A podcast about all things separation, divorce and life thereafter. Wherever you are on this path, let’s get your eyes wide open to the road ahead. Having worked with her family law clients for years before becoming a family law mediator and divorce coach, Liz and her guests care. That’s why they share insights and practical information about what can be a time of emotional, financial, legal, social and parenting confusion. Let’s put this bumpy road behind you so you can move forward to your brighter future. www.theseparationfix.com
Can the Tough Lessons of Separation and Divorce Help You During COVID-19: Lessons From a Divorce Coach with Pegotty Cooper, Founder of CDC Divorce Training
During these unprecedented times in which we find ourselves, many of us are dealing with difficult emotions like overwhelm and uncertainty, along with confronting many life changes. For those who have been through a divorce or a separation, these feelings are all too familiar. So, could we take the tough lessons we learned from the end of our relationships and apply them to our current circumstances? Today's guest, Pegotty Cooper, renowned divorce coach and founder of CDC Divorce Training, joins us to talk about some of the parallels between divorce and the COVID-19 crisis. In this episode, we learn about what divorce coaches do and how they walk the road with their clients. During times of stress, it's easy to be one-track minded, so divorce coaches help clients see the bigger picture. While there is no doubt that divorce or separation is extremely difficult, it is important to look to the future. By having a vision and focusing on one small thing to get through, it's possible to use this time to find balance, albeit on a different ground than before. Along with this, we also discuss hot buttons and diffusing conflicts, best-self exercises you can utilize when things are difficult, and the importance of being interest-based rather than positional during a divorce or separation. We learned so much from Pegotty, and we know you will too. Be sure to tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
• Some of the parallels between divorce and separation and COVID-19.
• How Pegotty is dealing with this situation and how she's choosing to reframe it positively.
• Pegotty's background and how large personal losses brought her to divorce coaching.
• Insights into divorce coaching, how it works, and the support it offers clients.
• How divorce coaches differ from advisors and mediators.
• Find out what happens to the brain during conflict and why conflict can be cyclical.
• 'Hot buttons:' The hard work it takes to understand you and your partners' triggers.
• Pegotty's take on the best-self exercise, a tool commonly used in divorce coaching.
• A tool Peggoty utilizes that includes the best self in a series of quadrants.
• Tips on planning for a post-divorce or a post-crisis future and the importance of a grand vision.
• A key takeaway from Pegotty's book that applies to the current times: Five steps to clarity.
• How you can use times of uncertainty to find a new balance and a new normal.
• Details about Peggoty's weekly Wednesday webinar.
To learn more about Pegotty Cooper or to register at one of her webinars go to www.certifieddivorcecoach. You can order the books mentioned in the episode from the CDC website or from www.amazon.com including Divorce: Taking the High Road and Divorce: Overcome the Overwhelm and Avoid the Six Biggest Mistakes
Links Mentioned in Today's Episode:
David Rock's SCARF Model
Randall R. Cooper
Divorce: Overcome the Overwhelm and Avoid the Six Biggest Mistakes
Masterful mediation following separation and divorce with Margaret Halsmith
A mediation Jedi.... With more than 30,000 hours of mediation and innumerable professional credits behind her, I was delighted to interview Margaret Halsmith of HDR about the benefits of mediation. Margaret's knowledge, thoughtfulness and concern for separating families shines through as we discuss:
•The benefits of mediation - Such as how the process of mediation can provide flexible and creative solutions and support separating adults to reach their own decisions;
•How mediation is a future focused process and can turn participants away from the problems of the past;
•How mediation can shift parents from their seemingly insolvable positions to consider a far more expansive range of solutions;
•We talked about different approaches to mediation particularly inclusive mediation where the participants can bring in personal and professional support such as lawyers or accountants; and
•We also talked about mediation misconceptions and so much more.
Plus, a very helpful suggestion from my guest, on how you can increase the chances of getting answers you want from your ex-partner and are less likely to hear the word "No!"
If you have any questions, comments or would like to find out more about my work in the world, head to theseparationfix.com or follow me on instagram instagram.com/the.separation.fix
A journey of positive co-parenting journey with Grant
A positive and supportive co-parenting relationship isn't a dream - it's achievable even if you've had an unhappy marriage and divorce. But like most valuable goals, it takes effort and there's likely to be some slips along the way.
In this interview, which was recorded some months ago, Grant candidly talked about the end of his marriage, the creation of a positive co-parenting relationship and the restoration of an important friendship. If you'd like to hear the flip side of this co-parenting coin, you can listen to Sue in the previous episode of the show.
Here are a few details of my discussion with Grant including some suggestions based on his own experience:
•Accepting responsibility for your part in the breakdown of a relationship, and to own these separation feelings, whether that's through your own personal reflection or with the help of a counsellor;
•The importance of looking forward not backwards;
•The feeling of failure that many experience at the end of a marriage & the extra suffering this causes;
•The advantages of co-operation despite some intense separation emotions;
•Take care of yourself and do things to get you through this tough time whether that's time in nature, conversations, or having fun with friends and family;
•The importance of not blocking relationship with mutual friends or each other's families;
•What's helped co-parenting: taking the time necessary to respond rather than react, compromising, acknowledging mistakes and recognising that there will be "bumps in the road" whenever you co-parent - whether your separated or not;
•How step-parents can bring a new positive dimension to a child's life...and much more.
Grant and I talk in some detail about some of the parenting arrangements, like pocket-money and dividing time, but I left these segments in the podcast because I think it may be helpful for some parents to hear how these arrangements can be pieced together and the emotions at play as arrangements are changed - especially when time spent with a treasured child is reduced.
As always, I can be reached through my instagram account or via my website www.theseparationfix.com.
A journey of positive co-parenting with Sue
Positive parenting isn't all woo-woo - only available to a lucky few. In fact, positive co-parenting can bloom from the rocky soil of an unhappy ending and divorce. But it doesn't happen overnight and like most things worth having, it takes effort to get there.
In this episode, you'll hear from Sue as she talks about the end of her marriage and the transformation of that relationship from one of a mismatched couple to a reinvigorated friendship as friends and co-parents. Next week, you'll be able to listen to Grant - the other side of this co-parenting coin.
Sue graciously shared so much about her separation journey and so much of what she talked about is universal:-
•The emotions of separation and the massive changes that separation brings;
•What can get in the way of positive co-parenting particularly in the early days;
•The journey of a positive co-parenting involves many ingredients: self-care, support from others, compromising, time and insight;
•The power of resolving a parenting problem by stepping away, rethinking it and returning to the topic at a later time - sometimes with an apology, an acknowledgment or another option;
•Adjusting to "the new family" in terms of transitioning between houses, step-parenting and changing needs; and
•A heartfelt recognition that "It's not easy, we still have our moments" but the results can be a treasured friendship and a happy, thriving child.
Sue's practical wisdom is reflected in these 3 pithy sentences, "I think, really, you've got to forgive and move forward. It's like closing the chapter in a book - that chapter is finished. So, the best thing you can do is deal with what you had to deal with, close the chapter and move forward the best way you can." Amen to that!
I'm sure you'll find this a useful and enjoyable listen. As always, I can be contacted through my instagram account or via my website www.theseparationfix.com.
Teenage brain 101 and helping teenagers adjust to separation and divorce with Michael Hawton, psychologist and founder of Parentshop
As a teacher, a psychologist, author and the founder of Parentshop, Michael Hawton has much to share about:
•The landscape of a teenager's world and what they're journeying through
•Different ways teenagers respond to separation
•How guilt about separation can impact parenting
•The QANTAS approach (put your oxygen mask on first) so you have the capacity to support your teenagers
•What's important for teens is also important for separating parents: eating well, controlling the technology, relaxing
•Why relaxation is crucial for resolving complicated problems
•the PASTA method of communicating with our teenagers: plan, appointment, say it, tame the tiger, agreement
•the PASTA method can also work parent to parent
•Discussed great Australian resources for children and teenagers including Parentline, Headspace and Kids Helpline and his song recommendation "Humble and Kind" by Tim McGrath
And his advice that a parent's "lever" with their teenager is the relationship with them - so don't get caught up in the small stuff.
If you are interested in learning more about Michael, check out www.Parentshop.com.au where you'll learn more about his books and courses including the latest, No Scaredy Cats for reducing anxiety and building resilience in children.
Men's experience of separation and divorce with Dr Shaun Delaney
I learnt so much interviewing Dr Shaun Delaney, a clinical psychologist, who works
principally with men going through separation and divorce. The interview blends practical
solutions, particularly the benefits of counselling, with deep emotional insights that are so
helpful when someone is going through a separation.
If you are a man looking to better understand your own experience of separation and divorce,
look no further. If you are the ex-partner of a man, parent, friend or have any interest in
understanding a man's experience of separation and divorce, push play now.
Just to let you know, this interview does not focus on the many tragic stories of male family
violence that occur and can peak during separation, there are sadly too many of those stories
readily available. It's about a different type of journey entirely.
Some of what Dr Delaney shared:
•The intention when researching and writing his DPsych was to help men and families going through separation and divorce.
•Discussed 2 types of arguments: Ones which lead to adaption, problem-solving and renegotiation as compared to arguments which keep a couple in high tension, perpetuate bad communication, distrust and drifting apart over time. Renegotiation is crucial to successful relationships and to really connect with someone you need to recognise and accept change. You cannot expect things to stay the same over time, to do so can be a precursor to separation.
•Discussed 3 main reasons for break-ups which can be broadly defined as negative behaviours, external behaviours and emotional reasons. Always a degree of ambivalence when separation - except, usually, in more serious situations.
•Discussed 3 main processes that people go through when separating - making the separation process less threatening; developing a new independent identity and devaluing the existing relationship.
•Overemphasising the negatives in a relationship and ignoring the positives makes it easier to justify the decision to separate as does devaluing your partner and the relationship. These processes serve to reduce feelings of guilt, shame or responsibility which allows someone to shift part of the responsibility of the separation to the other person. All this makes it easier to disconnect from commitment.
Shaun's DPsych has 7 themes but we only had time to discuss 3 of them! One of Shaun's themes was men's adaption to separation which has 5 elements:
•grief and loss.
We delved into men's experience of grief and loss. We talked about nature of grief for men e.g. loss of close friend and confidant, loss of future plans and expectations; a lack of acknowledgement from others can create even more difficulties; men's grief can make others uncomfortable. The expectations on how men are "supposed to" grieve is evolving but many men still withdraw and try to manage the experience on their own.
We touched upon the frustration that many of the men in his study felt when engaging with the family law system.
Shaun shared how he helps his client's going through separation in his work as a
psychologist in Melbourne - a really valuable framework.
One of the practical suggestions he makes is to make sure you connect with all the things you
love when going through this difficult time.
And I should let you know that Shaun's research featured heterosexual men but I hope to
enlarge the focus of my podcast in future episodes.
I'd love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of any othe...