Kim Dean, JD, MA, LMFT
Consultant, Mediator, Coach
I have been a practicing family law attorney for thirteen years and have witnessed the destruction to families in the litigation process. While dismantling marriages for more than a decade, I saw many couples who made the decision to divorce without any support in making the decision. The longer I practiced, the more I realized that I was helping people divorce who had not ever explored the options to either heal their marriage or to understand their choices for a different way to divorce. Instead, it was usually a process fraught with deep emotional pain, confusion, bad advice and escalating conflict – even when a couple started out with the intention to have an “amicable divorce.” So, I went back to school intent on learning how to provide a different process for couples who want to divorce differently.
Over the past several years I have focused all my study, training, and consultation on couples issues and relationships and alternatives to traditional divorce. I am particularly motivated by reducing the impact of divorce on children and helping families transition in a healthy and engaged way so children can thrive. This focus, I believe, allows me to provide the most effective and cutting-edge tools to support my clients. I utilize an integration of evidence-based models that were specifically researched and developed to address modern divorce and separation issues.
After leaving traditional legal practice, I wanted to be able to actively support people through relationship transitions in a new way– to help people move through their personal situations and transcend those struggles so the entire family could come out whole at the end of the process. Today, I guide individuals and couples toward clarity about the relationship and whether to do the intensive work to revitalize the marriage or to move consciously toward divorce.
I am neither a champion of marriage at all costs and I do believe that divorce may be the right decision. When divorce is inevitable and thoughtfully decided, I am passionate about helping couples find viable ways to mend the relationship sufficiently to achieve a respectful divorce in order to prevent emotional turmoil for the couple and most importantly to spare your children and loved ones from needless anguish.
I am a trained as a lawyer, mediator, therapist, coach, and divorce consultant. I am passionate about helping couples uncouple with dignity, compassion, and intention that allows each partner to step into post-separation life with ease and confidence rather than with emotional and financial damage that takes years to recover from.
Because I have both a legal and mental health training, I am uniquely positioned to help you come to terms with the feelings associated with the changing relationship between the two of you, while focusing on goals for the present and the future to aid in decreasing the unresolved conflicts while in a confusing legal process. As a Mediator, Coach or working within the Collaborative Divorce model, I help you navigate the changes divorce creates in your family by helping you learn to interact and communicate with each other more respectfully and honestly and to gain new skills that are useful in your settlement discussions, and in post-divorce parenting.Going forward into your post-divorce lives, the skills learned in this process are invaluable. For families in transition, the children reap the benefits of having parents who can apply the communication and problem-solving skills learned in to their ongoing co-parenting relationship.
I am direct and honest and provide coaching and feedback. I am guided by the principle that your time and your resources are limited and I step in quickly and coach you to help you maximize your work with me.
JD, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA
MA, Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University, LIOS, Bellevue, WA
BA Interdisciplinary Global Studies, University of Washington, Seattle WA
Certifications and Training:
2009: Informed Advocacy in Parenting Plan Cases, AAML
2009: Professional Mediation Skills Training, University of Washington School of Law
2012: Systemic Solutions for Families in Crisis, WA-AFCC
2017: The Essentials of Co-Parent Coaching, Karen Bonnell
2017: LGBTQ Cultivating an Inclusive Practice
2017-2018: Gottman Method Couples Therapy (Level 1&2), The Gottman Institute
2017: Emotionally Focused Therapy for Individuals, ICEEFT
2018: Discernment Counseling, Doherty Relationship Institute
2018: Helping Couples in Crisis, PESI
2020: Advanced Parenting Plan Training, Karen Bonnell
2021: Step-Parent Coaching, Karen Bonnell
LMFTA - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate, State of Washington
WSBA Member of Washington State Bar Association
AAMFT -Member of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
IACP- Member of International Association of Collaborative Professionals
CPW- Member of Collaborative Professionals of Washington