Tag Archives: Dr. Carol Hughes

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

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

Carol Hughes: Advice About Divorce and Adult Children

Choose the best option for your divorce - learn more at our July 19 workshop.

Psychotherapist, Divorce Coach, Child Specialist, and Mediator Dr. Carol Hughes was recently featured on the website Bottom Line Inc., in the article “What To Do When Your Parents Divorce – And You’re Already a Grown Up.”

With the holidays ahead, Dr. Hughes explains what the adult children of divorced or divorcing parents need to know to respond to common situations, including:

  • Feelings of abandonment are normal, even for adult children
  • Divorcing parents may lean on adult children for support, and why it can hurt your OWN marriage
  • Divorce parents may battle each other through their adult children, causing conflict between parent and child, or among siblings
  • Old holiday traditions may be broken; consider establishing new holiday traditions
  • It’s normal and it’s OK to feel relieved about your parents’ divorce
  • Four ways divorcing parents can limit the fallout from their divorce for their adult children

The website Bottom Line provides wellness and wealth advice from experts, including Dr. Hughes. Its approach offers “useful, expert, actionable information to help you navigate your world, saving time and money along the way.”

Read the entire article at this link.

 … Read More

OC Collaborative Professionals Share Expertise at October 2016 Events

Members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC) are in demand as professional education panelists and seminar leaders throughout Fall 2016 due to their expertise and experience working with a diverse array of Orange County clients in the Collaborative approach to divorce.

Full trials are becoming increasingly rare in family law. With no relief in sight for underfunded, impacted courts in California, trials can take years to set and families can face exorbitant costs and fees. Clients are demanding alternatives to expensive protracted court battles. As a result, good negotiation skills are now absolutely critical for family law practitioners.

“Our member professionals are considered so knowledgeable in their fields, they are called upon not only to properly educate clients, they also train and educate other professionals to ensure the highest levels of ethics and competence,” said Dr. Carol Hughes, CDSOC member who will be among the lecturers at meetings this fall.

“Orange County families who are considering a Collaborative approach to their divorce can be confident in the guidance and qualifications of our members, who not only uphold high standards in their personal practice, but who are called upon to help Collaborative professionals across the United States in developing … Read More

Tips for Talking With Young Children About Your Upcoming Separation or Divorce

Divorce is especially hard on minor children. As a parent, help them manage their emotions and don't rely on them to manage yours.Divorce is especially hard on minor children. Help them manage their emotions. A Child Specialist can guide you and prevent long term psychological trauma.

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

Note: To avoid the clumsiness of using “child/children,” “children” is intentionally used throughout this article

It is clear you care about doing the best you can for your children through the separation and divorce process, because you are reading this article. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. No one is. Remember to keep taking slow, deep breaths. You and your children will get through this difficult time.

Consider the following tips to help you prepare to talk with your minor children.

Agree on a time when you and your spouse can talk with your children together. Siblings need the support system they can provide each other. Divorce is a major life crisis for all family members and should be treated as such. Ideally, it is best to share the news with your children when they will have adequate time to absorb what you will be telling them; for instance, when they do not have to go back to school in a day or two after hearing the news.

Plan your presentation to your children in advance. Make some notes about what you plan to say and review them so that you are familiar … Read More

How to Talk About Your Divorce With Your Adult Children

Adult children are not immune from emotional trauma when older couples get divorced.

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

One of the most difficult steps in the divorce process is talking about your decision with your adult children. It may feel like admitting a failure, or letting them down.

Divorce is a major life crisis for all family members and should be treated as such, even when your children are no longer “kids.” Children who are adults when their parents divorced consistently report years later the news of their parents’ divorce “rocked the very foundation” of their world.

You are making a good start and doing the best you can. You are reading this blog post. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. No one is perfect. Breathe deeply; you and your children can get through this difficult time together. These tips will help guide you through this process.

  1. Schedule a time when you can speak with your children together and preferably in person. Siblings benefit from the support system they can provide each other. When you are scheduling the time to talk, tell them you have something important to discuss with them. Assure them no one is sick or dying. If they ask you what you want to talk about, tell them
Read More

Teamwork is the Key to Success in Collaborative Divorce

Working with a Collaborative Practice team can make the divorce process less traumatic, less time consuming and less costly for everyone involved.

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

Clients often wonder how working with a team of professionals will benefit them when moving forward with the Collaborative Process for their divorce. Even experienced practitioners sometimes fail to understand how all professionals on an interdisciplinary team can assist and support clients, even high-conflict clients, to become “Agreement Ready.”

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Dr. Carol Hughes, family law lawyer Diana L. Martinez, and financial specialist Cathleen Collinsworth offer recent findings from neuroscience showing how working in teams can assist clients resolve even their most difficult conflicts at the upcoming Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal) “Celebration XI” Conference in Redwood City, California April 29 – May 1.

Dr. Hughes says the training is designed for all practitioners who want to continue evolving their ability to assist clients with the powerful tools provided through the Collaborative Process. Participants will learn techniques for assisting clients:

  • Identify and develop the clients’ ‘Key Elements of Agreement’ that avoid being too specific or too vague and therefore of no value.
  • Identify and develop the clients’ ‘Questions To Be Answered’ relative to their ‘Key Elements of Agreement.’
  • Develop ‘Options for Resolution’ that are both individually and family-centric interest based.
  • Evaluate
Read More