What I do as a Family / Separation Consultant.
Imagine how it can be for the children when a couple who separate construct a new and workable relationship into the future. Imagine how it could be if they are able to put aside their irreconcilable differences to become the parents, or the people, they would like to be. Imagine that both people are able to meet – without their children feeling their antagonism, (or bitterness or reproaches, or guilt). Imagine they can look back on their divorce and know that they did things the best way they could. Imagine how that could be for the wider family to know that’s how it was too. My hope is that by being able to also understand and allow the emotions through the process a couple will be able to accept and resolve difficulties and come to a happier conclusion for all.
It is highly likely that separation or divorce will be a difficult emotional journey, although the steps to take will all be legal. Up until now emotions that surface during the legal discussions has been an area badly neglected and we at Sussex Family Solutions are working towards creating supportive alternatives, whether the divorce is collaborative or whether it is by mediation. Our team has all undertaken a training (with www.resolution.org.uk) to work with lawyers in assisting the process to offer a better alternative.
This is not therapy, but I use my experience as a therapist to assist this work. We can work with the clients either separately or they can chose to work together with me.
Interventions can be before clients meet with a solicitor, and can continue all the way throughout the process. As a Family Consultant I am available to clients at collaborative meetings, and also be to meet before or after meetings. At Sussex Family Solutions we hope that clients will be able to work collaboratively, but is not always possible or relevant. None the less working with me as a family, or separation consultant, can be the supportive help needed to work through what can be a difficult and vulnerable time.
This is what one client has written after his divorce:
I worked with Susie when I was going through my divorce. It was a confusing time with a range of new situations and emotions that I was not used to. It was the pain of every one around me – wife, children, parents and brothers etc – that was difficult to deal with. Then there was the money and lawyers. For me, the most important part was my wife and children – to get them to a stage where they could see that it was not the end of the world and that given some healing time all would be well. So the challenge was to get through the emotion (anger, sadness, scared, guilt…..) to a point where we (my wife & I) could communicate.
Susie was brilliant in teaching me the language of reconciliation by being able to talk about the emotions without being accusatory. My aim was to get through the divorce successfully. Success being defined by a divorce settlement being in place but also where we were friends again and the children being in a place where they could see the their parents happy with each other. Ambitious aims – it takes time but with patience and Susie’s help, it works.
I suspect that arguments about money are often the toughest part to get through ….
Mary (my ex) is now remarried. She told her new husband that I was her best friend! She is regarded as part of my family still – invited to all family events and stays with me and my new wife. She is the mother of my children so holds an important position in my life.
My charges for working this way as a consultant are £100 an hour whether I see clients together or separately