It begins with a process called "conscious uncoupling."

By Real Simple
Updated October 09, 2015
Jim Franco

When Gwnyeth Paltrow and Chris Martin divorced in early 2014, Gwenyeth announced the split on her website with the title “Conscious Uncoupling,” referring to a five-step method designed to help couples have a gracious, blame-free divorce.

But although the term went viral, Gwnyeth didn’t coin it herself. Conscious uncoupling was born as an online course in 2011, launched by marriage and family therapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, who is the author of the book Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After.

But it's not just a glossy divorce process designed for wealthy celebrities. In this week’s episode of “The Labor of Love,” editor Lori Leibovich talks to Katherine about how any couple can benefit from the process—even those battling with fear, hurt, and anger.

Katherine discusses why we're hardwired to be attached to our partners, and what happens to our emotions when we go through a tough breakup. In fact, she and her former husband have worked to become an expanded family—rather than a broken one, like the one she grew up in.

Listen to the full episode below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Real Simple podcasts on iTunes.