When a divorce lawyer met a divorce coach…

Divorce|Wellness & Self Help | 13 Jan 2020 2

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September 22, 2020

Stowe Services

A divorce lawyer and a divorce coach: Divorce coaches are on the rise as people increasingly seek out life coaches and counsellors to help them through a divorce. 

Not to be confused with a lawyer or a counsellor, a divorce coach is a neutral third party and there to provide practical and emotional support during your divorce. 

Through a range of strategies, a good divorce coach helps people to navigate and cope with the process with the aim of transitioning with confidence into the next phase of their lives. 

However, a coach should not be confused with a lawyer and a lawyer is not a coach. Instead, they are designed to work together, hand-in-hand to ensure that clients have the emotional and legal support they need. 

So, we invited Sarah Jane Lenihan, Partner at the Stowe Family Law office in the London Victoria office and Sara Davison, the UK’s premier divorce coach and bestselling author to join us on the blog to explain how a coach and lawyer work well together. 

Sarah Jane

Hi Sara, thank you for agreeing to be a guest on our blog today.  We are really keen to raise the awareness of experts like yourself that can help make the difficult process of divorce a little easier.  Can you start by telling us why you believe that divorce is so difficult?

Sara

It’s a hard-hitting fact that divorce is the second most traumatic life experience we go through after the death of a loved one. Yet many people don’t realise the devastating effect it can have, not just on your relationship status but across your whole life. This ripple effect, as I call it, can impact your mental and physical health, friendships, ability to do the simplest daily tasks, your career, decision making and parenting.

Sarah Jane

Absolutely I have seen all of the above from the beginning, middle and end.  I have known clients with extreme pain that have had medical tests and the professionals have diagnosed it down to stress.

Sara

Likewise and I discovered this first-hand when I went through my own divorce nearly 10 years ago. I was devastated, overwhelmed, scared, confused and felt very alone. Having trained and practised as a life coach, I was experienced in handling emotional turmoil but nothing prepared me for the magnitude of my breakup experience.

Sarah Jane

Wow, so even as a life coach, you struggled, no wonder individuals struggle without the skills that you have.  How did you cope?

Sara

I made a decision that I had to take control of my emotions so I combined my life coaching skills with my divorce experience to create a toolkit of techniques to help me cope. 

I tried and tested different ideas until I found what worked and I turned my situation around. This is now the information I share with my clients around the world. The best part is I also now train others how to become a Breakup and Divorce Coach so they can use their own traumatic experience to help others, just as I did.

Sarah Jane

I often hear individuals say that divorce changes their lives and although it may not seem for the better at the beginning, looking back clients often say this and your story is a real-life example which has not only impacted on what you have chosen to do as a career but how you help others, help others, that is truly amazing.

So can you explain a little more about what a divorce coach can do for an individual going through a divorce?

Sara

We help them to cope better with the emotional rollercoaster of the breakup and also show them how they can manage practical challenges. 

We support them to take back control of negative emotions, letting go of their ex, dialling down the conflict, co-parenting, rediscovering their identity now they are single, build confidence and self-esteem, support their children through the breakup, start dating again and help them to create a future they are excited about.

Sarah Jane

From my personal experience clients frequently tell me that coaching and counselling through a divorce have been extremely helpful in helping them to face the legal side. 

From my point of view having a stronger client means they are more focused and able to make important decisions and process information.  

I like to guide them to experts like yourself to help them deal with the areas I am not an expert in. 

Sara

I agree and likewise, if I am being asked legal questions, I steer very clear and refer to a solicitor.  We work hand in hand at such a difficult point in individuals lives. 

Sarah Jane

Absolutely, do you have a view on when would be best for an individual to see you?

Sara

I see clients at all stages of a breakup from “should I stay or should I go when they are trying to get more clarity on what the right decision is for them; during the initial aftermath when shock levels and upset are destabilising; during legal proceedings when conflict and negative emotions can be hard to manage; and even long after the breakup is finalised as it is very common to be stuck and not be able to move on. 

Often if a client is angry or finding it hard to make decisions then a session with a coach can help them to dial down those negative emotions, see the situation more clearly and go on to make better decisions.

Sarah Jane

Sorry to ask this question as I understand it is a case by case situation but how long does it take a client to notice a difference after working with you?  

Sara

As you have said it is a case by case situation however I would say that the techniques I use are designed to get fast results. Whilst there is no magic wand to take away all the pain, after one session, the client will leave feeling more in control, less overwhelmed and with a clear plan of actions to keep them moving forward after the session. 

Some situations take time to resolve fully but it’s all about taking small steps and dialling down the negative emotions. Some results will be immediate and others will be continually improving over a period of time. 

Sarah Jane

How do clients engage with you? Is it always best face to face?

Sara

 I offer a variety of different options including 1-2-1 coaching sessions and online programmes. I run Breakup Recovery Retreats which are transformational weekends with me and a small group of delegates. This is an immersive way to learn the tools to help you get your life back on track. I also have two bestselling books and post daily tips, videos and advice on social media.

Sarah Jane

Something to suit everyone then?

Sara

 Yes and that is important as not everyone is at the same stage when they come to see me and they prefer accessing information via different methods.

Sarah Jane

Finally, what should someone look for in a divorce coach?

Sara

 I believe much like instructing a solicitor or any other professional, it comes down to a personality fit and an agreed approach to reach your end goal. 

Sarah Jane

Definitely. Finding the right fit means you will work well together to make the process as simple as possible. 

Well, Sara, thank you for your time, it has been a pleasure speaking with you and thank you for all you do for clients helping them through this very difficult time in their life.

Sara

Thank you for having me! 

Get in touch

If you would like advice on getting divorced or separated you can make a confidential enquiry to our Client Care Team who will put you in touch with one of our specialist divorce lawyers here. 

You can read further advice on divorce on the Stowe Family Law Blog. 

Information on the authors 

Sarah Jane Lenihan is one of our specialist family law partners at our London Victoria office.  Through her years of experience, she has seen first hand the impact that a divorce has on the people involved. 

Sarah Jane advises on all areas of family law (divorce/dissolution, cohabitation, domestic violence, children) and has worked with a broad spectrum of clients both nationally and internationally. She holds Family Law Advanced Accreditation from The Law Society demonstrating my specialist knowledge in family law and expertise in financial remedy and violence in the home.

Sara Davison, ‘The Divorce Coach’, is an authority on break-ups, divorce and life-empowerment. Sara helps clients cope with challenges including heartbreak, betrayal, conflict, confidence building, co-parenting, being effective in the workplace during divorce and dating again. She has also launched a Breakup & Divorce Coach Practitioner Accreditation Programme, for those interested in becoming a Coach.  For more information on this, as well as private coaching, online courses and Sara’s Breakup Recovery Retreats, please visit www.saradavison.com 

Sarah Jane advises on all areas of family law (divorce/dissolution, cohabitation, domestic violence, children) and has worked with a broad spectrum of clients both nationally and internationally.

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Comments(2)

  1. Roy Whyte says:

    Hi A very important and personal subject.
    I don’t think this would have helped my situation as my ex works for the Metropolitan police and with the courts and was able to manipulate a grotesquely disproportionate 3 year campaign against me it nearly drove me to consider ending it all forever.
    Very unnecessary and difficult time

  2. www.shannon-conway.com says:

    I really enjoyed your post. A life coach encourages and counsels clients on a range of professional and personal issues.

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