The Energy of Divorce, Preventing Burnout


September, 2019

Nancy A Hetrick

Let’s face it. Divorce can be ugly and often the people going through it are at their very worst. If you aren’t careful, you can get sucked into their drama, impact your emotional well-being and outside relationships and ultimately cause you to just not like your job very much. But there is a solution. Let me share some tips to manage your energy and even influence the energy and emotions of your clients.

During meetings, tap in to the power of mirror neurons. Humans are programmed with what are called Mirror Neurons. This is why when someone yawns, we all yawn. Also, when if someone crosses their arms, we instinctively mirror that. When you’re in session, whether an initial consultation, mediation, or talking to your spouse, here are some techniques to manage the energy of the conversation.


You are the one in control of your space. The behavioral boundaries are yours to set

Breath – When you see someone getting anxious, what happens to their breath? Shallow, fast, panicky. If you look in their eyes and take an audible, long slow breath, they will do the same.

Tone – Your tone of voice can dictate the atmosphere in the room. If emotions rise, focus on speaking softer, even whisper. This will have an instant calming effect.

Pace – When clients slip into their reptilian stress reactions, their rate of speech will go faster and faster. You want to counter that by slowing down – way, way, down. Big gaps. Again, it will give them the chance to catch their breath and allow their minds a chance to settle.

Body Language – Since 95% of communication is not the words we speak, your body language can do a lot to influence the mood in the room. When you lean in, hold eye contact, tilt your head, it communicates empathy, attention, and respect. Once a client feels heard, they often are able to tap in to their more constructive emotions.

Stage Your Meetings

Lastly, set up your meeting space to inspire relaxation and comfort. Have warm, positive artwork, plants, and lighting. Consider a diffuser with lavender oil. I’m a big believer in having some kind of snacks on the table. Not candy but something more substantive like nuts, granola bars, etc. Our culture is programmed that sitting around a table sharing food is a warm relaxing experience of sharing. Not to mention sometimes it’s just a way to expel nervous energy.

Remember that you are the one in control of your space. The behavioral boundaries are yours to set and you can do that early in any client relationship. Providing a safe space where emotions can be expressed but not allowed to become extreme will ultimately be better for both you and your clients.


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