Building a new life after divorce

If any of our readers have experienced divorce, they can clearly relate to how post-divorce life is literally like starting over again. People of divorce often need a little help in building their new lives. To discuss the concept of life coaching in this regard, I turned to Lilliana Real of Butterfly Mediation, a certified family law mediator and life coach.

DM: How did the discipline of life coaching get started?
REAL: Life coaching evolved in the 1980s, after sports and business coaching became popular. Life coaching is an option for anyone seeking either an accountability partner, encouragement, or guidance as to how to reach life goals or seeking assistance with the stress of everyday life or a particular life issue. A life coach is not always a therapist, and if a therapist, the therapist should be careful not to provide therapy. Traditional therapy delves into the past and tries to resolve old issues and may result in a diagnosis, while life coaching is future and behavior oriented without delving into the past. Life coaches do not provide diagnosis.

DM: What’s the end goal of the life coaching process?
REAL: Life coaching sessions can range from a few months to a year or more, as needed by the client. The objective is to have the client successfully navigate through a difficult issue or situation and reach their personal goals. The end goal of life coaching depends on the client’s particular needs and objectives.

DM: When it comes to people of divorce, how can life coaching help them?
REAL: Anyone who is going through a divorce will likely need someone to assist them through the very difficult transition of a divorce. Whether a divorce is litigated or resolved outside of the court, the process of making such a large life change is always stressful. Even if the party has an attorney, the attorney typically cannot and will not get involved in assisting the client through the stress of divorce. While the attorney may seem cold to the client, the attorney may not understand or wish to have the party express their stress in order for the attorney to assist them. Therapy can be an option. However, therapists usually go into the past and the therapist may want to provide a diagnosis, while the person may not want to be diagnosed in the middle of the divorce. Such a diagnosis may add more stress for various reasons, including having the other party use the diagnosis against them in court.

DM: What should someone look for when selecting a life coach, specifically when it comes to someone experiencing divorce?
REAL: They should look for someone who has divorce experience, such as a former family law attorney or mediator. For instance, I practiced family law for 10 years, so I know the divorce process. This experience allows me the capacity of understanding deeply the person who is going through a divorce. One must also work to find a life coach who understands them and with whom they are connected. As with hiring any professional, the most important factor is how comfortable the client feels with the professional that they are retaining.

Carlos founded The Big Kaboom, which combines people, technology and social elements, in order to support clients throughout their divorce process. He may be contacted by calling 305-908-1171 or sending an email to

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