to help adults and children experience a happy and healthy life throughout the process.
There is an abundance of benefits in hiring a Life Coach, and they vary depending on which stage of divorce you are in. Divorce is a process. There are four stages to this life change; contemplating, making the decision, coming to an agreement, and post- divorce (beginning new life). I am going to break down some of the benefits of a Life Transition Coach by stage.
Usually, this is the stage where you are unhappy in your marriage and may or may not have tried a few resources at saving it, but are not seeing the results you are expecting. In many cases, there is a great lack of communication between the spouses as well as a great divide in wants and needs. Life coaching is all about creating options. There are several ways to change perceptions to be able to view a situation from a different angle in hopes of creating opportunity whether it is to save a marriage or start a new life. There are definite ways of improving communication between spouses using various NLP techniques that can be extremely beneficial in helping the couple with their dialogue, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as their perceptions. This assistance will help them greatly for their future whether they decide to stay married or if they decide to separate.
Making the Decision
At this stage, one or both of the spouses feel that they have exhausted all resources in trying to make the marriage work or simply do not want to stay in the situation they are in. In many cases, it is only one of the spouses that actually make the decision while the other has to cope with it. In many circumstances we limit ourselves from opportunity by the way we think, communicate and ultimately by our decisions. We sometimes become hasty in our choices, or on the contrary, we spend so much time analyzing the decision we want to make, that we become immobile and let the choice be made for us. Regardless if you are the decider or the responder, a Life Transition Coach can help guide you in how to take the necessary steps to make the future process of coming to an agreement easier. Whether you choose to hire an attorney and go to court, embark on the collaborative process, or go to a mediator, a Coach who is experienced in the divorce process, especially one who has experienced divorce him/herself, will be able to assist you in gaining control of your present and future emotional, financial, and legal states. The way you handle the divorce is the way your children will handle it, so it is imperative to deal with all three areas in a manner which is conducive to a healthy beginning. At the end of the day, that is what is ultimately going to make an impact on you and your children. It is also going to influence the amount of time it will to take for you to actually overcome the transition and move forward.
Coming to an Agreement
No matter which route you decide to take in reference to how you are going
to handle your divorce legally, at this stage you will most likely be at a disagreement with your spouse. There are various emotions and concerns involved in coming to an agreement regarding your divorce settlement that usually delay the process and make it quite costly. Even with parties who decide to go court, approximately 95% of divorce cases settle without a trial. As with any negotiation, the longer you take to reach a compromise, the more damaging it can be emotionally and financially for both you and your children. A Life Transition Coach, primarily one who practices NLP, can teach you various tools and techniques to help separate pride from the process and be able to minimize conflict resulting in a more efficient and effective way to come to an agreement. As Viktor E. Frankl said, “when we are no longer able to change the situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” This is a very important belief to have when coping with divorce. There are so many helpful resources that lie deep within us that can easily to be brought to our awareness and a good Life Coach can be instrumental in teaching you how to access them.
Post Divorce – Beginning a New Life
Some will consider this stage to be the hardest while others will be relieved that they are over the past three stages. Nonetheless, this is a very challenging period both for you and your children. The duration of improvement and ease of transition is completely dependent on you. Co-parenting situations will arise that will test your strength, patience, confidence, and judgment, which makes it extremely advantageous to be assisted by a Life Transition Coach who is equipped with the right tools to guide you to be a positive role model for your children. Although most people know what the do’s and don’ts of co-parenting are, they are rarely told how to mentally cope with this new responsibility. Some people are blessed with the automatic ability to respond well to the situation, but most need guidance. Just like if you are a business owner and are having difficulties with your employees, you would call in a Human Resources specialist to consult with, a Life Coach can do the same. This is not about holding your hand, because you are ultimately the one that is going to have to make the changes, it’s about learning new ways of doing things. The reality is if you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten!
I am sure you will agree that using the guidance of Life Transition Coach throughout the Divorce process is not only beneficial, but a necessity. Life is filled with ups and downs, but it is how we handle the downs that help the ups come that much quicker!