If you are currently working through a contentious separation or divorce, you’ve likely heard the term “family coaching.” Perhaps it has been ordered by a law court, recommended by your legal or medical teams, or maybe you’ve sought it out on your own as a means to work through your challenging circumstances. But what is family coaching?
The truth is that there are many, MANY different approaches to family coaching, and even more self-proclaimed experts who claim to have a revolutionary approach to the practice. It can be tough to figure out which service is right for your family; your decision can drastically affect your ability to effectively navigate separation and restructuring. At worst, the wrong coach or approach can make your situation worse, damaging parent-child relationships already strained by trauma.
Below, you’ll find a few notes and pointers based on our experience in the family coaching industry, as well as more information on the unique approach that Pathways Family Coaching offers. Read on to learn more about family coaching and how Pathways can give you the skills to navigate your family’s restructuring.
A Mixed Bag?
Family coaching is different from counselling, psychology, medical and legal practices, and other professional fields you may encounter during your separation or divorce. Unlike these professions, there is no standard approach to family coaching, nor is there any universally recognized accreditation for practicing family coaching. This isn’t necessarily bad; often, family coaches transcend the boundaries of the psychological and legal fields to provide the best possible care for their clients in one place. However, the lack of standardization means that every family coaching service will be different, and different approaches may be more or less effective for your unique family dynamic.
Thankfully, most family coaches approach their practice with integrity. While “snake oil salespeople” certainly exist within the industry, the vast majority of coaches have a genuine desire to help families experiencing difficulties. However, without overarching professional standards, family coaches often employ wildly different methods and tactics, some of which can further damage your strained family dynamic.
So what does this all mean for you and your family? Before entering into any kind of family coaching, do your research! Wherever possible, arrange to speak or meet with a family coach before beginning their program(s). They should be able to clearly articulate their approach to family coaching and what will be expected of you and your family throughout the process. Bear in mind that many family coaches have specialties or areas of expertise; make sure these align with your family’s unique circumstances.
Additionally, seek out family coaches that teach skills and techniques that will help your family beyond your present situation. The very best family coaches will not only tell you what to do now, but also empower you with the skills and knowledge to maintain and protect a healthy family environment throughout every phase of your and your child’s life.
Pathways’ Approach to Family Coaching
At Pathways Family Coaching, we’ve long believed that family coaching services should meet parents where they are. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive library of online courses and resources to help co-parents through the challenges of high-conflict separation and divorce. No matter what unique challenges you face, we strive to give you the tools and resources to empower you to take back control of your situation and create a loving, nurturing environment for your children.
Our expert coaches have experience with a wide variety of high-conflict family dynamics, and are ready to share their insight through one-on-one or group online coaching sessions. Pathways coaches help you develop conflict management skills to guide your family through high-conflict separation and divorce with confidence. We also teach the ins-and-outs of family bond obstruction, transgenerational trauma, and coping strategies to restore and maintain the parent-child bond. Best of all, our online coaching format works on your schedule, guiding you through your journey with openness, acceptance and care.
In addition to family coaching, Pathways Family Coaching also offers online courses designed to educate and empower you through every phase of high-conflict separation and divorce. Pathways Through Conflict focuses on building essential conflict management skills to help you (and your co-parent, should they choose to participate) navigate the challenges of family restructuring. With an eight-module online course with 12 one-on-one coaching sessions, Pathways Through Conflict will help you develop your co-parenting repertoire with the ultimate goal of empowering you to manage conflict while creating a loving, nurturing environment for your child.
We offer a comprehensive course list covering all aspects of preserving the parent-child bond through family restructuring. Our other course offerings include:
- The Alienation Code, a five-module deep dive into family bond obstruction (often referred to as “parental alienation”), including potential warning signs, understanding your child’s perspective, how your ex’s behaviour can influence your child, and what you can do to combat family bond obstruction.
- Trapped in Trauma, our newest course offering examining the root causes of trauma, how it affects your relationship with your child, and the importance of working with your child to heal.
- Ready to Reconnect, a course focused on practical strategies for rejected parents to welcome their children back into their lives through compassion and understanding.
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