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Interview with a Trauma Recovery Coach

Artwork: AI Generated Art. Copyright 2023. Chris Meyer Law Firm, PLLC

Monica is a divorce and trauma recovery coach. Her approach to coaching is empathetic, supportive, and tailored to your unique needs. She can assist you if you are struggling with relationship issues, divorce, abuse, attachment traumas, or other challenges.

Her contact information is as follows:

Monica Borschel, PhD

Divorce and Trauma Recovery Coach

(909) 260-5279

In our interview, we discussed a book by author Bill Eddy. The book discusses ways to communicate with a verbally or emotionally abusive ex – You can take a look at the book yourself on Amazon.

"Coparenting is hard in any circumstance and when doing it with someone that has a high conflict personality, can seem impossible. The first step is to admit that you are outmatched in every way except for the ability to learn new skills related to the high conflict personality. My life did not change until I began to read and understand and start using tools like BIFF. I couldn’t help my children because I couldn’t help myself and until I learned new tools, felt hopeless. Using BIFF will give you hope that change is possible.” A.C., parent

Though this particular book is targeted to parents who are going through, or have gone through, a divorce/separation with a High Conflict Person (HCP), it has oodles and oodles of application to any relationship with a HCP. Bill Eddy, a lawyer, therapist, mediator, and the co-founder and training director of the High Conflict Institute; Annette Burns, an attorney and a certified Family Law Specialist; and Kevin Chafin, a mediator and Licensed Professional Counselor, have given parents a wonderful aid in this 223-page paperback, "BIFF for Co-Parent Communication: Your Guide to Difficult Texts, Emails, and Social Media Posts". It includes how to navigate the electronic side of things, but really the book maps out many ways to be Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm (BIFF) so as not to get swallowed up in angry and reactionary communications with a HCP.

The first section develops the traits of a HCP, especially their practice of "blamespeak": (1) their preoccupation with blaming others; (2) exhibiting an all-or-nothing thinking; (3) unmanaged emotions; and (4) extreme behavior. The authors then show why being brief, informative, friendly and firm can be a lifesaver in these situations. Part of being BIFF in communications means also avoiding the three "A's" of admonishing, advising, and apologizing. These three chapters are valuable, giving perspective; and can help the person on the receiving end of the HCP's blamespeak!

The final two sections go through multiple examples of using BIFF, topically arranged. From the routine, to education, healthcare, kids activities, the finances, schedules and plans, and social media. The authors give examples of the types of communication one might receive from a HCP, and the way we might want to respond. Then they work through healthier responses, coaching readers step-by-step. They even show how to coach others in this approach, formally or informally. The appendices address boundaries in co-parenting, how to work with your children and help in the relationship with a HCP, and then ways to calm an upset person using Empathy, Attention and Respect (EAR).

The authors bring in their legal and therapeutic expertise to lend a hand to men and women in a high conflict environment and relationship. The High Conflict Institute has scads of material and courses to give employers, spouses, and relatives tools for dealing with a HCP in most venues. This volume is focused on co-parenting, and spot-on. I highly recommend the book.

Disclosure: Meyer Law Firm does have an Amazon Associates account, commissions are usually about 50 cents or less per book.

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