Research Paper By Sherry Huang
(Life Coaching, CHINA)
Divorce Coaching for Women – an opportunity to inspire a life transformation
When people think of divorce coaching, the first thing comes to mind is “grief coaching”. Going through a divorce is frequently cited by many to be the bitterest time in a person’s life. There are lots of emotions involved in a divorce process: sadness, anger, frustration, desperation, guilt… the list goes on and on. A coach plays a vital role in walking the long journey with the client during the divorce process. Not many people realize that other than providing emotional support for the grief period, coaching can actually inspire the client to rise above the ashes and live a transformed life. The tragedy viewed by many can serve as a great opportunity for self-reflection and self-exploration. From blame (self and others) to acceptance, forgiveness and then to empowerment, a woman’s journey through divorce can be the most inspirational transformation in her life. For a coach, it is important to realize this opportunity and move beyond grief coaching to elicit meaningful changes from the client.
The long held “happily lived ever after” marriages seem only exist in fairy tales now. According to a fact sheet published by Feldstein Family Law Group in 2012, 40-55 percent of marriages ended up in divorce in developed countries like U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and Sweden. The rate for second or subsequent marriages is even higher. Albeit its frequency, divorce is still cited to be one of the most traumatic event that can happen in a person’s life. A once loved couple has to make the decision to separate their lives to two completely different paths. The separation involves almost every important element in their lives: home, finances, children, relatives, and friends, etc. The process can be painful and tedious. Unfortunately, not all couples will still behave in a human and civil manner when it comes to separation, which simply adds to the acrimony of the process. Having a coach is one of the most effective ways to go through this touch period and move forward with life.
While the author fully understands the people who come to divorce coaching can be both men and women, the focus of this research paper will be on women, who often find themselves at a disadvantage by having assumed a more domestic role in a family. These women may have devoted their whole married life to raising children and taking care of the family. When facing a divorce, they often find the basis of the world on which they have constructed their lives on collapsed. They are thrown to the bottom of the valley with no income, no job prospect, huge childcare burden and no hope for future romances. When they come to coaching, coaches play a vital role in not only providing emotional support, but also guiding them towards a brighter future in which they see light and hope.
How does divorce serve as an opportunity for personal growth?
When you go through tragedy, you can either let that destroy you and you become bitter and never let it go, or you can let it make you stronger and let it make you grow.
Throughout human history, with rare exceptions, those who have achieved great successes would quote the major adverse events to be the turning point in their lives. Those tragedies or traumas served as a catalyst for life transformations. Only through toughness can human gather the most energy and the greatest resources to show how resilient human species can be.
As Ford (2006) indicated,