Navigating Emotional Currents in Collaborative Divorce: A Guide to Enlightened Team Practice

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Designed to help all professionals -- lawyers, as well as mental health professionals, financial neutrals, etc. -- who practice in the area of Collaborative Divorce, this important new book explains how marital dynamics (both conscious and unconscious), combined with the traumas of both the current divorce and those resulting from previous situations, will be re-enacted within the Collaborative process. If these traumas and dynamic re-enactments go unaddressed, misunderstood or unmetabolized by the team they can impede progress, create difficulty in team functioning, result in a compromised agreement, or cause a complete break-down of the process itself.

Navigating Emotional Currents in Collaborative Divorce offers both a theoretical and practical roadmap for navigating the Collaborative process from an emotional point of view. The authors, Kate Scharff and Lisa Herrick, recognize that readers will come to the book with varying degrees of psychological savvy and self-awareness. The book's goal is to sensitize all team members to the importance of attending to and working with their clients' emotional needs, and to give them the tools to do so in order to achieve the best result.

In presenting this framework for thinking about divorcing clients and how best to work with them, Scharff and Herrick make these key assumptions:

•   The ways our clients think, feel, and behave are often driven by unconscious factors;
•   Those unconscious factors play a strong, sometimes problematic role in the course of a Collaborative case; and,
•   It is only by developing an understanding of the dynamics underlying our clients' patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that we can help them to navigate the Collaborative process.

The authors examine the psychological underpinnings of the Collaborative process itself (why we do what we do), the ways in which individual professionals and their teams are affected by the emotional make-ups of their clients, and the issues of assessment and technique. One might wonder how relevant it is to their divorce practice that the author venture into what might feel like psychotherapeutic terrain. The primary answer is that unless you understand all the reasons that a couple becomes a couple, you can't understand what happens to them as their marriage unravels.

Table of Contents

Kate and Lisa’s Acknowledgments 

About the Authors

Foreword

Introduction: Navigating the Collaborative River Above and below the Surface

Who We Are

Why We Wrote This Book

SECTION I UNDERSTANDING OUR CLIENTS AND OURSELVES

Chapter 1 Individual Dynamics

Chapter 2 Couple Dynamics

Chapter 3 The Collaborative Container

Chapter 4 Assessment and Intervention: The Rigidity/Flexibility Continuum

SECTION II APPLYING OUR UNDERSTANDING TO THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS

Chapter 5 The Components of the Collaborative Process

Chapter 6 Collaborative Teams: Function and Dysfunction

Chapter 7 ‘Land Mines’ in Collaborative Practice

Chapter 8 The Voice of the Child: The Crucial Role of the Child Specialist

Chapter 9 Developing a Deep and Durable Parenting Plan

References

Index