Honey Sheff | Using Collaborative Mental Health Professionals In and Out of the Collaborative Setting

We’re excited to welcome Dr. Honey Sheff to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast today.

Dr. Sheff is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 40 years of clinical experience and an expertise in family issues. She holds a Graduate Certificate Degree in Dispute Resolution. 95% of her practice is family law related, where she serves in the roles of a neutral Mental Health Professional and Child Specialist, provides counseling services, and acts as a parenting coordinator.

Dr. Sheff says, “Collaborative divorce is aimed at helping couples reach customized solutions to restructure their families as they move forward post-divorce.”

In this episode we are taking a deep dive into the mental health aspects of collaborative divorce, plus how family law attorneys can borrow the tools from collaborative divorce for traditional litigation to empower couples and help families move forward.

Listen to learn:

  • What a successful collaborative client looks like from a mental health professional’s perspective
  • How a mental health professional can be an asset in any divorce
  • The role of the child specialist in family law cases
  • How to use the number one tool in collaborative divorce for better outcomes in all your cases

And more

Mentioned in this episode:


Honey Sheff: One of the hallmarks, and one of the cornerstones of the collaborative divorce process is interest based negotiation. The goal of collaborative is to create win win solutions.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast, your source for the latest news and trends in family law in the state of Texas. Now, here’s your host attorney Holly Draper.

Holly Draper: Today we’re excited to welcome Dr. Honey Sheff to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast. Dr. Sheff is a licensed clinical psychologist, holds a graduate certificate degree in dispute resolution and is a master credentialed collaborative divorce professional. She has over 40 years of clinical experience with expertise in family issues, divorce and family violence. Her current clinical work is primarily focused in collaborative divorce and in parenting coordination, helping families during and after divorce. Her therapy practice is largely devoted to marital counseling, working with individuals who are dealing with divorce and helping children whose parents are divorcing. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Honey: Thank you so much for having me. I look forward to it.

Holly: So why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself.

Honey: So you’ve done a lovely job of introducing me. I’m not entirely sure what I can add. I’ve been, I’m an adopted Texan, although my accent probably belies that. Given that I’ve been here over 40 years, I still have a little bit of that New York accent where I was born and bred in. As a psychologist, I’ve done so many different things. But really in the last 20 to 30 years as your introduction illustrated, the bulk of my practice has been very much divorce related. And I would say probably at this point, my practice is about 95% divorce driven, divorce related. And when I’m not working in the divorce arena, I am working with couples trying to repair and rebuild their marriages so they avoid divorce. So I’m married. I have two adult children. No pets currently used to have a large menagerie and love watching Mavericks basketball.

Holly: So I know one of your probably your biggest passion workwise anyway, is collaborative divorce. So tell us for the, our listeners are family lawyers, but not all of them might be familiar with collaborative divorce. So can you give just a general description of what that is?

Honey: Of course. Collaborative divorce is an alternative dispute resolution process, which means it is an alternative to traditional litigation. It is a process that is designed to empower people, couples, parents, adults to make their own decisions outside of a courtroom. So they never walk into a courtroom because it is designed to be a completely confidential and private process. That is really aimed at helping couples reach customized solutions to the restructuring of their families as they move forward post divorce. It is primarily a team oriented approach. So you will have two collaboratively trained attorneys, you will have a and two neutrals.

One neutral is a mental health professional and the other neutral is a financial professional. One of the keys that separates the collaborative divorce process from and even other forms of dispute resolution and alternative dispute resolution is the fact that if the couple is not successful in the process, then the entire team is disqualified from continuing with that couple if they end up going a more traditional route. So what you have are a group of professionals that are dedicated to achieving settlement in a confidential private process outside of the courtroom.

Holly: So as attorneys, whenever we have a potential client come in, we are kind of looking at their situation and maybe thinking this person seems like a good candidate for a collaborative divorce or not. From the mental health professional’s perspective, do you think everyone is a candidate for collaborative divorce or if not what makes someone a good candidate?

Honey: So that’s a great question. There are attorneys that believe that every client, every potential client is a potential client for the collaborative divorce process. There are other attorneys that runs really along a continuum, where they believe that not every client is a candidate and aren’t convinced that everyone can be successful in the process. When you think about what I’ve just described, empowering the couple to make their own decisions, creating customized solutions, confidentiality, privacy, keeping them out of a courtroom, when you and people professionals that are literally wrapping their arms around them, creating a safe container for them to reach solutions during one of the most difficult experiences of their life.

You kind of wonder why, no, not everyone would choose this option. You wonder, wow, if I’m looking at a way to create a restructured family, and do it with dignity, do it with caring, do it with the support of a professional community? Why wouldn’t I choose that? So I always scratch my head thinking about that, how somebody doesn’t opt for that process. I had a couple recently, where actually, the husband asked me directly before they enrolled in the process. He said, well, what is it? What would it take? What is a successful collaborative client look like? And so he could decide if he could fit that mold more or less? Or can he be sufficiently prepared to make adjustments along the that description?

So I thought he was the first client in 18 years of doing this that ever actually asked that question. So you’re the second one now that’s asked that. I think what makes a successful client is one who wants to be in control of the decisions that they’re making, that affect their lives and the lives of their children. I think this is somebody who doesn’t want to allow a judge somebody sitting there in black robes, hearing 15-20 minutes of testimony to make decisions about them that are going to affect them for the rest of their lives. Somebody who is, has patience. A lot of our clients don’t, because it is a process.

But I think somebody who is patient who is willing to compromise, who is willing to say yes, who is looking to make agreements, not fight, who wants to learn how to have a more constructive, healthier relationship, post divorce with their partner. Even if they’re, you know, no longer raising young children together, but anticipate grandchildren, or have older children and anticipate, you know, sitting at their college and graduate school graduations and dancing at their weddings. So it is clients who truly want to be in charge of their own destiny, and are able to compromise. And maybe truly, even if they are angry and hostile and hurt because of the dynamics of the relationship. They truly love their children more than they hate each other and want to do what’s best.

Holly: Do you think that couples without children, if they’re choosing to do the collaborative divorce process say it’s primarily because of the financial professional, is it still helpful to have a mental health professional involved?

Honey: Absolutely. In fact, I would say probably 30% of my current collaborative divorce caseload are what we call the gray divorce. They are individuals who are 50 and older. And then a lot of the other couples on my caseload currently who are going through a collaborative divorce, have children, young adult children or older teenagers. And then of course, I have the other third who have young, very young children that are really looking at a long road ahead. But to answer your question, the value of the mental health professional goes well beyond couples who just have children or and are needing the mental health professional’s assistance in developing a parenting plan.

People who have been married 20, 30, 40 years have long histories together, and often a large part of that history is not pleasant or positive and the divorce has been a long, long time coming. So there’s a lot of emotion on the surface and there’s a lot of emotion under the surface. And since one of the mental health professional’s role in the collaborative divorce process is to manage the emotions, as well as facilitate the communication, their role is paramount in every case, whether there were children present or not.

Holly: Do you ever work with the children during a collaborative divorce as a mental health professional?

Honey: Okay, so that’s a two part question. The first answer the short answer is yes. But not in the role of the mental health professional on the collaborative team. There is a separate role for working with the children called the child specialist. And the child specialist is an a mental health professional, who is part of the collaborative team. But they are not neutral. They are the children’s voice. Their job is to interview the children. They’re not doing therapy, they’re not doing evaluation, they’re not making recommendations. But what they are, are assessing the children’s fears, concerns, worries, emotional adjustment to the divorce, they are educating the children about divorce.

And they are determining what matters to the those children so that they can share that information with not only the parents, but the rest of the team. And what that does is it enables the parents to really make even more informed decisions. And our most important consideration in this role, Holly is that the children get a voice. But they do not get a vote. They don’t get to decide the time sharing schedule. They don’t get to decide, nor are they ever asked, where do you want to live? Or who do you want to live with? They are, the child specialist is there to assess what children like or dislike about different schedules, what holiday traditions are important to them, what activities matter to them, so that they can then provide that information, and the parents and they are then able to if they can, they can honor those children’s requests or that the children’s input.

The child specialist tells the children, there is no guarantee that your parents are going to be able to accommodate that. But it’s important to them that they know what matters to you. So that roll is one of the evolutionary processes in our collaborative divorce process. It is more and more commonly used. It’s not used in every case. But it’s used, even in cases with adult children, where there may be estrangement between the children and one and one of the parents or both of the parents. And the purpose there may be to figure out a path to reconciliation, or to be able to provide the parents that estranged parents with what’s really going on with that child, that adult child. So it is a multifaceted role. And it has incredible, what we would call, bang for the buck.

Holly: Who decides to bring in a child specialist? Is that something that the mental health neutral recommends? Or the parties ask for it? How does that come to be?

Honey: Yes. All of the above. Sometimes the attorneys want a child specialist right from the beginning. I’m starting a new case now where the child specialist was enrolled in the process even before the first on the couple was enrolled. Because the attorneys believed based on the information that they got from their clients, that having this child specialists involved right from the beginning would be important to this particular couple and the couple were on board with it. So sometimes it’s the attorney’s recommendation. Sometimes the parents say, you know, will ask me for example, well, can you interview the children? Are you able to, you know, help us understand what’s going on with them.

And as the mental health neutral I cannot, but I’m then able to introduce the idea of a child specialist. And then finally, as I’m talking with the parents, I may be thinking, wow, I’m going to need additional help. Because mom is saying X about the children. Dad is saying Y about the children, and I can’t get a really good sense of what’s really going on with these children. So I really need an experienced, trained child specialist to be able to help me help the parents. So sometimes I’m the one that initiates it. And I need that additional assistance.

Holly: Doesn’t matter what age the children are, when you’re looking at a child specialist?

Honey: Probably. Obviously, were not likely to use a child specialist with children probably under the age of five or six. I think the youngest I’ve done as the child specialist is six. But I think after that, it doesn’t matter. They can be we’ve had a child specialist to interview adult children in their 30s.

Holly: I was just gonna mention that. You know, one of the things in traditional litigation, usually we don’t care at all about children that have aged out. But I know in the collaborative process, those adult children can sometimes be looped in. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Honey: So you and I both know, you don’t stop being a parent, when your child turns 18. And while the divorce decree may no longer apply to them, you are still parenting those children. And if there is concern about how the children, these older children, over 18, are adjusting to the divorce, if there are concerns about how those children are functioning, as a mental health professional, I’m going to be concerned about that. If the parents want to know how they can best provide safety and security in the divorce process for their older children, they want to know things like that, so I can educate them. But again, there comes in the child specialists that who can actually give them more real time information.

In addition, parents who are divorcing, who have children, it is still a long road ahead of them. As I said earlier, there are graduations, there are weddings, there are grandchildren. And so having a mental health professional, help them plan for those things, help them establish a co parenting relationship for these over eighteens, can be very, very valuable to couples. In addition, you sometimes have mixed age. So you have children under 18, and you have children over 18. And so we are trying to encompass the whole family. That’s what we do. This is a family centered approach. And it is designed to help couples, parents be able to move into this next phase of their life as healthy as possible.

Holly: And I would hope that all of our clients would want that.

Honey: That’s what I’m saying when if I was a client, and somebody was presenting this to me, it would be where do I sign up for it?

Holly: So you and I have worked together many times on a handful of cases. And they’ve all been in the traditional litigation realm as opposed to the collaborative realm. So one of my favorite things in traditional litigation is to kind of pull pieces from the collaborative model to help people reach agreements and be more amicable in the traditional litigation process. So can you talk a little bit about how we can use pieces from collaborative divorce or the collaborative model in traditional litigation?

Honey: Sure. I think if you have a settlement oriented couple, I think that’s very much the start, right? Because that encourages and enables the attorneys to work constructively. One of the hallmarks, and one of the cornerstones of the collaborative divorce process is interest based negotiation. In contrast to traditional litigation, which is positional zero sum bargaining. The goal of collaborative is to create win win solutions. So if attorneys are listening and identifying what’s important to their client, as opposed to just what their client wants. You’ve now pulled a major piece from the collaborative divorce process into the traditional litigation arena.

Oftentimes you as a in traditional litigation, I have attorneys who will refer their clients to me for doing their parenting plan, which is exactly what I do as a mental health professional in the collaborative divorce process. So I work with the clients to create the parenting plan, which we then send back to the attorneys for drafting in the into the divorce decree. So that is another element where the mental health professional’s role in the collaborative divorce process is being co opted into the more traditional litigation process, and benefiting the clients because they’re working with someone who understands children, understands divorce, understands developmental needs of children during and post divorce, and can help the parents craft more customized creative solutions and empower them to make their own decisions.

As long as the traditional litigators don’t tear it apart afterwards. Sorry, it is one of the challenges. So in addition, you can have a neutral mental health professional interview the children. Not, again, in collaborative divorce, it’s not for the purposes of doing evaluation or making recommendations. So it would have to be co opted in the same way that it’s not for the purposes of an evaluation, or making recommendations. It’s simply educating the clients.

Holly: I think one of the best pieces, whether it’s collaborative, or you’re doing a traditional litigation is the creative and customized parenting plan. It’s sometimes hard to convince clients, if you go to court, it’s going to be expanded standard for somebody, maybe 50/50, depending on your judge, but it’s going to be very cookie cutter, judges very rarely get creative. They don’t know your children, they don’t know you, they’ve heard you for an hour a side, or whatever the case may be. And I think, I assume, and let me know if I’m wrong on this. But people who have those creative, customized parenting plans, probably wind up back in court far less frequently than those with cookie cutter plans.

Honey: I would absolutely agree. One of the things that I do love about the work that I do with parents is empowering them to make the decisions by educating them, helping them improve their communication, and helping them learn how to resolve conflict. But in working with the way that I do that, the forum, the platform that allows me to do that is helping them create their parenting plan, and educating them and taking off the shackles that the courtroom, the family code, the law imposes in that cookie cutter solution. When they have children, perhaps with special needs. When one mom or dad wants, you know the other parent to have standard or expanded standard, but the other parent is wanting 50/50.

Helping them find a common ground. And so they are learning how to resolve disagreements and conflict. As we are doing the parenting plan, which then which creates disagreements and conflict. They are then learning how to work that through which lays the foundation, Holly, for their co parenting relationship in the future, which is why very, very few couples end up back in my office post a collaborative divorce. And if they do, it is not for the reasons that traditional litigants end up back in my office post divorce. It’s usually something new has happened, or they’re looking for more guidance. Or one of my favorites recently was the couple called and said, we know that you went over all of that stuff about introducing significant others when we were going through the divorce.

We don’t remember any of it. So we want to come back in so you can remind us how we’re supposed to do this. And they came in together so that they could proceed in introducing new adults to their children in the healthiest, most constructive and effective way. So in this process in and in doing parenting plans with a mental health professional, you cover so much that’s not in the family code that we know creates conflict for people post divorce. So that’s why they end up they don’t end up back in my office because it’s already been addressed, even if it’s not memorialized in the divorce decree. It’s been addressed in my office, and so they know where they are coming from around each of these very common high conflict top topics.

Holly: Yes, usually when I have clients coming back to me, it is the complete opposite of what you just discussed with, you know, how do we do this introduction of significant others or whatever. It’s, they’re angry, they’re mad, we’re fighting, we want to change something. So, you know, I certainly would love to see more people end up in that situation. So, in traditional litigation, kind of getting back to that, there are a lot of ways that attorneys can use mental health professionals to help move the case in the right direction and move things forward that are different than a collaborative model. Can you talk about some of the other ways that attorneys could use mental health professionals in our cases?

Honey: Sure, probably the most common way is the mental health professional who is doing a psychological or custody evaluation. Typically, that is court appointed, where the mental health professional is ordered to evaluate the parties, and to make recommend to answer very specific referral questions. So it may be does, you know, party A, you know, struggle with addiction, or what’s the degree of the addiction? Or does party B have a mental illness, and ultimately, what is recommended in terms of custody, and timesharing, or what’s using let’s use the legal language possession and access. Hate that. So, you know, they will be ordered to evaluate both parties, sometimes valuate one party and make recommendations. But that is a very formal structured role.

The court is best served when that professional is a is a court appointed, meaning that they’re not an a hire by either side, although that does happen, also. I spent years in the role of custody evaluator for the in the court system. I spent years testifying and watching the court system, tear families apart, and made a very definitive decision, after about seven or eight years of doing evaluations, that I can either be part of the problem, which is what that felt like, or part of the solution. And I decided to be part of the solution. And hence, you traveled toward my ultimate collaborative divorce path, which is where I get to be part of the solution.

So that role is evaluative. And yes, you are expected to make formal recommendations. Another role that mental health professionals can serve the traditional litigation process is as a court ordered therapist, either for one of the parties, or for the children. So that there is a formal court order that appoints me or someone else, as a therapist, for either mom or dad or for one or more of the children. In that role, it is typically not confidential, certainly as the evaluative role is not. And in that role, the professional can come in and testify.

And while they cannot make recommendations, and in terms of possession and access, they can certainly provide feedback to the court about their observations and what they’ve learned, in what you know, the role that they were serving, whether it’s the parents therapist, or the children’s therapist. Another role is as an expert, right? There are mental health professionals where they’ve never seen the parties, or the children or anyone in the family and they simply come in and testify to areas of their expertise to educate a judge, to educate a jury. Finally, it’s probably not finally but it’s the last ones I can think of is a mental health professional can be appointed as a parenting coordinator, or a parenting facilitator, either during or after the divorce.

Holly: So I love what you said about becoming part of the solution instead of part of the problem in terms of breaking families up and and helping families and we do really try and do that in our office in terms of you know, when I see people come in and traditional litigation and these parents hate each other and their mudslinging, and there’s probably blame to go around. I love it when I have an attorney on the other side that I have a good relationship with that I can talk to and, we can say, these people need a mental health professional.

What type of mental health professional that we think can help them. We need to get the boat, everybody back in the boat and the boat steered in the right direction. And there’s certainly a lot of attorneys out there who don’t have that philosophy and don’t do that. But I think a lot more should. And that is a way we can really help people, which is probably why most family lawyers do family law, because they want to help people.

Honey: I couldn’t agree more. I do think sometimes litigating attorneys really lose sight of the big picture. Eventually, the litigator goes away. I mean, at some point, it may be years. But you know, the case does settle. I mean, at some point, whether it’s in a courtroom or in mediation, or you know, between the two attorneys, and you go away, and the couple is left. They’re left literally standing among the ashes of their lives, and left to deal with it on their own. And how sad because I think litigators can, not always, I mean, I’ve worked with a ton of really settlement minded litigators, such as yourself.

But how sad to realize that you lose sight. Becomes very much tunnel vision, and it becomes you get co opted into your client’s battle. And you get tunnel vision, and you are playing the zero sum win lose game, I’m going to win at all costs. And how many times Holly, have you left a courtroom having won, right? Theoretically, having won and your client is just in tears, and looking at you, and you’re going you won, you won. And that’s the moment of reckoning, when they realize no, they didn’t win. They’ve lost everything. And they lost any opportunity to have a relationship with their ex spouse, the father or mother of their children. And that is incredibly sad.

Holly: And sometimes I’ll see even the opposite where the client feels like they have this huge victory they have won. And in the back of my mind, I’m thinking but your relationship with this other person is probably destroyed forever. And because you didn’t want to go to a therapist, you didn’t want to do family counseling, whatever the case may be, you have won, but at what cost?

Honey: Right. And that’s someone who hates their ex spouse more than they love their children.

Holly: So one last thing I want to dive into, you briefly mentioned parenting facilitation, parenting coordination as one of the ways that mental health professionals can be involved in litigation. Tell us about those two things, what they are, how they’re different.

Honey: I would be happy to do so. So if you were a fly on the wall, watching a parenting coordinator or watching a parenting facilitator in their office, you probably would not be able to tell the difference. Both roles are ADR roles. Alternative dispute resolution roles. They are both defined by statute in the family code. They are both court appointed, their responsibilities are the same. So the purpose of parenting coordination or parenting facilitation is they are a gatekeeper designed to keep the couple out of a courtroom, typically post divorce. So their responsibilities are to educate, help clients learn to better communicate, help clients be able to implement their parenting plan, be able to help clients resolve disputes and disagreements.

All of which is before that couple would ever go back into a courtroom. So they are a gatekeeper designed to keep the couple out of the courtroom. They are both roles that are designed to help parents co parent better during and post divorce. They become the go to person. So the way I like and it is a little bit like the old family doctor. Right in small towns in the 1800s and early 1900s in small towns, if anything was wrong, you always went to see Doc Smith. Didn’t matter didn’t matter what the issue was, you just kind of went to see Doc Smith and Doc Smith would help you fix it. So I always kind of think that sort of the role of the PF and the PC. They’re sort of the Doc Smith, in that family’s life. They are their go to person to help them deal with the issues that they are struggling with.

So if you were, as I said, a fly watching them in the office, it wouldn’t look at you wouldn’t be able to know like it wouldn’t look any really different. Their role is neutral. Their role is transparent. So you’re probably thinking okay, then what is the difference? So the difference is that the parenting coordinator is completely confidential. Anything that it is sacrosanct that confidentiality is absolutely sacrosanct. They are their records can never be submitted into evidence. The parenting coordinator can never be subpoenaed to testify, they can never be deposed, they can never walk into a courtroom and testify. So it creates a blanket of confidentiality over the process of working with that family, because they’re never going to walk into a courtroom, they’re never going to testify on one or the other behalf.

They’re never going to testify as to what was said in the office, or what was maybe agreed to in the office. In contrast, the parenting facilitator, and the parenting facilitation process is not confidential. It is that professional. Their records can be subpoenaed and submitted into evidence, they can be called to testify, they can be deposed. In addition, the parenting facilitator can make formal recommendations about anything other than possession, conservatorship and possession. So that parenting facilitator can walk into a courtroom and render an opinion about you know, schooling or education or, you know, whether little Johnny should play soccer or not. And they are in a position of having much more, I would say in quotes authority, because they can walk into court and testify. And the judge is interested in what that professional thinks and believes about the different parties.

So if mom said X, Y, or Z, or dad walked into the PF session drunk, that will show up in the courtroom. So if those things had happened in a PC session, that parenting that information would not go anywhere. It is protected by that confidentiality provision. I will tell you, Holly, interestingly enough, in most other areas in the country, parenting coordination is defined the way we define parenting facilitation. We are one of the only states that actually provides that same service under an umbrella of confidentiality. And I will tell you, there is incredible value in that which is why we have fought very, very hard to maintain that confidential process.

Because people who are coming in for parenting coordination, they’re coming in typically more prepared, better able to actually heal their relationship or deal with the issues. Not always, not always. But for the most part, people who are wanting or needing parenting facilitation. All that is is preparatory to their motion to modify to go back to court so that they can pull that professional in. It’s very positional. And you talk to most PFs, they’ll sit tell you the same thing. It is very, very challenging to make progress because there’s always that ax hanging over everyone’s head. And so the couple really isn’t working together.

Holly: So as somebody who may end up in court with the those people later, I hate the idea of parenting coordination, love parenting facilitation, because I can use that. And I just think, well, what if he does show up drunk to his PC session? I can’t use that against him, or what if she’s, you know, huge problem. And he’s gonna go into court and deny, deny or she’s going to deny it. So but it sounds like if our goal as an attorney is to help this couple move forward in the best possible way without having to go back to court, you might argue that parenting coordination is a better option.

Honey: Yes. That’s really all I need to say. I do know, I hear that a lot. Right? I hear from attorneys. But you know, the judge is going to want to know that or I guarantee you, the judge will probably hear it from multiple other sources. And there are other mechanisms to get information like that into a courtroom, if it is necessary. But if the goal is to genuinely help the couple, yes, my, my vote is going to be for parenting coordination. Now, that being said, there are cases because if there are any attorneys listening to this, who have had me say this to them, they’re going to go but wait a minute, she has said, there are cases that I have said, nope, you’re going to need a PF not a PC where I have turned it down.

They’ve wanted it to be parenting coordination. And just in my talking with the clients and doing the intake, it was evident that this was not going to be successful, and the level of hostility and allegations against each other, if they were going to end up back in a courtroom. And that is a case where probably the PF being able to testify would be critical. I’ve told attorneys that. I am not a one size fits all professional, on everything is so uniquely determined by and that’s by the presenting couple. And I was I was about to say because and that’s probably why I’ve been able to do this for over 40 years, because every case is brand new to me. And every case challenges my skill set, whether it’s as a PC, or it’s in the collaborative divorce process, or it’s as a therapist.

Holly: So we’re just about out of time. But one of the things I like to ask all my guests on the podcast is if you could give one piece of advice to young family lawyers, what would it be?

Honey: Well, this probably won’t come as a surprise because this is an area that’s obviously really important to me. It would be to get trained in the collaborative divorce process. Because I genuinely believe that is your most effective way to help families move forward and begin, they don’t heal in the process, but they have the opportunity to begin to heal. And if you are genuinely trying to help families, having the collaborative divorce process as a major tool in your toolbox is clearly the most effective way to help families in my opinion.

Holly: Even for attorneys who may not see themselves as truly practicing collaborative law in the future, A you may change your mind once you have that training, but B I do think it’s extremely beneficial to have that training, still being in the litigation context.

Honey: It gives you a different perspective. It is for attorneys, for actually for all the professionals. It is a paradigm shift. You are as an attorney shifting from win lose to win win. You are as a mental health professional shifting from being a therapist to being a facilitator, a mental health coach in the process, you’re not doing therapy, you’re shifting from an evaluator to a not a counseling or therapeutic role, but a facilitative role. As a financial professional, you’re shifting from helping people make investment decisions and do financial planning to making good solid financial decisions in their financial settlement during the divorce. So all of us have had to go through a huge paradigm shift to be successful.

Holly: So we’re gonna listeners go if they want to learn more about you?

Honey: I have a website. Thank you for asking. https://www.drsheff.com/, and it’s https://www.drsheff.com/. And so you will definitely learn more about me on my website. You can also Google and find out different articles that I’ve written and different presentations that I’ve done and I’ve done other podcasts. So or you can just simply call me. I’m happy to talk to you.

Holly: Well, thank you so much for joining us today. For our listeners, if you enjoyed this podcast, please take a second to leave us a review and subscribe so you can enjoy future episodes.

Voiceover: The Texas Family Law Insiders podcast is sponsored by the Draper Law Firm. We help people navigate divorce and child custody cases and handle family law appellate matters. For more information, visit our website at www.draperfirm.com.

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