Steven Gage, MA has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Duke University and a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University. He started practicing marriage and family therapy in 1979 and has seen hundreds of couples and families over 34 years. After seeing firsthand that some traditional divorce proceedings conducted through adversarial processes could yield greater suffering in the family, he became aware of and recommended the providers of the collaborative approach when the couple could not mend the marriage.
Now, he is a part of the Collaborative Team at Separating Together. His role as a Divorce Coach is to meet one on one with a spouse and to provide emotional support and guidance throughout the process.
During a separation and divorce, emotional reactivity can be very intense and powerful, and having a coach present allows you to lower your stress, navigate through your emotions, and get clear about your real needs. Then the collaborative attorneys respond to those needs and work toward a mutually satisfying outcome for both parties. It can be so relieving to move through hurt, anger, fear, and dread and to end up with a balanced and benevolent solution for all.
Dr. Lepage’s approach as a Divorce Coach is active, interactional, and problem-solving based while also being realistic and grounded in empathy. When working with an individual 1-1, she prepares you for successful amicable negotiation of a settlement agreement. She will help you identify your underlying emotions and needs/interests/concerns, so you can prioritize issues, and be fully prepared for meetings, as well as help you develop a plan for effective communication of the importance of those issues for you. When coaching both parties together, using an active style Dr. Lepage listens intently to the communication content and patterns, and intervenes to help people become aware of their unhealthy patterns and learn new ones. Building on this she uses an in-session interactional approach, prompting and guiding parents through difficult conversations and the practice of new skills. A scientific trial-and-error tact is taken to potential solutions, as ideas developed in-session are assigned for use between sessions to best determine what is effective for each unique family. Having done co-parenting and coaching work for many years, Dr. Lepage understands and is empathetic to both male and female perspectives, and works to develop empathy between the two, as well as realistic expectations of self and others. Lastly she aims to help each person through the process regain a sense of contentment and happiness with self, co-parenting, and life in general.
From the very beginning of her career with a B.S. in Child Development & Family Relationships 25 years ago, Dr. Tina Lepage has been focusing on families, and she has extensive experience working with individuals, couples, parents, and children going through divorce. She completed both her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation in Clinical Psychology on developing effective parenting plans. Dr. Lepage was one of the first psychologists in the Triangle to become fully trained in collaborative divorce (CD) in 2003, and she continues to be the most highly trained and experienced mental health professional working in CD in this geographic area. Since 2003 Dr. Lepage has engaged in hundreds of hours of training in CD and mediation, and works with numerous families each year going though this transition. A leader in CD in the Triangle, Dr. Lepage was a founder of the NC State CD Association, has brought nationally renowned CD trainers to the Triangle, and has trained and mentored numerous local professionals. In addition, she has trained at the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals annual conference and is an IACP certified trainer.
Please visit Lepage Associates Psychological & Psychiatric Services for in-depth information on Dr. Lepage and Lepage Associates services.
Dr. Colette Segalla completed the first Collaborative Divorce training course offered in the Triangle area, and has a background with adults, children, families and divorce that makes her well suited to acting as a Divorce Coach in the Collaborative Divorce process. As a Coach, Dr. Segalla has experience working with couples who wish to peacefully separate and detach from one another when the marriage is ending, as well as with people who aspire to have an amicable separation but are struggling with making amicability a reality. She focuses on helping individuals get through the emotions impeding progress, and on helping parents maintain a respectful partnership for the sake of the children and for their own emotional well-being even though they have chosen to end the marriage. As an adjunct to this experience, Dr. Segalla completed extensive Leadership Training where the emphasis was on helping people achieve their full potential, and finds this unique training very helpful when assisting people to develop a new life plan and vision during a life transition such as divorce. This leadership training that serves as the foundation for a coaching relationship, combined with her individual and couples work in psychology, have prepared her to be very helpful to individuals when serving as a Divorce Coach.
Please visit Lepage Associates Psychological & Psychiatric Services for in-depth information on Dr. Segalla and Lepage Associates services.
Erica Blystone has over 10 years of experience working with children, families, adults, couples, and groups that she brings to her work as a Divorce Coach. Erica works to help her collaborative divorce clients explore their interests, needs, and reactions in a supportive, nonjudgmental and genuine environment. She helps them to identify and improve communication patterns as well as to unearth the underlying emotions or interests fueling the conflict, so they can be well prepared to be effective in negotiations with their spouse. Erica is skilled at assisting clients identify both their individual and collective interests in order to help make the collaborative divorce process as smooth and amicable as possible, resulting in making well-informed decisions and agreements. In particular, her specialized expertise as a couple’s therapist has equipped her with a keen eye for communication patterns among the parties involved in the process. She has found this experience to be very useful in improving communication among spouses, and helping the process go as smoothly as possible.
Please visit Lepage Associates Psychological & Psychiatric Services for in-depth information on Erica and Lepage Associates services.
Katrina Kuzyszyn-Jones, Psy.D. has 15 years of clinical experience.
Dr. Katrina’s practice reflects her experiences in private practice, community mental health and the criminal justice system. KKJ now offers therapy for relationships and work/life balance, divorce counseling and support, and evaluations for family law and criminal proceedings.
Dr. Katrina hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology and she is licensed psychologist.
Divorce Coaches play one of the most important roles in the collaborative process. Coaches are psychologists or mental health professionals trained in the collaborative process. Divorce can be sad, painful, scary, but also liberating and a time for new beginnings and choices. Sometimes these feelings come all at the same time. A divorce coach helps you through the ups and downs of the process, and helps you understand what you’re experiencing before and after each meeting. Interestingly, the smartest people (on paper) often find they benefit the most from having a divorce coach.