Training a New Generation of Collaborative Professionals

Training a New Generation of Collaborative Professionals by Lauren BehrmanEarly in May, I had the opportunity to be a trainer in NYACP’s Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce Training. My training team consists of two attorneys, MaryEllen Linnehan and Deb Wayne, and a financial neutral, Marty Blaustein, and myself as the mental health professional. Even though we’ve offered this training many times before, our team worked for a year and a half to reinvigorate it—making it more user-friendly and accessible.

Our efforts were fruitful, as the training had great energy, with over 40 seasoned professional participants from the legal, financial, and mental health fields.  We all had tremendous synergy, and everyone was eager to transform their work and learn about better ways to help families through the divorce process.

Fpr some years, we have had participants who were very skeptical about collaborative divorce and raised all kinds of concerns about not having the “hammer” of litigation in their toolbox. This particular group was truly open to capitalizing on all of our combined years of wisdom, skill, and knowledge, to work towards collaborative resolutions of family transitions without the traditional litigation tools.

Being part of this training reconfirmed what I know to be true: collaborative divorce has many benefits. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that collaborative divorce offers a unique opportunity to help families transition from one shared life to a family that now has two separate nuclei, while preserving a system with parents who can protect their children and parent as a team.

Families who can mediate should—the process is less complex and less costly. However, when mediation is not possible for a particular divorcing couple, collaborative divorce process offers the opportunity to resolve the issues in a respectful process, while at the same time developing skills that will serve parents well in the future. The possibility of a smooth transition is best for everyone, especially the children, and paves the way for a better recovery overall.

We are so fortunate to have our newly trained collaborative professionals, inspired and full of energy and excitement to add their voices to the chorus, and bring their creativity and skills to the process and to our collaborative community. We welcome our new collaborative clients.

New York Association of Collaborative Professionals offers this training periodically. Jeff and I find our work with our collaborative colleagues and the outcomes for families and children energizing and professionally satisfying. Please contact us for more information on our roles as collaborative trainers, coaches and child specialists. We view collaborative as one of the best routes to a healthy divorce recovery.

My Divorce Recovery

Lauren Behrman, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Zimmerman, Ph.D., ABPP