Category: Uncategorized

March 23, 2017

 

OK, You’ve Decided to Divorce                                                                By Steve Litt, LCSW

Take time to figure out how to approach divorce

Take time to figure out how to approach divorce

First, sit with the decision for a few days. Make sure you are not just very hurt and angry. If the decision is clear, a few more days won’t change that. You may have been thinking about this for a long time. I offer that there are things for you to do before you make the big announcement. Don’t declare your intentions yet and don’t file anything yet.  In the meanwhile, BE NICE! Do your research before you act.

When you stack cannon balls, how you set the first row determines how the subsequent rows will look. So it is with divorce. What you do at the beginning shapes the course and shape of what is to come.

The Second thing to do is talk to professionals like lawyers and marriage counselors who are specialists. Do some checking around, every lawyer and therapist is not qualified to help. This could be the most important choice you make. Ask about your rights in a divorce. Ask for details of how the legal jurisdiction you live in functions. In some jurisdictions there are long waits to get to court. Some offer mediation or arbitration options. Some states have a do it yourself method for simple divorce. You do want to know all that you and yours will be facing.

When the cost of a contested divorce can cost as much as a condo, house or a college education, its worthwhile to see how much you can do yourselves. Divorce need not be contentious in no fault divorce states. I have seen stellar outcomes in Collaborative Divorce. It’s worth investigating. You can start by looking at the options for doing your own divorce. Each state determines how or if that is available to you. In Colorado, there are handbooks available for do it yourself divorce. These are a good place to start, even if you don’t choose to do it yourself.

Lawyers can be interviewed and you get to choose. Ask if your friends who have been divorced have a recommendation. If you have a simple divorce that is amicable look for a person who understands that and is willing to work with mediation and in a collaborative way.

If its going to be a fight and there are  estate or custody issues, get an attorney who can handle the conflict without being overwhelmed.

This divorce cost over $100 million. It could have been much more.

This divorce cost over $100 million. It could have been much more.

If your spouse gets the attorney first, do some research and find an attorney who has gone up against your mate’s attorney before. Its so much cheaper and  easier to settle when they know each other or if they are friendly. Lawyers that don’t know each other or don’t respect each other will spend your time and fortune jousting in order to understand their opponent.

Thirdly, in this early stage before you file or declare divorce, make and appointment with a marriage and family therapist who is an expert in post divorce adjustment. Use that time to begin to understand how to manage yourself and the family after the separation and then after the divorce. I give a  “divorce inoculation” to newly divorced/separated clients that has been greatly appreciated over the years.

NOTICE: At this point you have not told your spouse or filed for a divorce or separation. That will be covered in Part 2.

Posted in Uncategorized by admin
December 28, 2016
There was even a TV show

There was even a TV show

I hope you are as excited about our new offering of Divorce, Version 4.0 which offers a free upgrade from 3.0 last revised in 1952. While 3.0 was much better than the older version of leaving the folded up clothes outside of the teepee, the required resources to carry on a lifetime of avoiding each other were too burdensome.

Still, look how far we’ve come since Version 1.0, first launched by Henry the VIII. Most would agree that those beheadings and trials were costly and brutal.

 In announcing his upcoming divorce a great guy I know asked what’s it mean when she said “ I don’t want to be divorced from you. I want to be divorced to you”?

Designer Divorce.  Increasingly people are finding that divorce doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. It was so much easier when less people we doing it, say in the1750’s or 1950’s. A divorce meant a lifelong estrangement. We weren’t going to talk, visit, go to the same places to eat, share family holidays and events. Nope, we were divorcing and that was the end of the relationship. Just talk through the lawyers and handle the custody and money issues by mail or notes.

Some people are still using that older version of divorce.
unknownThere are times when that is a great idea. Not talking can reduce the toxic level of conflict that led to a divorce. I worked with one divorced couple where he was willing to be cordial and claimed he was over it. She, however, just had a hard time being in the same room with a guy who beat her with a rifle butt before leaving. That one is very clear. The old way makes sense and the post-divorce situation may never get better. Trauma like that is hard to put aside.

Others have begun structuring their divorce the way they want it. 4.0 a kind of Designer Divorce. Some of these folks continue to date and be sexual, just not exclusively. They help each other move and periodically  to check in. They show up at kids’ school conferences and events together. I have seen levels of cordiality and closeness in divorced people that would stun previous generations. My favorite is when they both remarry and everyone gets along well enough to work together to benefit the shared children. I once had a family session with two parents, two step-parents and one child. It went marvelously as the adults acted as one team.

So what does it mean to be divorced TO someone. In Version 4.0, you get to decide. How about a  handy dandy checklist like the one I have put in this article. Look at it and let me know your thoughts or suggestions for making it better. Write me at swlitt@gmail.com.

Checklist to a SmarterDivorce (Choose any or all of the options)

  1. Be polite and cordial, even if you don’t feel like it.
  2. Let the past go and focus on the future and the interests of the children
  3. Accept the new partners of your former spouse
  4. Never Talk badly of your former spouse
  5. Always take the High Road
  6. Forgive and move forward
  7. Accept that divorce is 49% your fault
  8. Speak in kind tones and avoid derision and sarcasm
  9. Be generous in spirit and actions
  10. Smile
  11. Take notes at that Parenting After Divorce Class

Let us know how you like 4.0. Our thousands of contributors and users are raving about it. We hope you love it as well.

PEACE OUT.

July 24, 2016

By Steve Litt, LCSW

If you are starting a private practice you probably know there are many ways to fail. Here I give you 50 that occur to me. I am open to hear any additions you might have. PLEASE!!

Of course, I have made a lot of mistakes in my 49 years of practice, the biggest may be telling you how many years I’ve been at this. Some are obvious and some you may not agree with. The idea is get you thinking about how to be successful.

I want you to succeed. My life has been wonderful and a great deal of that is a direct result of my private practice and the flexibility and freedom it has offered me.

The 50

1. Spend too much on furniture and rent.

2. Rely on someone else to build and maintain your website.

3. “Specialize” in everything.

4. Only go into the office when you have appointments.

5. Only do PR when your caseload is low.

6. Only bill monthly.

7. Only take insurance.

8. Refuse to take insurance or learn how to help your clients with claims.

9. Stay in your office and only go to required CEU workshops.

10.  Work alone and don’t share your struggles with others.

11. “Coach” folks and avoid the problems of a state license.

12. Dress like the dork that you really are.

11. Take your time returning calls because you are only working those hours.

12. Limit yourself to a structured week, let others be flexible around you.

13. Don’t keep up with current theories, those you learned in grad school were enough.

14. No need to get supervision after you get that license…YOU’RE A PROFESSIONAL.

15. Do all your own finances.

16. Don’t worry about disability insurance.

17. Get the least expensive liability insurance.

18. Have long deep conversations with new callers who want to find a therapist.

19.  Decorate in the most expensive way you can to show how successful you hope to be.eames+3

20. Practice outside of your area(s) of expertise…I mean its called PRACTICE, isn’t it?

21. Tell addicts you can’t work with them unless they get clean/sober first.

22. Work alone and don’t mix in with other therapists.

23. Avoid reading in the field. Just stack the old books in your office.

24. Do the minimum post degree education.

25. Rely on just a few good referral sources.

26. Don’t let your clients know anything about you.

27. Tell your clients all about you.

28. Don’t bother knowing the ethical or legal standards of your profession

29. Get as many credentials as you can and plaster them on the walls

30. Answer phone calls during sessions. It might be a new referral!!

31. Fall asleep in a session.

32. Personal Hygiene isn’t important. Especially that spinach in your teeth after lunch.

33.Tell couples that are tough to work with that maybe they weren’t meant to be together.

34. Have inappropriate financial or sexual relationships with a few “special” clients.

35. Spend more time talking than your clients. After all they came to see you and you’re smart.

36. Always refer to your life story for inspirational examples to share with clients.

37. Don’t communicate with others who work with your clients. What do teachers, doctors, former therapists have to offer, anyway.

38. Don’t take vacations, You don’t get paid, so only take off when you have no appointments.

39. Locate your office far from public transportation.

40. Find a cheap office that has no handicap access.

41. Don’t provide water, kleenex, or snacks.

42. Don’t read the newspapers in your area.

43. Avoid joining other professionals in study groups.

44.  See as many clinical hours a week as you can schedule. No need to pace yourself.

45. Don’t ask about messy problems that might make you uncomfortable.

46. Never learn your weaknesses and ignore feedback.

47. Never submit to getting therapy for yourself. You couldn’t possibly improve yourself.

48. Eat meals while talking to clients. That is really efficient.

49.  Never ask for help from other therapists.

50. Ignore everything on this list. What the hell does Steve know?

October 29, 2014

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