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The Coaching Commons Article on The Custody Coach™ by Mark Joyella

July 31st, 2010 · No Comments

The Custody Coach™: Can a Coach Be an Advocate, Educator and…a Coach? by Mark Joyella

You’ve heard of the “coach approach.” But what, exactly, is the Child Custody Coach™ approach?

Steven Carlson says he identified the child custody coaching niche ten years ago: “a non legal and non mental health solution/approach to child custody issues.”

It’s also an example of the ever-expanding definition of coaching.

Carlson, who brands his business as “The Custody Coach,” offers “unique and exclusive materials, information and help in the field of child custody and parenting techniques,” along with telephone and in-person coaching.

“I believe that combining the principles of ‘coaching’ using an applied educational approach will yield the greatest results in child custody matters in the family court system,” Carlson writes on his website, where he describes his work this way: “The Custody Coach can help you get from where you are to where you want to go and help you make better choices along the way. That is what coaching is all about!”

Carlson works with parents who are often enmeshed in difficult legal battles—with kids caught in the middle. He emphasizes that he’s not an attorney, nor a mental health professional. What he does, he says, is provide information to people who desperately need it. “For situations where legal advice, mental health services or a specialist in a specific area would be beneficial, there are bazillions of lawyers and mental health professionals out there parents with the right education and direction can tap into. If the only tool you have in your toolbox is a screwdriver (i.e. law or
therapy) then you’ll approach and treat every problem as though it were a screw (i.e. legal or mental health problem). I look at questions and problems very differently and from a much broader perspective. This is why I believe I’m more effective and able to help parents at the level they truly need (and at a fraction of the cost!).”

Carlson, the author of an e-book entitled “How to Win Child Custody: Proven Strategies that Can Win You Custody and Save You Thousands in Attorney Costs,” says his training and background includes parenting classes and “one to one training from various experts in their respective fields.”

But is Carlson, in the truest sense, a coach, and is the work he provides for clients really coaching?

“My coaching services are an “action” service as well as an informational and educational service. I strive to not only help one arrive at an understanding, but also help apply the information,” says Carlson. “My desire is to help empower my clients by providing them with information so that they can make educated decisions, streamline their goals, and utilize their resources efficiently and effectively. From my experience attorneys often seek total control and often do not have the time or desire to educate their clients. In addition, attorneys are often busy working on several other cases and the time needed to educate each client would be cost burdensome and time consuming.”

With extensive experience as a certified parenting instructor, Carlson says he’s been coached by child play therapists on their work, “coached” by attorneys on fee arbitration and other legal issues, and “coached” by a “custody evaluator, expert witness, divorce coach, published author, speaker, on parental alienation.”

Carlson quotes from the ICF on his website, but makes no claim to any coach training or certification, from the ICF or any other coaching body.

Carlson says while his niche is unique and specific, his work as a coach is traditional and straightforward. “From my experience a general awareness, knowledge, and understanding throughout the child custody process and having knowledge of the mind set of each individual involved in one’s case is critical and can in fact help contribute to the success or failure of ones child custody case in the family court and judicial system.”

To make that happen, Carlson combines goal setting and work on communications with highly specific custody hurdles, like facing a “730 evaluation,” a child custody evaluation in California aimed at determining the family structure that’s in the “child’s best interest.”

“As a coach, I am concerned with increasing my client’s own knowledge and thought processes. It is much about creating a supportive environment for challenge and to develop critical thinking skills, ideas, and behaviors that are specific to child custody. While the strength of mentoring lies in the mentor’s specific knowledge and wisdom, in coaching it lies in the facilitation and development of a client’s personal character and qualities,” says Carlson. “As a coach, I combine efforts to bring different skills and experience and offer a new perspective–a different viewpoint. In both cases, coaching and mentoring one-to-one attention is necessary and paramount.”

As coaches continue to debate the ever-more-common uses of the word “coach,” and in some cases argue that some who consider their work coaching are really consultants, educators or salespeople, Steve Carlson sticks by his franchise.

As he says, his mission is to help clients “save money and…successfully manage and win in this imperfect and often times unjust family court system, which speaks much about the ‘best interests of the child,’ yet abuses its authority ignoring and often times making decisions and recommendations that are in clear violation of you and your children’s constitutional and parental rights.”

About the Author
Mark Joyella is an Emmy-winning television news reporter and anchor who has worked at television stations in Colorado, Georgia, Florida and New York. A firm believer in the power of coaching, Mark has been on both sides of the coaching equation, as a client, and as a coach, helping aspiring journalists excel in writing, reporting and storytelling. Mark lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

The Coaching Commons is a project of The Harnisch Foundation.

For full article click here.

Tags: Celebrity Divorce · Shared Parenting · Divorce Attorneys · Custody Evaluations · Domestic Violence · Parental Alienation · Divorce · Parenting Plans · Alternative Dispute Resolution · Family Law · Collaborative Divorce · Judges · Custody Evaluators · Mediators · Mental Health · Parenting · Mediation · Child Custody FAQs · Fee Arbitration · Child Custody · Unwed Parents · Paternity · Grandparents Rights · Custody Battles · Joint Custody · Hollywood Divorce · Child Custody Attorneys · Single Parenting · Child Custody Laws · Unmarried Child Custody · Sole Custody

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