EP: 017



Divorce can bring out sides of ourselves we didn’t know were there. Depression is common, as is rage. And many divorcing couples are surprised by these feelings of extreme anger or sadness and isolation. The question becomes, how do you process these emotions and deal with them in a healthy way?

Elana Katz is a psychotherapist and collaborative divorce professional based in Manhattan. She also serves as senior faculty at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, where she teaches advanced family therapy and directs the Family and Divorce Mediation Program. Elana presents nationally and internationally on family therapy, mediation and collaborative divorce, and she has been quoted by the New York Times, the Associated Press and NPR.

Today, Elana joins Katherine to explain how the experience of divorce can serve as a triggering event for depression. She walks us through attachment theory, describing how we process separation as a danger cue. Elana also addresses the other common post-divorce emotion, rage. She speaks to the triggers for extreme anger as well as techniques for dealing with these very strong emotions. Listen in for Elana’s insight on reframing the divorce experience and learn how to use the time to develop self-awareness and consider what really matters.


How the experience of divorce serves as a triggering event for depression

How post-divorce depression may catch people off guard

How divorcing couples demonstrate attachment theory

  • Process separation as danger cue
  • Come out swinging, curl in or both

The best way to provide support for a friend, family member during divorce

How to set appropriate boundaries for your own self-care

How feeling enraged, easily provoked is a common post-divorce emotion

Elana’s advice around dealing with strong emotions during/after divorce

  • Make sense of emotions
  • Practice self-compassion
  • Identify, articulate previous successful transitions
  • Moderate physical exercise

Elana’s insight on reframing the divorce experience

  • Seize as time to develop greater awareness
  • Reboot and consider what really matters

How to leverage coaching to be present and proactive in the divorce process

The difference between Elana’s role as mediator vs. collaborative coach

Elana’s guidance around carefully considering process choice

Elana’s take on how anger can be either mobilizing or debilitating

How to handle the rage you may be feeling in the divorce process


Ackerman Institute for the Family

Email ekatz@ackerman.org

Call (212) 879-4900


Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765