Recent articles in the New York Times and the StarTribune (March 29, 2014) covered Gwyneth Paltrow's announcement that she and her husband of 11 years, Chris Martin, were consciously uncoupling. In other words, getting a divorce. I was struck by how the term “conscious uncoupling”—coined by LA therapist and author, Katherine Woodward Thomas—neatly describes what happens in the out-of-court divorce process called Collaborative Law aka Collaborative Practice. Collaborative Practice uses a collaborative approach to respectfully honor the marriage that is ending and intentionally plan for the best possible future for all family members. What is accomplished by many couples in Collaborative Practice is what the term “conscious uncoupling” implies: mutual respect, integrity, being mindful of the well-being of children, planning for the future by problem-solving in the present, being empowered to make informed decisions, and creating a climate for healing.
A new era is upon us, one where ending a relationship does not have to be adversarial, judgmental, or harmful. If it takes a celebrity to lead us into this new era, I am all for it. Gwyneth, you go girl!