Divorce Counseling: What To Expect and How To Cope With One
Feeling lost in your divorce?
Navigate the difficult process of divorce with confidence and peace of mind by seeking professional guidance from a experienced divorce counseling therapist.
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 | intimacy, 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 dangerous 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.
Other frequently asked divorce questions
Marriage counseling does not lead to divorce the majority of the time. In fact, it is designed to help couples improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their relationship. Recent studies indicate that over 98% of marriages that complete the therapeutic process do not end in divorce.
Marriage counseling can be beneficial even if a couple intends to divorce, as it can help them communicate effectively and make the process smoother and less contentious.
Marriage counseling can be a good alternative to divorce if both partners are willing to work on their relationship and make changes to improve it.
The success rate of marriage counseling to stop divorce varies depending on the specific circumstances of each case, but studies have shown that couples who participate in counseling and complete the program have a 98% success rate.
While marriage counselors do not typically advise couples to divorce, in some cases, they may suggest it if the relationship is toxic or abusive. Addictions can really play a part in this decision as well.
In general, marriage counseling is significantly less expensive than getting a divorce. The average cost of a divorce is $11,300. Many divorces end up costing $25,000 or more. The average cost of 12 weeks of therapy is approximately $2,000. Not only is counseling significantly cheaper than getting a divorce, you are investing in your mental health as an individual and futures as a couple.
Online divorce counseling works similarly to in-person counseling, but sessions take place via video conferencing or phone calls. Participants can access counseling services from anywhere with an internet connection. Because of it’s convenience and security, many clients today prefer telehealth.
People should consider getting counseling after a divorce to help them process their emotions, build coping skills, and develop strategies for moving forward in their lives.
The end results of counseling in the cases of divorce vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. However, counseling can help individuals navigate the emotional and practical challenges of divorce and develop strategies for moving forward in a positive and healthy way.
Whether spouses are truthful in marriage counseling sessions can depend on a variety of factors, including their level of comfort with the therapist, their willingness to be vulnerable, and the nature of the issues being discussed. While some spouses may be completely honest in counseling, others may withhold information or present a skewed version of events. It is important for the therapist to create a safe and supportive environment where both partners feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. In some cases, the therapist may need to actively encourage honesty and open communication between the spouses. Ultimately, the success of marriage counseling depends on the willingness of both partners to be honest and work together towards a positive outcome.