The Collaborative Divorce Coach is a skilled practitioner, with training in the interdisciplinary collaborative practice model, whose role it is to facilitate effective communication and interactions working with families. The collaborative coach is knowledgeable about the specific dynamics and issues related to divorce. In this role, coaches are not acting as therapists, but are using their training and skills to help the clients work through their emotions about the ending of the marriage and focus on identifying long-term needs and interests for themselves, for each other, for their children and for other family members. Coaches help the clients prepare to participate meaningfully in the collaborative process.
In the “Collaborative Divorce” model, there is a neutral coach who works with the parties together. The coaching goal is to prepare and help the parties to work effectively with each other in the collaborative process. If children are involved, the coaching also focuses on helping the clients develop a more effective long-term parenting relationship.
A coach is not and cannot be the individual therapist for either client, even after the settlement agreement is signed. There may be a need in the future for modifications to the agreement or help with the clients’ ongoing relationships with each other or with the children.
The Coach as a Member of the Collaborative Team:
The coach helps the client (individually) and/or the clients (together) identify and discuss feelings and issues about the separation/divorce, think through emotionally charged issues, and manage anger and distress. The coach teaches communication skills for the clients to use in the divorce negotiations and in their ongoing relationship – as co-parents or otherwise. The coach provides parenting education so that the impact of divorce on the children is minimized.
The coach works with the two attorneys and other collaborative professionals so that they understand how best to approach and respond to each client, to identify sensitive and “hot button” issues, and is available to help if an emotional crisis arises that interferes with reaching a comprehensive settlement. Referring clients to a coach or coaches to deal with the relationship and emotional issues is a prudent and cost-effective use of resources. Clients often have emotional issues to address before they can sit together and plan a restructuring of their family, assets and finances.
Adding coaching for separating/divorcing spouses gives the clients the professionals best suited to addressing specific needs. Mental health professionals and attorneys each have specialized abilities for supporting and encouraging a truly lasting agreement between the clients to meet the needs and interests of their restructured family, long-term.
If you are interested in the Collaborative Process of Divorce Resolution, let our professional peacemakers help. We are dedicated to working with integrity and respect to foster healthy communication and resolutions for families in the Pittsburgh area.
If you are considering Divorce please follow these steps:
- Complete our Registration Form here.
- Book a FREE Consult or call 724-759-7514 to schedule your consult either via Zoom or in our Wexford office. You can meet with our Collaborative Coach together with your spouse or separately. There is no obligation.
- Once you decide to move forward our neutral Collaborative Coach will meet with each of you for an individual intake meeting.
- You can use your own collaboratively trained attorney or we can give you a list of collaboratively trained Attorneys and Financial professionals.
- The collaborative team will then meet and prepare for our first joint meeting.
- The work of the Collaborative Process is done in our Collaborative meetings.
Please note that these services are not covered by insurance.
Loretta “Lori” Gephart, M.A., Licensed Psychologist, is a Collaborative Divorce Coach and a member of the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania, where she is the past president and a trainer for Collaborative Basic Training. She is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals where she is Past President. Lori is committed to assisting individuals and families in working through their differences without going to court. This includes divorcing couples and parents, but also can apply to heirs, businesses and others in conflict. Lori is ready to work with your family to help you reach an agreement for a healthier divorce. Appointments are available in our Wexford and Robinson Township offices.