One of the biggest problems in divorce cases is the focus on finding “Who is to Blame?” And “What did he or she do wrong?”
In many cases, the parties spend years in court attacking each other and defending themselves. Divorce and co-parenting professionals should instead focus on helping people learn “new ways” of thinking, feeling and behavior, rather than focusing on the past or blaming each other.
1. New Ways of thinking about your spouse and yourself – • Avoid all-or-nothing thinking • Recognize emotional reasoning • Avoiding jumping to conclusions • Stop catastrophizing
2. New Ways of managing your emotions • Learn your triggers for experiencing overwhelming emotions and how to manage them • Learn how to reduce the intensity of your responses to different problems, while still respecting your feelings
3. New Ways of behaving toward your spouse and your child/ren • Build confidence in yourself to become more assertive, rather than being passive or aggressive • Limit issues you will discuss with your former spouse, and when, where and how you will communicate
4. Recognizing Your Positive Behaviors and Qualities • Focus on your own positive qualities and behaviors to help adopt new ways of thinking, feeling and acting • Use problem-solving techniques you’ve used to solver other problems outside the divorce
You may wish to learn more about New Ways for Families developed at High Conflict Institute New Ways Collaborativeby Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. You can learn skills for managing feelings that seem to drive your decisions, so you can think things through more easily.
Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., is an attorney, therapist and mediator in San Diego, California. Co-founder of High Conflict Institute, he is author of several books on dealing with high-conflict personalities. For more visit www.highconflictinstitute.com.