Category Archives: Blog


A Blueprint for Problem-Solving Conversations

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By Dr. Dan Thomason – Guest Blogger

Couples who can solve problems

and resolve conflict in their relationship

typically grow closer,

have great respect for each other,

and report high levels of satisfaction in their relationship.


I’ve never had a couple come into my office and say, “We can solve problems and resolve conflict in our relationship just fine; it’s everything else that doesn’t work!” In my work with couples over the past twenty-five years, I’ve noticed one big difference in how men and women process information and emotions. There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, men process information and emotions internally, while women process information and emotions externally. Continue reading

Going From Bitter to Better

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By Lisa Brick

For many of you who have found your way to Journey Beyond Divorce this divorce may not be your first.  Your first experience with divorce may have been when your parents split up.  The relationship you have with your spouse is also rarely the first contentious and painful relationship in your life, although it may well be the most agonizing. There are a number of you who have experienced other challenges in your childhood home, including neglect, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and violence.  All of these experiences compound the pain around the discord and dissolution of your marriage.
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Weeding Out the Old and Uncovering Hidden Beauty

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by Karen Basmagy, Transition/Divorce Coach  

The Power of Metaphor

As spring begins to blossom, many of us have been scrambling to get outside and clean up our yards, myself included. So this Sunday, I quit the seemingly never ending process of emptying boxes from my recent move and turned my attention to the long neglected flowerbeds in the front yard of my new home. I felt a strong need to get my hands in the dirt, feeling like it would be therapeutic for me.  I am not always enthusiastic about doing such work but it had to be done and I needed to shift gears and get outside and away from those boxes!

As I methodically weeded and cleared out the old dead growth and debris in the bed, it reminded me of my transition from my old life to my new. I happily discovered as I began to clear away the weeds that I was able to find some of the familiar and beautiful plantings of my past that were hidden by them. Narcissus, live-forevers, azaleas, irises, ornamental grasses…all became visible as I slowly and diligently, with care and purpose, pulled the unwanted growth from the beds, allowing the new growth a chance to benefit from the warm caress of the spring sunshine, giving them their rightful place in the sun. Continue reading

A Journey Of Empowerment During Divorce

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By Karen McMahon

I awoke this morning feeling deeply grateful for my life. I began my day brewing freshly ground coffee, making a pot of steel oats, encouraging my 17 year old daughter (who has senioritis) to get moving; and feeding my feline family (yes, I have 4 cats). I had a sense of peace and joy. I realized how much I love my life. I love the people my two teenagers are becoming. I am crazy about my job and my clients and my remarkable team of coaches. I adore the women in my life…my deep circle of girlfriends and sisters. I am in awe by fact that I have consciously created a life I love! Someday I know I will meet a man that I choose to marry.

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Co-Parenting: Acting Like a Grown-Up for Your Kids

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By Karen Basmagy

Easier said than done for many, maintaining a mature co-parenting relationship with your ex may be your greatest challenge as you seek to rebuild and redefine your life post-marriage. Emotions may still be running high for a very long time for one or both of you. It is imperative that you deal with the emotional demons surrounding your divorce in order to be the parent your child needs you to be. Though you can’t control the behavior of your ex, you can control your own and model what it truly means to be a “Grown-Up’. And by the way, being a grown-up also includes not pointing out how immature your ex’s behavior is. Your child will figure that out on his own as he grows and matures.

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Finding My Way to Acceptance Through Cartwheels and Square Pegs

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By Karen Basmagy

My marriage, like so many others, had floundered for years. Alternating between trying to work on the relationship and then falling back into those comfortable dysfunctional places, I would become so discontent that in my struggle for a solution, I would read yet another self-help book to try to understand why I just couldn’t make the damn thing work. What was I missing? Where was I falling short?

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The Impact of Divorce on Children

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By Tamara D. Afifi at TEDxUCSB



When considering divorce or going through a divorce, a very important question that comes up is how the divorce affects their children. There has been a lot of research on the relationships of children in adulthood, and what kinds of relationships they tend to have as adults. Professor Tamara Afifi of the University of California Santa Barbara did research on how divorce and family conflict affects children’s bodies, and has some great tips and suggestions here for how to deal with your spouse or ex-spouse and your children when going through this process: Continue reading

Unraveling From Your Ex-Spouse

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By Karen Basmagy


You’ve gone to court, the divorce is final.  Perhaps it was a long messy ordeal or maybe it was simple, amicable and uncomplicated.  You think, whew…I’m glad that is finally over, now I can move forward with my life! You can finally put your former relationship with our ex behind you…or can you? Whether you have the divorce decree in hand or not, emotionally disentangling from you ex is not quite as cut and dry as signing the settlement agreement.


Divorce recovery happens in stages.  

Although you may be legally divorced the emotional divorce may take much longer. Continue reading

The Magic of Coaching: Life Is Better Because I Changed!

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By Erica T, Journey Beyond Client


The first time I ever spoke to Karen, I had gone for a walk around the block to blow off some steam and calm my nerves. This was a regular occurrence for me, since I had a constant feeling in the pit of my stomach that was a mixed bag of anger, resentment, anxiety, and fear of the unknown. My previous divorce attorney had given me her name and number and recommended I give her a call.

I had been seeing a therapist for many years. She was very insightful and I enjoyed meeting with her on a weekly basis. I had held off on calling Karen because I had built up a great relationship with my therapist (let’s face it, it takes a long time to find someone you really feel like you can talk to without being judged). After three years working with this therapist, I received a notice in the mail that said she would no longer be accepting my insurance. Cue divine intervention. Continue reading

I Want To Forgive, I Just Don’t Know How!

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By Karen McMahon


I recently spoke about forgiveness at a retreat and even those that understood the value of forgiveness and deeply desired to, struggled with how to forgive.

What is forgiveness?

  • Forgiveness is NOT for the other person.
    • It is not something we do for the other.  
    • We do not stand righteous before another bestow our forgiveness upon them.
    • We do not even have to communicate our forgiveness.
  • Forgiveness is for us and about us Continue reading