My intention in attending the workshop was to develop transformational workshops for people who were recovering from divorce or facing transitions in their lives. As I was participating in the exercises, an insight dawned on me:
Collaborative practice is transformational work.
Collaborative practice teams help clients transform their families—often from a family that lives together in one home to two nuclear households (where each parent has their own household). The goal is to help people make the transition in a truly safe, functional way that preserves the ability to parent their children in the best way possible.
After making this connection between collaborative practice and transformation, I began to think about the larger idea of how collaborative professionals (who practice together on a team) can use some of the these principles and ideas in our divorce work.
We start with the central idea of the transformational workshop: to create safety in the group that then fosters the emergence of a group consciousness (a certain wisdom).
As a result of developing safety and group wisdom in this group think tank, problem-solving and outside-the-box thinking are enhanced—this benefits how the group looks at the finances, parenting, and post-divorce lives of the couple, and the range of creative options for solutions that can be generated.
I am sure that my fellow professionals would agree that in this group wisdom lies the beauty of collaborative practice. I believe we can be more intentional in how we establish this process.
In this article, I invite my colleagues to join me and brainstorm these questions together as a collaborative practice community:
- How do we intentionally elevate and maximize the group consciousness and wisdom in every one of our collaborative cases?
- How do we create conditions that fully support and encourage safety and group consciousness?
It’s an exciting undertaking for us as collaborative professionals to challenge ourselves and make this goal an imperative.
Irrespective of who the members of the team are, the overarching goal of group wisdom will always apply—we start with the basic concepts and morph them to meet the needs of the team involved. Similar to a kaleidoscope, the pieces create different configurations, but are concurrently joined together.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how we can support our collaborative divorce teams to be creative and intentional in how we set the stage for group consciousness.
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My Divorce Recovery
Lauren Behrman, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Zimmerman, Ph.D., ABPP