She first gave the world the phrase ‘conscious uncoupling’ and now she has unveiled the ‘wasband’ – that’s former husband in plain English.
The unusual language comes from Katherine Woodward Thomas, the relationship therapist, from Los Angeles, who found fame as the inspiration behind Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce.
She is set to publish a book this week, Conscious Uncoupling, laying out her advice on how to successfully end your marriage.
Relationship therapist Katherine Woodward Thomas coined the term ‘unconscious uncoupling’
Gwyneth Paltrow famously announced her and husband Chris Martin would be ‘consciously uncoupling’
She also claims the idea of lifelong monogamy is out-of-date, saying it emerged 400 years ago and ‘had a lot to do with the life conditions of the time – many people died before the age of 40′.
The mother-of-one argues in the book that even amicable divorces fall short of conscious uncoupling, where the ex-partners stay as one family unit.
She said that since her own divorce, family occasions involve her daughter, her former husband, his daughter from his first marriage, his former wife and his brother.
Mrs Thomas achieved public notoriety after Miss Paltrow, 42, announced her split from Martin, 38, on her lifestyle website Goop in a blog post titled ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ after her teachings.
The Hollywood star wrote in the message last year: ‘We are and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we ever have been’.
The singer Alanis Morissette, 41, is also a follower, despite being ‘very happily married’.
Miss Paltrow’s divorce from Martin has been famously friendly, with the pair often seen socialising together and taking joint holidays with their two children, Apple, 11, and Moses, nine.
The actress has since tried to distance herself from the term conscious uncoupling, claiming it was an editor at Goop who decided on the announcement’s title.
Katherine has now come up with ‘wasband’ for a former husband and is releasing a book
On the celebrity split that found her fame, Katherine told The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine: ‘Gwyneth wasn’t aware that I existed [but she] is living by those principles.
‘To see people be warm, respectful and inclusive, to go out of their way to create a sense of family – that’s important.I have a lot of respect for her.’
She said the public scorn on the phrase didn’t affect her.
Katherine said: ‘I never felt offended.”Conscious uncoupling” does sound a little California-ish.
‘I can laugh at myself. I also think the phrase opened up a new way of ending a union that fascinated everybody – and that’s what I’m more interested in.
‘I felt really grateful.It was a great blessing; it brought a lot of visibility.’
Conscious Uncoupling is not Mrs Thomas’ first book, coming after The One, in which she describes how to find the perfect partner, based on her experiences with news broadcaster Mark Austin Thomas, from who she is now split.
Mrs Thomas was born in Niagara Falls in 1957 and said her own views on relationships have been shaped by her parents’ difficult divorce.
She said: ‘No-fault divorce didn’t exist.If you were going to get divorced, you had to attack your spouse.
The therapist believes divorce should not break the family unit and both partners should still see each other
‘That’s what got my parents of on the wrong footing.My father accused my mother of being an unfit parent to try to get custody, [and] she was accusing him… It created this deep animosity’.
She was determined not to follow the same path and said of the end of her own marriage: ‘It was overwhelming, very humbling.’
‘I had embraced a philosophy that my life was about becoming a more mature, more loving person.
‘So the decision to get “un-married” had to be brought back to that: how do I get un-married in a loving way?There wasn’t a lot of modelling for it in our culture.’
But this was only after a series of bad breakups earlier in life, one saw her hair fall out and another left her lover haunting her dreams for years.
She said: ‘Do not attack the other person.
‘Get out of the minutiae.Pull the lens of the camera back, to two years from now, five, 10, 20′.
She added: ‘Even an amicable divorce does not mean you operate as one family system.
‘It means we have two families, and the children go back and forth.And maybe they eat fast food in one, organic in the other and never the twain shall meet.
‘Even if the parents are civil, it puts the children in a state of constant loss.
‘It’s asking them to be mature about something I don’t think it’s their job to be mature about.
‘It’s our responsibility as grown-ups to behave in ways that generate cohesion.’