Patricia Ferreira is passionate about helping others; born out of her experiences, struggles and breakthroughs. As a Professional Life Coach, Patricia supports individuals as they find their way through difficult situations and transitions. Given the enormous challenges that divorce brings, we discuss with Patricia the role of life coaching when it comes to helping women experiencing divorce.
What Is a Professional Life Coach?
A life coach helps you with specific projects, business goals, and transitions in your personal life, relationships or profession. Examining what is going on right now; discovering what the obstacles or challenges might be; and putting together a course of action to make your life what you want it to be. Like coaching a player to get better at her game, we guide and help you get better at all aspects of your life.
When Working with Divorcing Women, What Are the Biggest Challenges You Encounter?
Every divorce is different; therefore, every woman going through a divorce is dealing with her special set of challenges. Although the challenges are varied, they usually fall within three areas: 1) legal, 2) financial, and 3) emotional. I would say the biggest challenge is in the emotional state you are in while entering a legal or court proceeding. You are a mixed bag of feelings, sad, scared, angry or anxious and expected to make decisions that are life defining.
Why Do You Think These Challenges Present Themselves?
The stakes in a divorce are usually very high and making uninformed or emotionally led decisions is the worst plan. My recommendation is to seek guidance and support as early as possible in the process. Don’t take advice from just anyone; build a team of experts in that will look out for your best interest and guide you through the process. An attorney, a separate divorce mentor to help you understand the details of the process, a financial advisor and especially a life coach that will help you navigate the journey while you remain confident and not allow fear or guilt to dictate the process.
How Can a Life Coach Help Women of Divorce?
A life coach can help in every phase of the divorce process:
- When contemplating divorce, we guide you to reflect and evaluate your relationship or current situation and uncover if divorce is the best decision for you.
- During the divorce, it’s important to have a safe, supportive and nonjudgmental person to go to. We help you withstand the emotional burden that a divorce can create. Often pain, anger and power struggles make you lose confidence or worse lead to a breaking point. Keeping you centered and mindful of your capacity and self-worth will help you better deal with conflicts, children, co-parenting and other issues as they arise.
- Once the divorce is final, we navigate you through the healing process by helping you avoid the “stuck” phase that usually happens after a divorce. We hold your hand while you pick up the pieces and put yourself back together again. This allows you to reinvent or discover yourself, find your voice, self-esteem and kick off the next chapter of your life confidently.
Getting unmarried is a very intricate and consuming process. It has a lot of moving pieces and should by no means be taken lightly. Just like you research and prepare for a wedding––hiring planners, caterers and others––take a similar approach with the divorce, and give yourself the time and support to insure a positive and fair outcome.