“Together, apart;” the slogan has graced so many store windows, social media campaigns and government messages over the past few months, as we continue to collectively adapt to this new “normal.”. As Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) professionals, we have adapted our practices, learning to foster a sense of connection and trust with our clients as we replace in- person services with virtual meeting rooms. As professionals, colleagues, friends and family members, physical isolation has shown us all the power of community and how much we all benefit from the relationships in our lives. 

With this in mind, I am thrilled to announce the office launch of FDRIO’s Coaching Section!

Divorce coaching as a professional discipline has gained momentum within the FDR field over recent years. Clients benefit from having someone to guide them through the various stages of separation and divorce, helping them to sort through the many emotionally fraught legal, financial and co-parenting decisions that arise. FDR professionals likewise appreciate that clients who work with a divorce coach enter meetings with a clear head, organized notes and a preparedness to focus on the task at hand, rather than getting stuck in a state of emotional overwhelm. While some coaches offer a full range of services spanning the timeline beginning in the pre-separation stages, through the divorce process and beyond, others offer niche services such as family law coaching, conflict coaching, co-parenting coaching or similar.

In recognition of the impactful role that divorce coaches have come to play, FDRIO is working to support the needs of these coaches within our midst. We all benefit from communal encouragement within our professional circles, particularly for the many who are working independently in private practices. As rewarding as divorce coaching can be, coaches are helping clients through difficult chapters in their lives. In order to maintain the emotional energy to support our clients, we must ensure that the coach’s reservoir of emotional well-being is maintained. 

This new section is a space in which FDRIO’s divorce coaches will work to strengthen their three primary professional relationships, between coach and client, coach and colleagues and finally, the coach’s relationship with their own work. The section will be an environment in which we can come together to celebrate one another’s successes, seek advice from colleagues, share resources and work together to move the divorce coaching community forward. Online gatherings will offer us the opportunity to share ideas regarding professional best practices, marketing and how best to adapt in an ever evolving professional environment.

With FDR Week 2020 approaching in November, now is the time to put our heads together. Do you have ideas for events that you would like to bring to fruition? What is the message that you would like for your colleagues or potential clients to be able to receive?

As this section begins to take shape, FDRIO encourages you to get in touch and share your thoughts on what you would like to see from this section. Please feel free to do so whether you are currently a member of FDRIO or not. For further information or to share your feedback, as well as to receive notifications prior to upcoming online section meetings, please contact our section chair, Devorah Jonas at devorah@choicemediationandcoaching.com.

As our professional practices and daily lives continue to evolve within the presence of the ongoing COVID pandemic, what better a time to come together in support of one another’s professional endeavours than the present? I look forward to many lively discussions and shared achievements in the future of this new coaching section. While we may continue to meet over Zoom rather than in person, now is the time to show that we are truly together, even while physically apart.

Devorah Jonas is a family mediator and divorce coach who is devoted to helping men and women find peace throughout the divorce process and beyond, whether in their co-parenting relationship, within themselves or in supporting their children through this time of transition. Devorah brings a combination of warmth, compassion and pragmatism as she works with clients to maintain dignity, clarity and hope as they lay the foundations for their family’s future

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