Coaching program helps people rebuild following divorce

By Kathy Rumleski, Contributor

With almost half of all marriages ending in divorce, Toronto family lawyer and life coach Leanne Townsend says there are many who struggle to cope with the emotional and financial tolls of a marriage breakup.

“Divorce can really shake people up and there’s a loss of identity that can go with it, coupled with an uncertainty about money matters,” she tells

Townsend has recently launched a five-week divorce recovery coaching program.

“I use a holistic approach and the nice thing is that you can do it from your home as it’s an online program,” she says.

While Townsend, a partner with Brauti Thorning LLP, has a number of modules prepared, the program can be tailored to meet a specific client’s needs.

“I can give them the focus they need. If one of the topics isn’t relevant, we don’t have to cover it and can spend more time on another that’s more applicable,” she says.

Townsend sends participants a new module with an online package of information and exercises a week ahead.

“Then we set up a call or Skype the following week and the idea is that they will have worked through the material at that point," she says. “If there are particular issues coming up for a person, they will get extra focus in the call.”

The modules for the program are:

  • Self-love and building self-esteem after a relationship ends
  • Managing fear and anxiety about the future
  • Setting boundaries with your ex and children
  • Self-care tools and time management

Townsend says the fifth module is more open-ended with participants having a choice of different topics to discuss, including getting comfortable with money and returning to the dating world.

“It can be overwhelming for people to think about dating again. They have no idea how to even start in some cases,” she says.

The one area Townsend finds people struggling with most is self-love and re-gaining self-esteem.

“I want to make sure people start with self-love and then we can build from there,” she says. “Women put their focus into motherhood too and if children have left the nest and now there is a divorce, they often have lost touch with who they are as women. They don't know who they are separate from being a wife and mother."

Townsend says she would like to eventually offer the divorce recovery coaching in a workshop format or at events for groups of people as a way to reduce costs.

“This program has been well received and I’ve had good feedback. I am excited about offering it to more people,” she says.

Townsend also offers a divorce preparation coaching program for people who have just separated or are thinking of separating.

“I talk to them about practical things, and also touch on overcoming the fear of leaving if that is where they are at,” she says.

Also in the works for Townsend — with a rollout in the near future — is a coaching and empowerment program for women at midlife.

“You still have a lot of living ahead of you, yet you may feel stuck in your life and don’t know how to make changes,” she says.

Townsend says she decided to develop this program because there isn’t much attention placed on aiding women at midlife.

“I find there’s not a lot of support and information out there for this age group,” she says. “You have wisdom and life experience that make you so valuable to our society.”

Townsend continues to provide life and empowerment coaching as well.

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