The Benefits of Counseling / Therapy for Individuals Navigating Divorce
Ending a marriage can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming experience. It can affect a person’s emotional, physical, mental, financial and social well-being. Many individuals decide to pursue therapy during the process of their divorce so they can have the support and guidance that they genuinely need. Often divorce therapy is done with individuals. Therapy can provide an opportunity to make sense and work through the myriad of emotions (grief, anxiety, fear, anger, depression, guilt, shame etc.) that one might experience during the process of divorce. One might experience these feelings separately or in combination and often they can become very overwhelming. Effectively understanding and managing one’s emotions can allow for healthier and more appropriate decision making and problem-solving throughout the process of divorce. Therapy can also equip individuals with coping skills and techniques that will help them more effectively navigate the traitorous terrain of divorce. Some of these coping skills may include self-care ideas, positive self-talk, communication skills, relaxation techniques, journaling and prioritizing.
In some situations it may also be appropriate for the divorcing couple to enter into therapy during the process of their divorce in an effort to work together effectively and cooperatively while dismantling their relationship. In this case the therapist can act as a mediator to help the couple make decisions that are healthy and fair and with minimal hostility and emotional trauma. Important issues that might be addressed in therapy with a divorcing couple might be parenting challenges, living situations and financial responsibilities.
Children can also be profoundly impacted by their parents’ divorce. Sometimes parents may be overwhelmed with their own emotional experiences related to the divorce that they may not be able to help their children effectively. Children can struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, rejection, abandonment, loss, and confusions. They may struggle with alliances to one or both parents or even worry that they are the cause of the divorce. Therapy for children during a divorce can provide them with a safe environment in which to share their feelings and experience genuine validation of these feelings. They can also learn coping skills and discover ways to communicate their feelings and needs to their parents in healthy and appropriate ways.
Therapy might also be worthwhile after a divorce has occurred to help individuals make sense of what they went through and to figure out how to put the pieces of their life back together. Therapy after divorce can allow individuals to better understand themselves so they can gain perspective, create healthier relationships and embark on a brighter future.