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The Short Version: For 20 years, Micki McWade, LMSW, has helped families chart a course through divorce and into a fulfilling life beyond it. Through personal coaching and insightful resources, she helps couples communicate more effectively and focus on an amicable — rather than acrimonious — resolution. She also serves as a collaborative divorce coach for couples seeking alternatives to traditional divorce. Whether in person, by phone, or through one of her books or articles, Micki’s techniques help families move on with positivity and dignity. Her ultimate goal is to help clients humanely navigate divorce.
According to the Holmes and Rahe scale of the top ten most stressful adult life events, divorce comes in at number two after the death of a spouse, which is rated as the most stressful life event. And for non-adults, parents divorcing comes in at number four. No matter the stage of life, the word “divorce” elicits feelings of dread, sadness, and stress — but it doesn’t always need to end up traumatizing individuals or families.
Discerning couples looking to dissolve their marriage in a low-impact, private, and compassionate way often bring in a divorce coach to help with the process. Divorce coaches understand the complexities and emotional difficulties, but they also keep the process on track and focused on a resolution instead of blame and discord.
Micki McWade, LMSW, a licensed mental a professional and divorce coach, understands that, which is why she created a program that broadens how couples think about divorce. Her method is a solution-heavy, forward-focused, strength-based program backed by her two decades of experience working with divorcing couples.
“During a time when you’re mentally and emotionally devastated, decisions will be made that affect the rest of your life. Your lawyer or mediator will help you with legal and financial issues. Your divorce coach will help you with emotional ones — the well-being of your children, regardless of age, and your future relationship with your ex-spouse, your children’s other parent,” Micki said.
Micki’s practice is based in Manhattan, but she sees clients in White Plains, Mt. Kisco and Fishkill. While some of her clients have significant assets they also want to divide amicably, the one thing they all have in common is a desire to divorce peacefully and privately.
Divorce often requires couples and families to make critical long-term decisions while they’re under a great deal of emotional stress. Their worlds can quickly be turned upside down, and the new landscape is often unknown and scary.
It’s hard to know how to separate, and yet still stay connected as a family. Micki, a licensed psychotherapist, helps families tackle the transition with aplomb.
As a divorce coach, she teaches clients to focus on what’s important. She educates parents throughout the process, including helping create a shared parenting plan and managing expectations alongside a former spouse. She also gives co-parents the tools they need to interact amicably and minimize any negative impact on children.
Micki assists both parties in the emotional recovery from a divorce, as well. She works with clients to help them see with clarity — not bias — to find balance. She also guides them in building a new life, broadening their horizons, and reaffirming their self-confidence.
And, when the time comes, she can teach clients how to introduce a new partner into the mix.
Not every couple knows it is an option, but a collaborative divorce is an entirely healthy way to approach conscious uncoupling.
“The notion of collaborative divorce is that each person has a lawyer represent them, a neutral financial professional, and a neutral collaborative divorce coach — who is a mental health provider — to act as the facilitator for the meetings,” Micki said. “It’s a team approach to divorce. There are no court dates, so the collaborative divorce coach keeps things moving. It’s entirely out of the court system.”
“If a conflict gets escalated, it can get very expensive with two lawyers going back and forth.” — Divorce Coach Micki McWade
A step-up from mediation, collaborative divorce empowers couples to focus their attention not only on the troublesome issues in the divorce — which need resolution — but also gives them a go-to expert for each issue.
For example, financial issues are handled by the financial professional and issues with the relationship and children are handled by the mental health expert — Micki. Not only is it in the best interests for the conflict to be handled by a trained professional, but it’s also wise, financially.
“If a conflict gets escalated, it can get very expensive with two lawyers going back and forth,” Micki said.
In addition to writing articles for the Huffington Post, Micki has also authored three books on divorce. Her books are built on applying the 12-steps of AA and Al-Anon to the situations that arise in divorce.
In her book, “Getting Up, Getting Over, Getting On: A Twelve Step Guide to Divorce Recovery,” she describes how the 12-steps of addiction recovery can apply to divorce.
“I have a divorce support group based on those principals which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in September,” Micki said. The group is still going strong because people are applying the steps.
Micki said the book is so impactful because it’s about self-examination.
“For example, if I’m a divorced person and even if the fault lies 10% with me and 90% with my husband, there is still that 10% I have to look at it,” she said. “You can’t change another person, but you can find ways to improve yourself. It stops you from making the same mistakes in your next relationship.”
Daily meditation is also part of the 12-step process. “Daily Meditations for Surviving a Breakup, Separation, or Divorce” is Micki’s supplementary meditation book for people going through — or who have gone through — a divorce.
“It’s something to inspire you and for you to contemplate each day. It’s 365 thoughts and affirmations written especially for separation and divorce,” she said.
These books complement Micki’s services or can be used as stand-alone reads for couples and individuals who want to approach their breakup positively and grow beyond it.
Micki has been instrumental in helping clients — and their children — through a divorce and into a happy, harmonious future. Many clients praise Micki for her guidance during their time of need.
“Micki’s counsel on how to guide my children through a heartbreaking experience was invaluable. Moreover, her impact on my understanding of myself was immeasurable. As I emerged from the divorce I learned I could make the choice to be a strong, independent, and happy woman. I count meeting Micki McWade as one of my most valued gifts,” said one client, KP, in an online testimonial.
Another client, KD, recognized Micki for her approach and steadfastness.
“I can easily say that Micki has demonstrated a high level of expertise and, as always, continues to offer a calm and steady hand when helping me navigate through my many issues. Micki’s style is open and inviting to questions and she is not above a good (and strong) discussion regarding all of the topics that one encounters. I consider myself fortunate that she has chosen her profession and that I have met her,” KD’s testimonial reads.
Micki said she is humbled by what she does and is committed to focusing on the family dynamic in her work.
“My primary interest is helping kids who are innocent victims of their parents’ divorce and minimizing the impact on them. It’s for their entire lives, not just a month or two. How parents handle divorce greatly impacts a child’s mental health in the future,” Micki said.
Micki helps couples and families going through a divorce communicate better and find common ground in a faster, kinder way.