Category Archives: Mental Health

Does Covid 19 Cause Divorce?

By Leslee Newman, Family Law Attorney, CDSOC Member

The pandemic of Covid 19 has swept us up and dramatically changed the way we live in just a matter of weeks.  Our existence has become restricted, regulated, and different than we’ve ever known.  We have all become isolated in our own homes.  The freedom to come and go as we wish has been greatly altered.  We cannot go to restaurants, to our offices and work sites, and to many public places.  We cannot enter places of religious worship, attend lectures, professional meetings, go to the theater, to concerts, to movies, or even personally meet with friends.  And our children cannot go to school.  How traumatically sad for those students in the Class of 2020, graduating from high school and college.

With children now at home full-time, who cares for them, who teaches them, who keeps them busy, and prepares their meals?  We are all prisoners of the Covid pandemic, isolating ourselves to avoid this terrible, and often deadly disease, especially for mature and older adults.

And as we sacrifice and struggle to remain healthy, most of us are restricted from our work places, or worse, furloughed, laid off from work, or … Read More “Does Covid 19 Cause Divorce?”

No Drama Divorce…How to Manage Fear and Expectations in a Co-Mediated Divorce Process Using Collaboratively-Trained Professionals

By Patrice Courteau, MA, LMFT and Paula J. Swensen, Esq.

The ending of a marriage can be a minefield of emotions and reactions. A “no drama” divorce helps to shift a mindset from pain and unrealistic expectations to one of managing emotions, learning better communication skills, and gathering information in order to reduce anxiety of divorcing spouses.

In our experience of working together in a co-mediation process, the goal is to reduce the drama by reducing fear, managing both spouse’s expectations, and setting a course for the couple to be able to successfully navigate. We cannot overstate the value to clients of using well-trained collaborative professionals to help them manage the fear and emotion in order to achieve their best family-centered outcome.

While the legal professional is educating on the legal process and the issues presented, the mental health professional (divorce coach or child specialist) is gathering information from the spouses regarding their urgent issues and concerns, including any communication challenges.

Throughout this process, it is essential for the clients to be heard, and to feel that they have an equal voice in reaching a resolution. Often during this process, clients learn a new way to communicate with one another. … Read More “No Drama Divorce…How to Manage Fear and Expectations in a Co-Mediated Divorce Process Using Collaboratively-Trained Professionals”

“I Just Need to Win”…How Collaborative Professionals Can Help Shift the Paradigm

By Paula J. Swensen, Esq.

Those of us of a certain age remember the immortal words of a successful football coach after whom the Super Bowl trophy was long ago named.

Vince Lombardi famously opined, “Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.”  That’s a pithy and fitting philosophy for a coach to use to inspire his or her team to attain greater and greater success on the football field, but we collaborative divorce professionals know that it is not so useful when it is applied in the context of a divorcing couple.

It goes without saying that everybody wants to win. No one wants to lose, regardless of the undertaking or the endeavor in which one is engaged. We know intuitively from a very young age that winning is “good,” and that losing is “bad”. We all want our team to win, and we become frustrated and sometimes angry, when our team loses. We all know from following sports that when there is a winner, there is also a corresponding loser.

This concept of “winning” is ingrained in our being from an early age, and it has now saturated our culture. We want winners, not losers when we choose employees, … Read More ““I Just Need to Win”…How Collaborative Professionals Can Help Shift the Paradigm”

January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month

By Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, Child Specialist and Divorce Coach

 

“Children are like wet cement. Everything that falls on them leaves an impression.”
~ Dr. Haim Ginott, World Renowned Child Psychologist

Often married adults include as one of their New Year’s resolutions that they are going to  “start a new life” by filing for divorce. For this reason, there is an increase in divorce filings in January. This is why January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month.

When parents file for divorce, how does it affect their children? It depends.

For decades, the research about children and divorce has indicated that children report that the news of their parents impending divorce and how their parents divorced made a lasting impression on them, even into their adulthood. Most parents want to prevent emotional and psychological damage to their children during and after divorce, but they do not know how to do so.

Divorce is the number one stressor for adults, second only to the death of a loved one. So, it is not surprising that divorcing parents find it difficult to be their best selves for the sake of their children. In fact, research has found that  due to … Read More “January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month”

Seven Reasons to do a Collaborative Divorce

Gavel on Law Book

We recommend the following article titled “Seven Reasons to do a Collaborative Divorce” by John Denny, Collaborative Divorce and Mediation Attorney.   John expresses some very important views on the subject of Collaborative Divorce in the Orange County Area.

You can read the entire article at:   https://collaborativedivorcecalifornia.com/seven-reasons-to-do-a-collaborative-divorce/

How To Help Your Children During Separation and Divorce

By Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT

“If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.”
~Marian Wright Edelman, Founder, Children’s Defense Fund

 

Research about the effects of divorce on children indicates that:

  • Each year, over 1 million American children experience the divorce of their parents.1
  • Ongoing parental conflict increases kids’ risk of psychological and social problems.2
  • Improving the relationships between parents and their children helps children cope better in the months and years following the divorce.3

Children are the innocent victims of divorce.  Divorce ranks second only to the death of a loved one as life’s most stressful experiences.4 Litigation, which by definition is adversarial, can compound that stress exponentially due to the hostility it can engender and the exorbitant costs that parents can incur.  “Combat divorce,” a common term for litigation, requires that each parent have the biggest battleship armed with the biggest guns, which take aim at the battleship of the other parent.  Let’s remember that, no matter what else changes, each of these soon to be “ex-spouses” forever remains their child(ren)’s other parent.  During the process of litigation, that obvious fact can become obscured in the harsh and … Read More “How To Help Your Children During Separation and Divorce”

Why Is Divorce So Stressful?

by Dr. Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT

“There are few blows to the human spirit so great as the loss of someone near and dear.” ~ John Bowlby, M.D.

The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale indicates that divorce is the second highest stressor for humans, second only to the death of a spouse. Why is divorce so stressful?

When we view divorce through the lens of British psychologist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby’s attachment theory, it helps us understand the reason why divorce is so stressful. Attachment theory states that we humans have a biological predisposition to form attachment bonds (strong emotional ties) with significant others to have a secure haven and safe base where we can thrive and return for support and comfort during times of need, stress, and crisis.

We form these attachment bonds via our relationships with other human beings who are of primary importance to us. Indeed, Dr. Dan Siegel, Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA Medical School, states, “Relationships are the most important part of our having well-being in being human. It’s that simple. And it’s that important.”

From birth to death, throughout the human life cycle, attachment bonds ensure our safety, security and even survival, and these … Read More “Why Is Divorce So Stressful?”

Experts Contribute to Best Practices at Collaborative Practice California Conference

Orange County Collaborative Practice professionals will share their expertise with colleagues in April at the annual Collaborative Practice California Conference XII in Redondo Beach.

Members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC) are in demand as professional education panelists and seminar leaders throughout Fall 2017 due to their expertise and experience working with a diverse array of Orange County clients in the Collaborative approach to divorce.

“Many collaborative professionals are committed to continuing professional education in order to provide the best service to our clients,” said Dr. Carol Hughes, CDSOC member and workshop leader. “The annual conference of Collaborative Practice California is one venue for us to do this.

“We CDSOC members are honored to be contributing to the further growth of our Collaborative colleagues throughout the state. Ultimately, the reward is offering better options to clients who want to avoid the trauma, time and expense of a litigated divorce or other disputes,” added Dr. Hughes.

Collaborative Practice California presentations include:

Collaborative Family Lawyer and Mediator Bart Carey, Divorce Coach and Child Specialist Dr. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, and Financial Specialist Cathleen Collinsworth, CDFA™, MAFF™ will facilitate an advanced seminar titled “Grand Rounds for Collaborative Practitioners.”

The workshop format introduces … Read More “Experts Contribute to Best Practices at Collaborative Practice California Conference”

Members Lend Expertise at Collaborative Divorce Education Institute 3-Day Training

Experienced legal, financial, and mental health Collaborative Practitioners from Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County shared their expertise at the 2017 Three-Day Collaborative Divorce Interdisciplinary Team Training in January. Through lectures, discussions, and group participation, the training team helped both new and experienced Collaborative Professionals to develop more skills and a new understanding of how to support and lead their clients to a successful resolution without resorting to litigation.

If you missed this year’s event, be sure mark your calendar for next year’s training in January 2018.

The Last Thing A Man Needs To Hear When He’s Going Through A Divorce

Many men feel adrift without any support system or coping skills during a divorce.

by Diana L. Martinez
Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, West Coast Law & Mediation, APC
with Dr. Marvin Chapman, Collaborative Coach, LMFT

“Real men don’t cry,” right? BS!

I have represented many strong and successful men in divorces. The skill set which creates business success often does the opposite when seeking conflict resolution in a personal relationship.

Too often, men tend to handle negotiations in their divorce as they do in the boardroom. They become frustrated when their previously successful tactics do not work. Frustration often shows itself as anger, stubbornness, yelling, or complete withdrawal. The real obstacle to their successful divorce resolution is grief, or, rather, the failure to work through the grief.

Divorce is the second most traumatic event a person can experience, second only to the loss of a loved one. While there is plenty of information and support for women to work through the trauma of divorce, there is very little available to men. Why? Because “real men don’t cry.”

The reality: men do grieve the loss of their marriage, but their grief is expressed so differently it appears as aggression, arrogance, or as a complete lack of empathy to the untrained eye

To better understand … Read More “The Last Thing A Man Needs To Hear When He’s Going Through A Divorce”