For years mental health practice has mandated absolute confidentiality which often resulted in treatment occurring in a vacuum.Treatment success was determined by patient report in the bubble of the therapeutic environment. Family court matters were typically managed by litigation, a process whereby two people “spar off” to defend their own agendas, represented by attorneys “duking it out” in court.
The 21st century has brought new insight and new methodologies that have changed the way we live our lives. Technology has expanded our awareness and global sensitivity. People are seeing the importance of looking at the whole instead of simply a part. Like the dangling elements of a mobile, when one part moves the balance of all the parts must be readjusted.
Collaborative practice is based on a recognition that any change in one person will be impacted by, and will impact, others. Dr. Coughlin’s philosophical approach to all services recognizes the importance of considering the environment in which the individual, couple or family live and work. Her collaborative efforts are most obvious when she acts as a Collaborative Facilitator on a professional team engaged to help a couple separate when a marriage or cohabitation ends.
If children are involved in a dissolution process, Collaborative Process insulates the children, teaches parents how to work together while coming apart, and minimizes the damage to the family. Traditional divorce action escalates conflicts, typically increases a sense of distrust between partners, and puts decision-making in the hands of a stranger named Judge. Most people want to have a say in how they separate and what happens to their child(ren). The best way to do this is through a collaborative divorce. Dr. Coughlin is a member of two local, collaborative groups: Tampa Bay Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and Next Generation Divorce. She is also a member of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (FACP) and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). For more information about the collaborative process, click here. This website will also provide lists of other collaborative professionals whom you may wish to engage to help your family transition from together to apart.