IBB Coaching Episode 2 of 3 - IBB's Kate Ryan speaks to Tom Nash - Mr Divorce Coach

Episode 14 October 31, 2023 00:19:56
IBB Coaching Episode 2 of 3 - IBB's Kate Ryan speaks to Tom Nash - Mr Divorce Coach
Law & More
IBB Coaching Episode 2 of 3 - IBB's Kate Ryan speaks to Tom Nash - Mr Divorce Coach

Oct 31 2023 | 00:19:56


Show Notes

IBB is launching a Coaching service for clients going through a divorce, separation or family beak up.


Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster which can get you stuck in a cycle of conflict, derailing the legal process and racking up the costs.


Working openly with a coach from the beginning alongside your solicitor and/or financial adviser will empower you to see beyond the fog, help your emotional and mental wellbeing, support decisions you'll need to make during the legal process, and, when you’re ready, help you to start to create the blueprint for a new future.


This is the second of 3 episodes in a series where Kate Ryan, Partner in the Family team, speaks to a guest speaker who is a divorce or separation coach about the benefits of coaching for clients going through this difficult period in their lives.


In this episode, Kate speaks to Tom Nash - Mr Divorce Coach.


Stay tuned to hear from Tosh Brittan (aka Divorce Goddess) in upcoming Law & More episodes…


Useful Links: 

Listen to the first podcast with Claire Macklin, Break Up and Divorce Coach: https://youtu.be/DnDpEUa59jM


Find out more and Contact the Coaches: IBB Coaching - IBB Law

Download Coaching Information sheet: IBB_Coaching_InfoSheet.pdf (ibblaw.co.uk)


Claire Macklin: Claire Macklin (clairemacklincoaching.com)

Tosh Brittan: Tosh Brittan | Relationship Resilience Coach UK

Tom Nash: Divorce and Family Coaching for individuals, couples and families (mrdivorcecoach.co.uk


View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to IBB law and More. My name is Kate Ryan. I'm a partner at IBB and a family lawyer. This is a special series and one of three episodes where I will be inviting a guest speaker who is a divorce or separation coach to talk to me about the benefit of coaching for clients that are going through a divorce, a separation, or a family breakup. The reason that I am talking to these three coaches is because IBB are launching a coaching service. This is really important because having coaches available at the very beginning of your journey will help your emotional and mental well being and will also support the decisions that you may need to make during the legal process. In this episode, I will be speaking to Tom Nash, who is Mr. Divorce Coach, a divorce and separation coach. Tom, I wondered if I could ask you, please, what brought you to your role as Mr. Divorce coach? [00:00:57] Speaker B: Like a lot of divorce coaches, it was my own personal lived experience. I was actually a young child of divorced parents from around about three years old, and then later in life as the adult husband, now ex husband, father, coparent, stepparent of my own blended family. So I've been living in the sphere of divorce, separation, and coparenting for almost 40 years, longer than I care to remember. So it's that lived experiences from childhood and adulthood, kind of learning to get through my own stuff, my retrained in coaching, as well as various things like neuro linguistic programming, cultural behavior, timeline therapy, and hypnotherapy. Now, originally I was working in the corporate world, and I was actually going to go and do workplace well being coaching. But it was actually my partner who then said to me, you could use these skills to help other people, particularly other guys. We had a quick search one night for divorce coaches, and after four or five pages of Google, we couldn't find one chap doing this. And it just seemed like a different approach to traditional talk therapies or counseling and where I actually find a lot of clients that want to look at the current and future as opposed to the past and looking back. [00:02:10] Speaker A: So, Tom, as you've just alluded to all the different strands of your practice, can I ask you what the difference between divorce coaching and counseling or other therapy would be for a client, for example, that came to see me because they were going through a really traumatic divorce. They were feeling really lost, possibly had those coparenting issues because there were small children involved. How is it best to describe what you do? [00:02:39] Speaker B: For me, the way that I'll describe and differentiate divorce coaching to traditional talk therapy or counseling, both fantastic resources. I actually had a counselor going through my divorce. She really helped me. I've cross referred many times, but what that was focused on for me was around past trauma that typically looks at your whys why we do things in the way that we do them and unearthing some of those kind of childhood experiences and things like that. The other area that counseling and therapy would focus on is more clinical depressions and mental health related difficulties. Coaching is a lot more around looking at the here and now, the present as well as future focus. And we're not looking at the why questions, but we're actually looking at more at the opportunities like what can you do now? What options do you have? How can you approach this differently? What are your choices? What resources do you need? What do you not know? How can you self manage and better self regulate? And for what I typically find for the clients that come to me is they're not looking to focus on the past, they're working that process through. But what they want to understand now is how can they move forward and be better and how do they get through this in the least scathing way possible, particularly when it comes to things like coparenting, their communication, high emotion as opposed to high conflict and learning to better self manage, as I say. And also things like rebuilding their confidence and self esteem when that's on rock bottom. [00:04:04] Speaker A: So how would you approach a client that was in difficulty with the other parent? That inevitably they had a very hostile conflictual relationship. They probably didn't feel like they could be in the same room together, one was very angry. How do you approach that work with your clients? [00:04:23] Speaker B: In the first instance probably to point out around again, with coaching, it's also about looking at oneself. So it's very self reflective. So in that instance I will be helping people understand what parts they may be playing in this. It's not about blame, it's about cause and effect, the events that lead to. So actually, whilst they can't control or manage the other person, what they say, what they do, how they act, how they behave, or indeed what they don't do, see or act or behave, what it is actually helping my client to actually look at their part, what role are they playing? What situations are maybe they contributing to that aren't having the most positive effect? If it comes down to things like their coparenting, their communication as well. Sometimes it's also around helping people build practical strategies, frameworks ground rules really helping people to structure how and when and where they're communicating, putting some ground rules in place around what they do and don't need to reply to what's pertinent, what's dragging them back into situations, et cetera. But then also where they're centralizing it and streamlining it. I had a client once who their former spouse was calling them at work, calling them on the mobile, calling at home, texting, WhatsApping emailing, work, emailing, their personal account. There's about seven or eight different paths for communication. So it's about centralizing and streamlining all that and putting it all into one area that the client could then self manage and lessen the impact and the anxieties that come with it. [00:05:51] Speaker A: Tom, what you've just described to me, I see so often in situations with clients. And I think one of the big focuses in family law at the moment, particularly where there are disputes around children, is trying to prevent the client having to make an application to court and going through that really difficult formal process which is not only hugely stressful, it's also very expensive. It sounds like somebody that's going through a situation where they are finding it very difficult to have a relationship with the other parent where they very much need to, that they would really benefit from speaking to somebody like you and getting in place some of those practical tools to try and help them navigate what must at some point seem like a completely impossible task of coparenting their children in the future and going through the here and now. [00:06:45] Speaker B: Obviously, I'm not a lawyer, but I know the stats. The backlogs in the family courts is what, over 100,000 plus cases. That's what? Twelve months. I had a barrister, a friend of mine recently use the analogy around liking it to buying a car. You wouldn't want to spend the most amount of money on the most undesirable, most unreliable option. So, yes. No, fundamentally, it's the stuff that sits outside of that legal process. And it's not to diminish the work that you do, but it's actually about those real life lived practicalities that even if they were going through court and there wasn't a backlog and it wasn't as expensive, and it didn't bring that huge emotional turmoil, which has physical impacts as well, to the client and their former spouse and their children. Even if all of that wasn't in place, they still need to find new ways of working together. And the thing that I always say with people around Coparenting is it doesn't have to mean friends. I do get on with my ex wife now, but that's been five, six years in the making, actually. Coparenting is around finding a new form of respect and trust appreciation that actually there is another party here who has a unique set of skills for the development of your children. In actual fact, what I say to clients quite early on is actually let's forget Coparenting for a minute. Just park that idea for a few moments. You've got three kids. Your three kids have three kids. How do you want to co grandparent? Not just things like graduations or first birthdays, not even just the big ticket stuff, but everyday things. How do you want your adult children to have to manage your divorce with their partner and your grandchildren and how they will interact and that one of your grandchildren can't speak about nanny or granddad in front of so and so. And actually, because these are experiences that will come up if you go through an acrimonious, contentious path. [00:08:30] Speaker A: Can I ask another question, something that I often see as a family lawyer? Are clients that have gone through the awful shock of finding out that their husband wife has actually met somebody else and has just dropped into the conversation that evening that actually they no longer want to be in that relationship or the inevitable they've suspected and found out that the other person is having another relationship with somebody else. And their world as they know it falls apart. That is not only hugely traumatic for them on many levels, it's also very difficult for them to navigate the legal process where we are asking them to make certain decisions, which in part allows them to move forward. From a legal perspective, how might you work with somebody that's in that situation? [00:09:17] Speaker B: As you just mentioned, Matt, shock, frustration, immediate fears, as opposed to the person that's making the decision, who's probably been leading up to that, had a bit more time to think about it. And I always kind of describe it as you're on two trade tracks, just the other party's a few stops further ahead. So it's how do we help that other person potentially slow down if I'm working with couples? Or how do we also help you get to those stops where you need to obviously those fears that then start coming in, it's all those whys, what's going on? Where am I going to live, et cetera. The other thing that you've got there is where people's, not just their confidence, but their self esteem, what confidence is built on is rock bottom. So again, it's helping people to learn to love themselves again, what they appreciate about themselves, where they have strengths, et cetera, and help to rebuild them. But a lot of people come to me. I have clients that come to me where their partner has had the affair. But I also could have clients come to me where they have had the affair. And actually the clients that come to me, where it's been the shock to them, what they actually want to do is they usually kind of ask me questions around why did he or she do that? What was their thinking, Pat? And what was their process that was going on? And I'm not talking about people that are trying to complete tinder in their spare time here, as you mentioned. We're talking about people that have fallen in love with somebody else, that have having a relationship with somebody else, that are leaving for somebody else. And there's a systematic build up to that process. I've said this several times, but nobody wakes up on a Tuesday morning and goes, that one, I'm leaving for them. So there's been things that have been breaking down beforehand. A lot of people would typically say all communication was breaking down. Well, actually it's a step before that. It's actually about connection or a lack thereof. And actually that's where it will stem back to. So then it's helping people to find a new form of connection or other connections that maybe they haven't been treating themselves to elsewhere, social, et cetera, because they need to start rebuilding themselves, the people around them, and help to work through that shock and also start looking at those fears. [00:11:20] Speaker A: And as you mentioned, perhaps looking at it from the person that has given the news and is the one that has to deliver the statement about wanting to be out of the relationship, packing their bags and having to leave. How about from that side of the. [00:11:38] Speaker B: Story, there's a very common misconception that the quote unquote leaver rides off into the sunset on a unicorn, happy as Larry. Again, not talking about the people that are serial cheaters here for various different reasons, but people that have met someone, fallen in love, et cetera, they carry a huge amount of guilt and weight, self resentment, shame, the obvious things. More so than that, where that actually stems from is actually typically it will conflict with their belief system or their values hierarchy. So actually it causes a huge internal conflict. And actually they can despise themselves more than anybody else can. And also from a societal view, as opposed to these people are inherently bad, they're evil, they've hurt someone. So they also have to effectively slink off and hide under a stone, and they're not allowed to talk about what they're going through. So again, it's like a double edged sword. And actually when I'm working with those clients, it's also helping them to go through various different processes of reflection. They do need to take accountability for their actions and understand what those implications are to other people. So they can sit in the other person's chair or the other person's shoes and understand what it might be like for them. But then it's also about how do they kind of show that recompense, so how can they show up in their actual actions and behaviors? Again, I've said this on various things before, but there was one line I said to I actually said something to my ex wife very, very early on, and I did have an affair. I did meet somebody else. I did leave someone else for leave my wife for someone else. I said to my ex wife very early on, I want to be a better ex husband than I was a husband at the end of our marriage. And it sounded very kind of cliche and a bit of a tagline phone. And I'd be honest with you, I think at the time she wanted to slap me in the face. But several years down the line, it's actually something that she now appreciates and admires, actually, because she witnesses that day in, day out and how I still show up not just for our boys, but also for her. And actually that she's still an important person in my life. I still love and care for her, just not romantically. And even when meeting my partner and I hear that again, I'm only using my own experiences because these are statements I hear day in, day out from clients is I never wanted to hurt him or her. They are a good person. I want to be able to actually help fix these situations and be a better person. A lot of times people just don't know how. So a lot of the times that levers guilt, as I call it, can really, really impact people and they just don't know where to start, to start making amends, how to show remorse, what they can actually do to process forward and also ultimately help the person they've left. Because if that party can understand what was going on, where they've come from, that acknowledgment, it's not agreeing. But at least if you can see that perspective and we can open our minds to a different view for just a few moments, we can also help to process our own grief process as well. [00:14:31] Speaker A: And I imagine when those in either of those situations where there are children involved and the parties have to stay in a relationship of sorts to coparent, then it must be so incredibly difficult, certainly in the early days to get over all of the things and all of the emotions that you've just recognized there. To be able to do that. [00:14:52] Speaker B: Yeah, but then again, it's around. Lots of cliche slains come out because I say I feel like they are because I say them all the time. But actually I always say again, whether it's individuals or it's couples I'm working with, it's around. How do you put the children in the center, not the middle? How are they your focus and actually their experience of this is going to you're not going to get that feedback until later. There's a time and a place to go and take our own pain, our own hurt and where to put that. And that's not for the children sometimes it's not even necessarily for the other support networks around us, our friends and family. Because then actually what starts to happen is their past experiences, their belief systems start to come into it. We've all heard the horror stories at the school gates about so and so and their divorce, et cetera. Look for the positive stories of people, how they've got through that. I promise you it wouldn't have been easy, but they've done the work. Go and learn from positive outcomes, positive experiences, what did they do differently and how you can ultimately influence the situation in a more positive way. [00:15:50] Speaker A: So, Tom, I understand in your own personal situation you are now with somebody else. You have two boys with your ex wife and you also care and look after your children with your current partner. How does that work? How do you deal with that? I can imagine it can't have always been easy. [00:16:11] Speaker B: No, I actually grew up in a blended family as well. So I grew up with my dad, my two sisters and then later on when he met my stepmother and three step brothers and they had one together as had a half brother. So we had this real big blended family. I mean, that wasn't a term in 1986 to be fair. So I have two biological children with Mike's wife and then my two bonus children. I prefer that to the term step with my partner and those four kids actually go between the two homes. So with our situation, bit unique, but not that unique apparently is actually my ex wife's boyfriend is my girlfriend's ex husband. So yes, the parents effectively swapped around but no, we didn't all know each other beforehand. But that added an extra layer of complications if you like because all four adults had a highly emotive investment in this situation and of course there was hurts and pains from all sides, et cetera. But actually it's starting to recognize about the parts that we all play and how we integrate with one another. I made sure that actually one of the big things for me that was really important for my bonus children was that I would show them again through action and behavior, not just words. How do I show up and show appreciation and respect to ultimately one of the most important people in their life, their dad. I wasn't there to replace, I was there to compliment in the situation. And actually there was real simple things of every time they would come back from school or he'd drop them off, I'd always make a bit of a beeline for a bonus kids to again, not interrogate but just show interest and be like oh, how's daddy? Or like Daddy's got a new car? Or whatever it might be. But something positively that shows that I'm interested in this person that is really interesting. That's one of their heroes type thing as opposed to kind of making it this kind of good and bad type thing. Being a stepparent is infinitely harder than being a biological parent. The lines are blurred. We don't yet know parenting styles of our own or our partners and having to muddle through that can be really, really difficult. I mean, there's various statistics out there. Anyone can go and have a look at around second and third relationships not working. And I think a lot of that for people with younger children or from Coparenting and blended family ages is that people haven't had the harder conversations around parenting styles, reprimands and rewards like equality around how we actually treat the children as worth. There's a disparity between them as well and just how to integrate them. So you actually to make them a family, to make traditions and not for it to be your kid, my kid and all these type of things. I work with a lot of people who have maybe got through the formalities of the process of a separation divorce, and now they're kind of reintegrating. They're now integrating two families. And it's trying to understand, okay, so what do we need to think about? How do we put these two families together? What are the pitfalls of which there are many? And again, it's just helping people to break it all down when it can seem quite a mountain to climb and just help make it a little bit more bite sized. [00:19:22] Speaker A: So, finally, Tom, for any of our listeners who would like to get in touch with you, how would they do that? [00:19:26] Speaker B: Yep, you can find me absolutely anywhere online simply by googling. Mr. Divorce coach or Tom Nash. Mr. Divorce coach. You can find me on Link and Instagram, et cetera, or anywhere online. [00:19:38] Speaker A: Tom, thank you very much for coming on to The Law and More podcast. [00:19:41] Speaker B: Thank you very much. Been a pleasure. [00:19:43] Speaker A: And if anyone would like to get in touch with me, please visit the website ibblaw co UK. Thank you very much.

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