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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. 


Education:

  • 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

Associations:

  • 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