Sara Davison runs a business unlike any other. Her experience of divorce, combined with her skills as a life coach, inspired her to create a divorce coaching programme that helps people get through the trauma of heartbreak. We talked to Sara more about her unique business, and what heartbreak coaching entails!
How did you get into heartbreak and divorce coaching?
I’ve been working in personal development for seventeen years now. I’ve worked with really great motivational speakers, such as Anthony McKenna, and became a market practioner myself, coaching clients to achieve their goals. I met my ex-husband and together we set up a business.
However, when I went through a divorce myself, it hit me like a freight train. Even with my years and years of life-coaching experience, I couldn’t cope with my feelings – and it got me wondering how other people, who don’t have the training I have in managing their emotions, were able to cope with theirs.
I went to see a therapist for a while, as this was the only avenue available at the time. She was fantastic, but while talking about psychological things was helpful, it didn’t give me any tools to deal with things right there and then. Things would happen on a day to day basis, and while friends and family were supportive, you don’t want to ring them at all hours of the night. I realised there was a huge gap in the market for a service that would help support people going through divorce with an action-based approach – one where you could take practical steps to feel better.
If you’ve been with your partner for a long time, divorce or breaking up can feel really overwhelming, and often people are co-dependent on their other half. It can be difficult to work out who you are and what gets you up in the morning. However, I want to help people rebuild an exciting future them. Divorce is enormously stressful, but it can also be liberating. My aim is to help people take back control of their lives, and help them to create the ones they really want.
What do you think is behind the increased demand for your services?
More and more people are getting divorced now – 42% of marriages result in divorce, and where was a stigma it’s an everyday occurrence now. There’s also a big celebrity influence – celebrities get married and divorced all the time, and they make it look easy! We’re living longer and expecting more out of life, and people go to life coaches for other reasons, so why not to help them divorce less painfully? In America, divorce coaching has really taken off already.
Can you talk us through the kind of thing you’ll do with a client – e.g. do you help them get rid of an ex’s things, help them with positive thinking?
I like to think of my service as being a kind of ‘divorce paramedic’ – my clients can call me at any time. If at 5.30pm on a Friday evening and your partner’s lawyers send a really stinging letter, you could call me and I would help you figure out a way to process it and feel better, rather than letting it ruin your entire weekend. I don’t do legal advice or financial, but rather I help people cope emotionally and ride the rollercoaster.
I cover areas such as how to cope when your husband’s been having an affair, or how to deal with spending less time with your children. Divorce can go on for ages, and delicate areas such as conflict and co-parenting can be really hard to deal with. I work from personal experience – I’ve used these strategies myself. Everyone has their own different way of dealing with things, so I tailor it to the client and the situation.
For example, if a client wasn’t able to move out of the family home I would provide techniques on how to create their own private space within the house. I create actions plans for things my clients can do to feel better, provide them with training and techniques for dealing with conflict and loneliness, and even to help them to start moving on and dating again.
What’s the most difficult part of your job?
It can get difficult when you hear tough and heartbreaking stories, such as when people aren’t able to see their children. My job is to help people through a really difficult time, and it’s really rewarding to see people improve and get their lives back.
Any top tips for those going through a divorce or break-up?
- It’s vital that you create a good support team – surround yourself with friends that support you and make you feel positive.
- Try and take the emotions out of the legal process – deal with emotions with your divorce coach (or family and friends), instead of with your lawyer.
- Take things one step at a time – it’s okay to cry. Divorce is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever go through, and it’s important to acknowledge your feelings.