Why Divorce Counseling?
Many clients and peers ask me repeatedly how I reconcile being a marriage and couples’ counselor with being a divorce therapist as well. Peers and clients often wonder if that is not an admission on my part that marriage and couples counseling does not work. I categorically beg to differ.
In the same way I believe every individual is unique, I equally believe that every relationship is unique. In the same way I believe that there are no “off the shelf” therapies that I can use to help every individual I see, and that I do not have the right to impose what I think is a solution on an individual, I also do not believe that there is one size fits all solution for relationship problems between couples.
Some couples come to counseling wanting to stay together, and I will help them have the best relationship they can have as a couple. In the same way, some couples’ come into counseling wanting to separate, and I will help them have the best relationship with each other as they separate and beyond. My job is not to tell people what they should do, my job is to help people explore what their feelings are about their options, and to be as prepared and positive about the choices they make as they can possibly be.
Furthermore, half of all first marriages end in divorce. It is therefore imperative in my mind to provide support to members of the community who might be stressed and suffering in long custody battles and complicated financial arrangements that leaves many depressed, anxious and out of balance.
Common Causes of Divorce
As a divorce therapist , I rarely ever hear couples pointing out a singular reason why they are getting a divorce. Most couples refer to a number of intermingled reasons for choosing divorce. With that in mind, some of the most common reasons a divorce therapist would hear would include…
Getting married at the wrong time (ex: too young)
Getting married for the wrong reasons (ex: being pregnant)
Getting married to the wrong person.
Marital indiscretions or infidelity.
Constant fighting and inability to communicate effectively.
A feeling in lack of equality in marriage (regarding money spent, chores, work)
Alcoholism or drug use.
Physical and/or emotional violence
Exaggerated and/or unrealistic expectations of marriage
Problems with managing finances and/or financial constraints
Our Approach to Divorce Therapy
As a divorce therapist, I like to explain to my clients that divorce therapy and recovery is a process. Adjusting to changes that occur as a result of a divorce can take time. Part of the process is often the recognition of newly divorced people, whether they initiated the divorce or not, that their lives and the lives of those around them have been profoundly affected by their situation. Worries about financial solvency, employment, or housing may affect them. Stress over losing friends or family members as a result of the divorce can also be difficult to deal with. Additionally, parents may be emotionally overwhelmed by guilt as they consider what effects the divorce may have on their children.
These issues can often be worked through during the recovery process. An individual in therapy may be more able to discover necessary coping techniques that can help in the establishment of a new life, and the individual may have an easier time developing a healthy perspective on the divorce. Divorce recovery therapy can also often provide people with a safe, encouraging, and empowering experience during what might, for some, be a difficult time.
What to Expect in Divorce Counseling
You aren’t alone! Some of the major themes that I will work with you on include:
Feeling the grief and loss of divorce
Understanding how you feel about your divorce
Self- esteem and personal strength and resilience
Getting to know yourself as an individual (as opposed to a part of a couple)
Finding the silver lining. What is good about your divorce? (As shocking as that may sound!)
Learning to be alone, and to like being alone (don’t confuse that with being lonely or isolated)
Dating after divorce, “the game plan”
Learning new skills and filling new roles