977 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 102, Vernon Hills, IL 60061 ... (847) 680-0755 ..l.. fax: (847) 573-1617.........
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home
Psychotherapy Services
Divorce_Coaching_Mediation_Services
Evaluation Services
Training
Community Education
consultation_to_schools
Consultation
Downloads
Fees & Billing
About Hawthorn
Office Location
Contact Us

 

 

Disputes happen. Disagreements between parties are a part of everyday life. Sometimes the nature of the dispute is relatively minor—the classic example being the neighbor's barking dog, although this may not seem a “minor” problem if you happen to be the affected neighbor. At other times the dispute is deeply profound, as in the case of dissolution of a marriage.

The formal management and resolution of disputes was once the sole purview and responsibility of the court system. Now, however, there is increased recognition that the skill set possessed by mental health providers can be invaluable to resolve disputes in a manner which is more timely, sensitive and cost-efficient than is available through the courts. Methods which are used to settle disputes in a setting other than a courtroom are often grouped together under the rubric of “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR). Divorce coaching provided in the course of a collaborative divorce as well as mediation are two distinct forms of alternative dispute resolution which draw upon the skills of mental health providers. Parenting coordination utilizes ADR-based conflict resolution strategies--along with based education concerning child development, family dynamics and parenting skills enhancement—to promote more effective and collaborative parenting between divorced parents. Hawthorn Counseling Group is a provider of all of these forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Divorce Coaching & Child Specialist Services

The concept of using the services of a coach to provide support, education and skill development for parties pursuing divorce comes from a relatively new approach to divorce: collaborative family law. Traditionally, the process of terminating a marriage has involved litigation. This is an adversarial process, quite often very painful and expensive, which can create lasting ill will between the parties, interfering with later efforts by ex-spouses to join together as parents after the divorce. An alternative to the litigated divorce, collaborative family law or collaborative divorce , was developed in the early 1990's and in some localities this approach has become the predominant and preferred method for resolving divorce actions. More information concerning the history and practice of collaborative family law is available through the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois at www.collablawil.org.

In the context of collaborative family law, a divorce coach is a mental health professional who helps clients navigate through the emotional challenges of divorce while clients resolve their legal issues in a non-adversarial manner. The coach supports effective communication, problem-solving and helps to guide clients through the grieving which often occurs during the divorce process. The coach does not serve as a therapist, does not render opinions or recommendations concerning key issues (e.g., child custody) and most certainly does not offer legal advice. Instead, the coach helps his or her client to manage obstacles which sometimes arise during the divorce process—typically these include emotional struggles, impaired problem-solving, communication breakdowns and difficulties envisioning future needs and preferences. The goal is to support the client's own strengths in maintaining a respectful, constructive approach to the divorce process.

Divorce coaching sessions are provided individually, on a time-limited basis and the coach may also attend conferences with the couple seeking divorce and their respective attorneys. Collaborative divorce, by definition, is a team project and coaches play an integral role in the process, maintaining ongoing communication and involvement with their client and their attorney. Typically, the coaching relationship terminates at the conclusion of the divorce.

In his work as a divorce coach, Dr. John Jochem draws upon his years of experience as a practicing clinical psychologist, as well as specialized training in collaborative family law and mediation. Dr. Jochem is a fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois and works with collaboratively-trained family law practices throughout Lake County.

Dr. Jochem is also a trained child specialist, who functions as a key part of the collaborative divorce team to gain the perspective of each child in the family while providing a safe environment for the children to express themselves. The child specialist comes to understand the hopes and dreams of both parents regarding their children, as well as concerns for the impact of the divorce. The best interests of the children are identified and, through supportive coaching and education, a plan for collaborative parenting is developed. The child specialist works with the other team members to provide recommendations and advocate on behalf of the children—the CS serves as the voice of the children at collaborative divorce team meetings, ensuring that the voice of the children is heard and represented throughout the collaborative divorce process.


Mediation

Mediation is another form of alternative dispute resolution offered by Hawthorn Counseling Group. Mediation is a process designed to help parties resolve disputes, always with the goal of reaching an agreement of some kind. A defining feature of mediation is that the parties themselves determine the nature of the resulting settlement rather than having an agreement imposed upon them by a third party. Mediators facilitate this process by opening or improving dialogue between the disputants, maintaining a position of impartiality, directing the flow of dialogue between the two parties, enabling them to develop an agreement which is realistic, viable and enduring.

Parties in conflict—couples seeking divorce, businesses involved in a dispute, families in turmoil, tenants embroiled in a disagreement with their landlord—often seek mediation as a means of resolving their differences and reaching an agreement. People typically choose mediation for the following reasons:

Cost
Mediation costs are typically far less than the expense of litigation.

Time
Experience has shown that resolution of disagreements through mediation is a much more efficient and rapid process than bringing disputes to court.

Privacy
While court cases occur in public, the mediation process is private and typically only the outcome—the agreement between the parties in conflict—is public record.

Flexibility
Mediation offers the disputants the opportunity to be creative in crafting an agreement which best meets their respective needs and interests. By contrast, a decision imposed upon the disputants by a third party (e.g., court) may leave neither party happy with the outcome.

Mutuality
Since the agreement has been developed by the disputants it is more likely to be a viable, realistic and durable resolution with which both parties will comply, requiring less enforcement by a third party in the future.

Hawthorn Counseling Group clinicians are mental health providers who are also trained, experienced mediators who are available to work with a variety of circumstances, including pre-decree or post-decree divorce disputes, family conflicts and business disputes.

Parenting Coordination Services

Mediation is another form of alternative dispute resolution offered by Hawthorn Counseling Group. Mediation is a process designed to help parties resolve disputes, always with the goal of reaching an agreement of some kind. A defining feature of mediation is that the parties themselves determine the nature of the resulting settlement rather than having an agreement imposed upon them by a third party. Mediators facilitate this process by opening or improving dialogue between the disputants, maintaining a position of impartiality, directing the flow of dialogue between the two parties, enabling them to develop an agreement which is realistic, viable and enduring.

Parenting coordination is utilized to negotiate and promote adherence compliance to a parenting plan while offering a more efficient and systematic path towards resolution of parenting disputes. It always includes, to some degree, educational interventions regarding child development, including a special focus on mitigating the negative impact of divorce upon children and families. Skill-building in communication, problem-solving and collaborative parenting is provided in the context of a series of parenting coordination sessions. Parenting coordination offers a path towards resolving disputes between estranged or alienated parents, stabilizing parenting relationships which have become volatile and adversarial.

Should you wish to learn more about the alternative dispute resolution services available through Hawthorn Counseling Group please feel free to email Dr. John Jochem at jdjochem@gmail.com or call him at (847) 680-0755.


iacp

collaborative


Return to top