Divorce Counseling

People typically share a general view of what the most stressful situations are in life such as the death of a loved one, divorce, moving, illness and major injury, as well as job loss.  Unfortunately, most all of us will experience one or all of these situations throughout our lifetime. Most people will seek a counselor as they are trying to save their marriage. However, what do you do if you have already decided to get a divorce? Considering how traumatic these situations can be, you should absolutely visit a therapist that specializes in divorce counseling. This will improve your quality of life while developing the skills and strategies to move forward.

What are the most commonly given reasons for divorce?

Research shows that constant conflict, lack of commitment | intamacy, addiction, abuse, infidelity and parenting or financial differences are  the most common. Often one of these reasons will lead to something like excessive arguing or unrealistic expectations, which eventually leads to a general disconnect or infidelity.  It’s not uncommon for the problem to start small and manifest itself into something much bigger eventually leading to a divorce. This is why it’s always important to keep open and honest communication going with your partner at all times. If possible, seeking some sort of couples counseling before it gets too late. 

Not all cases though are so black and white. Many times we seeing one partner working to save the relationship while the other has no regard for. In some of these situations, especially dangerouse situations evolving around abuse and addictions it’s pertinent you take the immediate steps to protect yourself. 

Whatever the reason, divorce can be a very challenging ordeal mentally and emotionally. Most people have the intentions that the person you marry will be the person you will spend the rest of your life with. So, when you find yourself facing a divorce, you may feel anxious, depressed, angry, lonely, and/or hopeless. You could even feel ashamed, resentful, and unsure of why things went wrong. Many also face a grieving process that consists of the five stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These feelings could last for months or even years if you don’t deal with them in healthy ways.

What to expect pre and post divorce counseling

Pre-divorce counseling is exactly what it sounds like. Counseling you do prior to or during your divorce. This is a very helpful service that will help you to identify a healthy way to end the relationship. This is especially helpful for those that have children. It will help you to find effective and healthy ways to communicate with each other and your children. You will likely learn techniques to better manage your feelings, address unresolved issues, understand the action steps to take post divorce.

Post divorce refers to once the divorce is finalized. For many it can be very overwhelming to wrap their heads around the fact their marraige has ended. Now life as a single person begins and that can bring new challenges. This where counseling can help you in handling the emotions, everyday living, moving on and helping your children to cope with the divorce. Trying to deal with a divorce especially after serious marital problems can be exhausting and make the already difficult situation much harder to handle. A study performed in 2009 found that couples who sought out relationship counseling felt the positive effects for years after the program ended. Pre and post divorce counseling will help you get through this difficult time.

Signs you need divorce counseling

Experiencing these very strong emotions could lead to destructive behaviors; for example, alcohol & drug abuse, volatile arguments, worry of how this will impact your kids promiscuous sexual relations and overspending on unnecessary items to help you cope. Your physical health could also begin to deteriorate further compounding the downward spiral. Although all of these symptoms are certainly appropriate to seek the support of a counselor, by no means is this an exhaustive list of reasons to do so. Remember if you are going through a divorce or recently had one, you’re not alone. Divorce counseling & therapy can help you as an individual learn healthy coping strategies.

What are the best coping skills?

Some tried and true healthy coping skills can be one or any combination of the items below. Some of these skills may help, and some may not, so it’s always a good idea to discuss and try multiple skills with your counselor to see what works for you the best. 

  • Support, Support, Support. It is so important not to isolate during this time. Isolation for most can lead to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Divorce is a drastic change for many, so the healthier support people you have around you the better. 
  • Acceptance, accepting the roller coaster of emotions that may come. It is not uncommon for a flood of emotions to happen without a moments notice. Whether they are sadness, fear, anxiety or pure rage and anger, these are all normal feelings to have, suppressing them will not be helpful. Recognize and accept the feelings, learning to work through them with your divorce counselor. 
  • Try not to battle with your ex. This can be very difficult for some as there can be so much built-up anger, hurt and frustration. Especially when you factor in children. However, this is not helpful, healthy, or productive in any capacity to engage in yelling and fighting. If the conversation cannot be calm and respectful, it is best to walk away from the situation until you can calm down and think clearly addressing the differences you may have. 
  • Be good to yourself. Whether that means trying new hobbies or rekindling passions for old hobbies. Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is very important, especially in times of stress like this. Take a walk, bubble baths, do yoga, or have lunch with a friend(s).  Using substances at this time is definitely not beneficial, it’s best to avoid drugs and alcohol altogether. 

 

 

In Closing

Remember, your counselor will not and should not make any decisions for you. A good professional divorce counselor should only be there to support, guide and help you and your ex | spouse come to your own conclusions. If you would like to learn more about this process or discuss your situation with a professional counselor, schedule a free consultation with Megan Corrieri.
 

Click below to check her availability.