Divorce counseling (also known as divorce therapy) is a relatively new concept in the mental health category. With one in two marriages ending in divorce in the United States, more and more people are turning towards counseling to seek help and advice.
It is a kind of therapeutic process for those who experience and continue to feel the pain and humiliation of divorce. By taking some counseling sessions one can be helped towards personal growth and adjustment, enabling them to move away from egocentricity toward altruism and a desire to contribute to the well being of their own and the society as a whole. In fact, it is an answer to the personal and cultural requirements of the divorcing couples.
When to get help from divorce counseling?
It is helpful whether you were married for four years or for forty years. However, most of the US couples are confused as when to seek help from experienced counselors. Well, you can start looking for a good and experienced divorce counselor when you think your marriage is not going in the right direction and you need someone to share your sorrow and grief. You can even consider yourself a good candidate for such sessions during the following conditions:
- When you simply can’t stop thinking about things related to dissolution of your marriage
- When you can’t concentrate on your future and make some future plans
- When you think you are going through the phase of depression
- When you are showing regular anger, aggression, breaking rules, unsuitable risk taking, talk of suicide and so on
- When there are signs of substance abuse, sleeping disorder and eating disorder
- When your anger and rage over this whole situation keep you from moving on with your life
- When you are going through a phase in life where the feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness are more prominent
- When you are at a complete loss of mind and you are frightened as you don’t know where to start
- When you can’t see a new life or a new beginning after getting divorced
Well, after attending some of the counseling sessions, you can see the difference in your attitude towards marriage and society and you can find yourself more attentive towards the life ahead of you. There are various benefits of such sessions and it can help you in many ways.
Some benefits of divorce counseling:
- It helps in understanding your reactions during the whole process and also after the issue of final decree.
- It helps in identifying your feelings related to your spouse, family, and the institution of marriage and so on.
- It helps you to share your reactions and express your feelings with others in the best possible manner.
- Counseling session also helps in finding support for the new challenges that you get to face during the divorce process and also after divorce.
- It prepares you to handle the reactions of your children towards your decision and help you to know how to handle such reactions.
- Also helps in identifying the coping skills you are using and also introduce you to new skills that might be useful to you.
- Experts also help to correct the distortions in your thinking process that is quite common amongst people going through such legal process.
- Help you to manage anger, frustration and loss and how you can use your energy in some fruitful manner.
- It also helps couples strengthen their communications and negotiation skills.
- Also helps couples to accept the end of the marriage, avoiding self-blame, guilt and anger.
- With counseling, you can begin to believe in yourself again.
- It teaches you on how and when to assert yourself for a better future life.
- It also helps you to turn a situation you may see as a failure into an opportunity for growth.
- Counseling also helps you to see and realize that you can be happy again.
- It also teaches self-reliance and self-care with the goal of increased independence via improved coping skills.
Well, overall such type of sessions help couples to end the marriage with dignity and respect. In a counseling session experts can ask you end number of questions related to alcohol and drugs, sleep, eating habits, hygiene and grooming, decision making, job performance and financial management. This is why you need to choose a counselor every carefully as you simply cannot work with some inexperienced one.
Tips to Choose the Right Counselor:
- Always choose a licensed mental health professional. Licensed experts mean they are authorized counselors and have the necessary education, qualities and experience to practice in the state where you reside.
- Choose a counselor with whom you feel comfortable. As counseling sessions will cost you time, money and energy, you need to choose one with whom who feel at ease and can share things related to your personal life without any hesitation.
- The counselor chosen by you must have specific expertise in dealing with divorce, parenting, adjusting to the new lifestyle and so on.
- It is advisable to choose a counselor who is willing to meet with both parents where children are involved. This makes sense as here the emotion of a child is involved and for a child both parents are important.
Divorce counseling for children:
The trauma during the whole legal proceedings and after it is more than what most people think that they can handle alone. Counseling is a boon to people before and after divorce and for couples with children. So, when there are children involved in a case, the impact of divorce is too bad on the emotional and mental health of children. This is one reason why experts advice that counseling is very important for children involved in divorce cases. Children who take part of counseling sessions after the divorce of their parents, develop less behavior problems such as dropping out of school, abusing controlled substances, engaging in high risk sexual behaviors, and developing emotional conditions. The emotions of children after divorce need to be handled with care and it can be best done with the help of counseling.
It is not necessary that you must go for counseling only after getting divorced. In fact, you can enjoy the benefits of counseling when the first thought of divorce strikes your mind. This can help you see the problems in your marriage and with the right advices you can even save your marriage.
To conclude, people can and do handle divorce alone but you can definitely handle the impact of divorce in a much better way with professional guidance. Divorce is a complex life transition phase that deserves care and attention. Divorce counseling can help you achieve this more fully and in a much shorter time frame. Good luck!