To all my collaborative colleagues who shudder at the thought of going through yet another certifying process to add to your already over-certified resume, I ask you to take a deep breath and take the plunge—if not to distinguish yourself, for the sake of lending credibility to the practice of collaborative divorce. We in the collaborative divorce world are continuing to fight for legitimacy of a process that we all believe in. But passion and faith are not enough to ensure that collaborative divorce becomes the preferred method of divorce in Texas. That takes increased awareness through public education and ways to separate those who DO versus those who just SAY they do: the credentialing process accomplishes both.
I was on the original CDT committee that was tasked with creating the protocol for the credentialing process. This was an arduous 3-year process designed to create a stringent enough process to justify the value of being credentialed and provide a way to distinguish ourselves, but not so daunting that our colleagues would not be willing to run the traps. I personally went through the credentialing process as soon as I could (I was not able to apply during the inaugural year due to serving on the credentialing committee) and was honored to become a Master Credentialed Collaborative Professional in 2018. Our current total of Credentialed and Master Credentialed Collaborative Professionals is at 33 which is approximately 10% of our membership. The CDT goal is for all of our members to either be credentialed OR working toward credentialing and this is my appeal to all of you: to begin the credentialing process, if not this year then in the next few years to come.
I strongly believe in doing everything I can to be the “best” in whatever endeavor I undertake. I also know that I am far from alone in that pursuit which is why I encourage you to achieve the highest recognition that a collaborative divorce professional can aspire to. It makes a difference: clients want to know what it means, and as more practitioners achieve this honor, clients will be seeking out those collaborative professionals who have worked to separate themselves from others. As a neutral, being a Master Credentialed Collaborative Professional provides attorneys with confidence in my skill set that they can then share with their clients in making a referral to me. It assures both attorneys and clients that I have worked hard to reach given standards of knowledge, practice and experience that demonstrate my commitment to the highest level of service. As such I have gained significant benefit from putting in the time and effort to attain this professional recognition.
I imagine there are many of you out there who believe you do not need to add one more validation to your credentials. While I may not personally agree, I do appeal to you to reconsider for the benefit of our professional advancement. The more professionals who go through the credentialing process the stronger the collaborative divorce community becomes and the higher the quality of service provided to the public. If you have become either a credentialed or master credentialed professional it assures a potential client that they are likely to receive a standard of care that has been vetted and reflects a different level of training and experience that your bait and switch colleagues cannot claim. For every professional who achieves the standard of excellence represented by credentialing, we are that much closer to establishing the credibility needed to ensure that this process does indeed become the preferred method of divorce in Texas.
So, please consider submitting your application for the 2020 credentialing process that has a deadline of September 30, 2019. If you are not yet ready to apply, I encourage you to begin the process NOW so you will be prepared when you have attained all of the requirements. If you need help, I know that every one of us who have gone through the process would be willing to assist since collaboration is what we all do best. So, just check out the list of credentialed and master credentialed professionals on the website for any assistance since we hope to see your name there soon.