As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce” I had the pleasure of interviewing

Christina Vazquez, a psychotherapist with advanced clinical training in heart-centered hypnotherapy, as well as certifications in Reiki, EFT, and Law of Attraction. She has designed her practice to address individual needs before tending to relationships, specializing in stripping away fear, lies and excuses to help her clients discover their true, authentic self!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Growing up in an acutely dysfunctional family system pushed me into a path of life long personal development (i.e self -help books, retreats, therapy etc.).Secondly, in my earlier years of childrearing I became a personal trainer to have a flexible career as well as pursue my other passion; fitness. In working one on one with people, I found it was easy for them to open up to me and in turn share with them my journey and insight gained. From there it was a natural fit to obtain my master’s degree and become a passionate professional to influence others to grow and reach higher potentials of themselves!

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about “divorce”?

Many years ago I heard a woman say about the counselor of her heroin-addicted daughter, “But he was an addict himself! How can he know what he’s doing?” How? Because he’s been THROUGH it and now out on the other side living life again! The absolute BEST teacher of life IS experience. A professional can have all the book smarts in the world but experiencing and working through the struggle is a whole different level of learning. I have both the head and the heart knowledge, the reality with the empathy, the toughness with the tenderness. WE CANNOT LEAD OTHERS TO A PLACE WE HAVE NEVER BEEN OURSELVES. Clients can sense if their coach/therapist is the real deal!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

As I said I’ve been a lifelong personal development junkie, but I hit a point in my

professional career where I “knew” I had to go deeper. I was taking my clients strides ahead but that did not feel good enough to me. I didn’t want myself or them just managing their lives to survive but heal to thrive! Serendipitously I was led to train at the Wellness Institute to become an Advance Client Hypnotherapist. This training not only served to take me into my own levels of deep healing and growth, but now I can confidently do the same for my clients!

This modality was life changing for myself as well as many I serve.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I truly cannot think of anything “funny,” but I can tell you a lesson I learned earlier in starting in private practice as a therapist. NEVER ever assume because you can relate to your client’s experience that they feel or perceive it the same way you did/do. We all have unique conditioning, albeit similar, that colors our experiences in life. Therefore honor that and do not project your feelings on to your client! I did that many times as a green therapist which was a disservice to them. It is not our job to tell a client how they feel, just validate their experience.

If you had a close friend come to you for advice after a divorce, what are 5 things you would advise in order to survive and thrive after the divorce? Can you please give a story or example for each?

1) Clean up your past regrets, hurts and resentments before immersing in another relationship. I PROMISE you it will carry into your next relationship if you don’t. The next partners will suffer from the previous one’s transgressions.

2) Take an inventory. Write down all the things in hindsight you would have done differently and write down what you are CLEAR that does not align with you that you accepted or tolerated. BE HONEST. A relationship is a CO-creation even if you feel you were done wrong.

3) Get support …. a divorce recovery group, counseling, 12 step program or a coach. We heal best in healthy community.

4) DON’T WASTE THE OPPORTUNITY! Life is working for you not against you! Whether you believe me now or not this experience has shown up in your life to wake you up! Learn the lessons. move on and SHOW UP differently to not repeat a destructive pattern.

5) Lose all ideas of revenge, bitterness or slander! Trust me the high road will lead you to great self-love, respect and the best version of YOU! It is not your job to play God or judge and jury. Believe me there are higher universal forces in place for that 😉

What are the most common mistakes people make after they go through a divorce? What can be done to avoid that?

Besides NOT doing the above 5 steps, jumping into a marriage too quickly!

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources related to this topic that you would recommend to our readers?

· Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix Ph.D

· The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gotten

· The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that helped you in this work? Can you share how that was relevant in your real life?

“…we can only take clients no further than we are willing to go.” ~ Unknown

I came across this quote the first year of my career as a therapist. It pierced me. I realized then if I was going to be successful at helping others I was going to have to be willing to examine myself and go to the uncomfortable places to lead them confidently to higher ground. It would not be in integrity to do otherwise. I believe it is the only way to counsel compassionately.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Although I have not put pen to paper yet on my next book (plan to in 2019!), the glimmer of it has been there even as I was writing my current release The Uncherished Wife. My target audience is MEN. Statistics show that “gray” divorces (married over 20 years), initiated by women are the fastest growing population of divorcees. I have absolutely seen this to be true in my practice as well as in my own relationship. Men MUST wake up to the fact that emotional needs are REAL to a thriving marriage. Sadly, many of these men are still operating from an outdated model that evolving women are no longer tolerating.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

As I write this and as I wrote my book, I would inspire a movement of moving couples out of codependent relationships to interdependent ones. I am passionate about bringing more information to the masses on this because I know often this phenomenon is at the root of all struggling and/or unhealthy marriages. Our society is severely psychologically undereducated on the dynamics of a thriving healthy marriage looks like! The “ Me Too” movement is the rumblings that we are long overdue, but there is a long way to go from a win-lose marriage dynamic to a win-win.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I love to learn, expand and grow to new and better ways for the world to operate more authentically, ethically and kindly. The only way that will happen is to awaken society to a NEW conscious programing (i.e. spiritual or humanistic). This model is in our DNA and how we were “designed” but have “forgotten”. I would love to have a private breakfast with one of the great spiritual teachers (Pope Francis, Dalai Lama, Eckhart Toile, Deepak Chopra) in order to gain greater understanding how I could be more effective in my corner of the world to be an influential leader in this movement through the next of marriage.