Two valuable sources of support during divorce are certified divorce coaches and marriage and family therapists (MFTs). In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences between these two professionals and how each can play a crucial role in the divorce process.
High level overview:
I think of a Divorce Coach as an advisor who can help you prioritize tasks during divorce, connect you with the right professionals, help you develop communication skills (maybe even proof-read your communications with you ex), and help you get clear on who you want to be after your divorce and provide encouragement and tools to get there. They start with Present You and help you move forward. You generally do not continue working with a divorce coach much longer after your divorce is finalized.
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are licensed mental health professionals who specialize in helping individuals, couples, and families navigate complex interpersonal dynamics. While they may not always exclusively focus on divorce, they play a crucial role in helping individuals and families process the emotional impact of separation. You may work with a therapist for years as different challenges arise.
Certified Divorce Coaches: Helping you get from Point A to Point B
Emotional Support: They offer a confidential space for clients to express feelings, providing validation and empathy to help process emotions effectively. They are a great professional to help navigate the emotional side of divorce, as opposed to looking to your attorney or financial professional who may not be specially trained in that area.
Practical Guidance: Coaches help organize tasks like gathering documents and understanding legal procedures. They do not typically provide specific financial or legal advice unless they have other certifications, but can help you get organized and point you in the right direction so that you are better prepared for your appointments with other professionals to save time and money.
Goal Setting and Empowerment: They work with clients to identify post-divorce aspirations, providing motivation and empowerment for taking charge of their future. Their primary focus is on helping their clients make informed decisions, build confidence, and create a clear roadmap for next steps.
Communication Skills: Coaches assist in improving communication with ex-partners, children, and others, fostering healthier relationships during and after divorce.
Marriage and Family Therapists: Nurturing Relationships and Emotional Well-being
Relationship-Centered Focus: MFTs have expertise in understanding and resolving conflicts within relationships. They work with couples and families to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and build healthier, more functional relationships.
Emotional Well-being: MFTs provide a supportive environment for individuals, couples, and families to explore their emotions and develop coping strategies. They help clients work through grief, anger, and other complex feelings associated with divorce and past trauma.
Co-Parenting Support: For divorcing parents, MFTs can be instrumental in helping them navigate the challenges of co-parenting. They offer strategies for effective communication and cooperation, ultimately benefiting the children involved. Some Divorce Coaches may also specialize in helping you form a parenting plan that works well for your family.
Long-term Relationship Building: While divorce marks the end of a marriage, it may not signal the end of a family unit. MFTs assist in building new, healthy family dynamics post-divorce, particularly in situations involving shared custody or blended families.
Ultimately, the choice between a certified divorce coach and a marriage and family therapist depends on your specific needs and circumstances. If you’re seeking practical guidance, emotional support, and strategic planning specifically related to divorce, a certified divorce coach may be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking to address broader relationship issues or work through complex family dynamics, a marriage and family therapist can provide invaluable support.
In many cases, individuals find that a combination of both professionals can offer a holistic approach to navigating the complexities of divorce and post-divorce life. Remember, seeking professional support is a sign of strength, and taking the right steps now can lead to a brighter, more fulfilling future.
If you would like to be connected with a great Divorce Coach or MFT today, let me know and I would be happy to send you a referral.