Navigating Collaborative Divorce

Navigating The Emotional Rollercoaster Of The Collaborative Divorce Mediation Process

Written By: Nadia Delshad

While emotions can be intense and unpredictable through collaborative divorce mediation, they play a crucial role in providing valuable information about our needs and desires. It’s totally normal to feel a rollercoaster of emotions. The phrase “emotions as a rollercoaster” is often used to describe the unpredictable and intense nature of emotions, particularly when they fluctuate rapidly and dramatically within and about the most impactful relationship of your adult life. Like a rollercoaster ride, emotions can take us on a journey of ups and downs, twists and turns, and unexpected shifts in intensity. But here’s the good news: The neutral coach’s role is to provide emotional support, facilitate communication, and promote a respectful and cooperative divorce process for both individuals of the couple.


EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and Collaborative Divorce Mediation both identify and address emotional patterns that are barriers to peaceful change and resolution. Although our individual needs vary, we all require basic emotional essentials. Despite our unique attachments to others, emotions impact our behaviors and interactions and can change quickly and unexpectedly throughout the Collaborative Divorce Mediation process, just like the sudden twists and turns of a rollercoaster. Both in my capacities as an EFT Therapist and Collaborative Divorce Neutral Coach, I stress the importance of effective communication to address emotions, needs, and concerns, and focus on creating a safe and non-adversarial environment, where participants can openly express themselves without fear of judgment or retaliation.

The decision to pursue a collaborative divorce process often comes after a period of marital distress or unhappiness. As the process begins, individuals may first feel a sense of relief that steps are finally being taken to change. Divorce introduces significant changes and transitions, and uncertainty about the future can be a prevalent feeling. Questions about living arrangements, finances, co-parenting, and other aspects of life may lead to feeling apprehension. Managing uncertainty involves acknowledging the emotions that arise during the process and utilizing strategies to help effectively calm your limbic system.

Uncertainty is a normal and inevitable aspect of this time in your life. Be aware of your feelings and reactions when you begin to experience discomfort or anxiety. What do you do? Is this the best thing to do? Can I do something else instead? Should I do something else instead? Shift your urgent focus from seeking definite answers to exploring your emotions and understand the underlying emotional experiences and attachment dynamics that are impacting you.

Feelings of betrayal hurt, and frustration and tensions that arise during the process can further intensify these feelings. Creating a safe and non-judgmental space is crucial for the collaborative divorce mediation process, and that’s precisely what the neutral coach facilitator aims to achieve.

Divorce marks the end of a significant chapter in your life, and it is common for individuals to experience feelings of sadness and grief. Understanding the impact of the loss in your life can facilitate the grieving process. Grief can sometimes be accompanied by other emotions, such as anger, guilt, or fear. Some people may experience complicated grief, which requires specialized attention and possibly referral to a grief specialist or mental health professional. Remember that grief is a natural response to loss during this challenging time. Grieving is a process that takes time.

By becoming more attuned to your emotions and recognizing the physical and emotional signals they send, you can use grounding and mindfulness techniques to calm your limbic responses leading to feelings of hope and positivity, even in the face of challenges. By participating in a collaborative divorce, individuals can experience a renewed sense of empowerment. Through your active involvement in the decision-making process and your commitment to finding a mutually agreeable solution, you can take control of your life and your choices.

To learn more about Collaborative Divorce and the Process click here.

The Bedford Center for Couples is located at 82C Palomino Ln., Suite 703, Bedford, NH 03110. The office phone number is 603-552-

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