More than one way to skin a cat



I hate to use that expression, especially since I own a cat (that’s a whole other story), but I thought it was a good segue into this post, which is really about Change Models.

Huh?! What?!?

Yeah, Change Models.

What the heck do Change Models have to do with divorce?

A whole lot. You see,

divorce is a HUGE change in your life (no kidding, right?). And sometimes, it can be nearly paralyzing to figure out what to do in the midst of such a significant change. Change usually causes uncertainty and uncertainty is a significant trigger of your fight or flight response. When that happens, most logical thought goes out the window.

Also, I’ve always found that find the more tools I have, the more likely one will fit the job at hand. So I’d like to offer you a variety of change models over my next few posts (in no particular priority order), hoping one might resonate with you and be another tool to help you move through the fog of your divorce.

Change Model #1:

The first change model I’m offering was developed in 1947 by Kurt Lewin, a German American psychologist, and consists of three stages: 1) Unfreezing, 2) The Change, 3) Freezing.

According to Lewin’s model, the first stage (Unfreezing) involves challenging your existing thinking, beliefs, and/or mindset in order to get ready to process the change. To me, it means facing the prospect that your marriage is indeed ending or over and that whatever possibilities of reconciliation you imagined were possible or whatever herculean efforts you thought might save the marriage are misplaced assumptions or false hopes. It’s facing the grim reality of your situation.

The second stage (Change) is where the change begins and a new ways of thinking need to emerge. [This is what the work of coaching is all about: helping people think differently and make new connections that lead to insights, motivation, action, and new results.] This stage typically involves lots of powerful (and sometimes debilitating) emotion and feelings.

The third stage (Freezing) is where your new thinking needs lots of help, encouragement and attention in order to take root and solidify. Like a seedling, new mind maps require much care. This is also when the fog begins to lift and some level of normalcy begins to return to your life. You’ve gotten off the emotional roller coaster and headed for a saner (and hopefully, happier) ride.

In essence, you can look at this model as one that indicates that what you are going through is a process with a beginning, a middle, and an end. And you are in control of figuring out where you are in that process and when you’re ready to move on.

Ciao for now.