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This is Me.

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Hello! I'm Carie Bellanger, Certified High-Conflict Divorce Coach (CHCDC). Since its inception in 2021, I've been helping clients that are facing high-conflict divorce situations navigate the battlefield through my business, SpiritSong High Conflict Divorce Coaching. What is a "high conflict" divorce? That's a great topic for another blog, but generally, it is a situation where a healthy parent/partner is seeking divorce from an abusive or high-conflict type of person. More on that later. Back to who I am and how I got here:

I was married for 13 years before I had the courage to leave in 2008. It took me years to recognize the type of abuse that I had been subjected to, and that my kids had also witnessed and been subjected to. I didn't understand all the nuances of abuse and how much it would impact me and my children for years after the divorce was final.

In 2016 I had what can only be described as a full-blown PTSD response to some of the things that were happing in our country and began a spiral that included nightmares, depression, and so much anger. In addition to some counseling and medication (short term), I was fortunate enough to attend a retreat in 2017 hosted by Tina Swithin, author of Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom's Battle and fierce Family Court Advocate. That retreat changed my life. I understood what I'd experienced in a way that I hadn't been able to before. I was validated by a whole group of amazing women that were also walking this difficult path (most were still in the throes of family court) and realized that while I had kept chugging along and doing what I needed to do for myself and my kids, I had never really done the work of healing.

And that's what I did for the next several years. My kids both graduated from high school and I made some big life decisions that brought me to southwest Arkansas--a fresh start in a fresh place. I began doing yoga and painting regularly. I dove into trauma education and began to understand the long-term effects of trauma--especially on children. At the time I was working for a leading national non-profit organization. And then...2020.

The pandemic took a big toll on our organization and in early 2021, after 13 years, I was laid off. Tina Swithin had just started her high conflict divorce coaching certification program and the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I was ready to do this. I knew that I had come to a place in my own journey and healing that I could be the person my clients needed me to be. I can be empathetic, because I've been there. I can be the voice of reason when a client is triggered by emails full of lies and false accusations. I can help my clients be strategic and stay grounded while they are in the midst of their own storms. I can do all this because I've been there, and I've done the work.

There is nothing more satisfying than to have a client tell me, after a 30-minutes session, that mediation went better than expected because they felt prepared, or to hear that the judge ruled in their favor because the documentation that you helped them organize was well received by the court. It won't all be sunshine and roses, and I know there will be times when the courts get it wrong, no matter what we do.

I love this work because I know I'm making a difference for my clients, and it feels pretty great to get to be the person that I wish I'd had by my side nearly 15 years ago. I believe strongly in the pull of the Universe and that if we listen closely, it will lead us to where we are supposed to be. That's why I'm here, and I wouldn't change a thing.

If you're thinking about leaving an abusive situation, or even if you're already in the middle of a high conflict divorce, feel free to reach out for a free 30-min. consultation.

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