Recovering From the Fog of Divorce

by Leslee J. Newman, CFL-S, Family Law Attorney

Members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County had a wonderful opportunity to train with Vicki Carpel Miller and Ellie Izzo, Collaborative mental health professionals from Scottsdale, Arizona. Miller and Izzo discussed how people going through divorce are often in a “fog” of confusion and paralysis. Our job as competent and compassionate Collaborative professionals is to help each of the spouses to “recover” through what we hope will be a transformative process through Collaborative Practice.

How does this happen? By the use of a cohesive and skilled team of Collaborative professionals—attorneys, mental health, and financial professionals– who can alert you, educate you, and bring you out of the chaos and into the sunlight.  This can be done by identifying the different phases of transition and encourage the following stages of recovery:

Recovery Mode: Burned out, over stimulated. Trying to be productive is hard. Transition by focusing on the basics like adequate sleep, water, exercise, the comfort of friends, etc.

You have a little bit more energy but still hard to focus.  Start by creating new experiences in your life by meeting new people, learning something new, and reaching out to others you haven’t seen in a while.  Novelty will help to stimulate you

Work Mode: Start to fix, clean, organize and maintain.  The energy is starting to recover as you catch up with work and tasks that you’ve let slide.

Self Mode: Start to think about yourself, your values, beliefs, and interests.  Start to make decisions that are best for the long term even if those decisions are hard to make.

Flow Mode: By now you should have identified at least one interest that you are ready to pour your soul, time, and energy into developing something bigger than  yourself.

People Mode: Repair important relationships and have necessary and difficult conversations with friends, relatives, and colleagues.

Gold Mode: You’ve developed a positive outflow of energy as you have solidified goals, relationships, your work, and your values.  You are feeling much more resilient  and your energy to concentrate has been restored.  You are now open to switching modes when faced with future random events.

Have you faced a previous crisis in your life, or family transition like divorce, which led you from a “fog” to strength.  If so, please share.