If you and your spouse are at a point in your marriage where you have issues that may not be able to be resolved, or if you’ve already decided to get a divorce, divorce counseling or post-divorce counseling should be considered to help you both with successfully coping with the situation.
Post-divorce counseling is a form of therapy dedicated to those who are actively going through or have recently finalized their divorce. During these times, it can be quite daunting to wrap your mind around the fact that your marriage is truly over and to begin taking your new life as a single person in stride.
Potential Benefits of Divorce Counseling
It is not divorce itself that negatively impacts children, it’s how parents manage the conflict. There are many instances in which children benefit both in the short-term and long-term when their parents make the decision to end their marriage. By opting to attend divorce counseling, you can discover ways to minimize any negative effects your divorce could have on your children:
- Learn techniques to better manage negative feelings and resolve conflicts, which is particularly important if you have children to co-parent
- Guidance as you consider the option of divorce and make a decision about the future of your marriage (if you haven’t decided yet)
- A time to address unresolved issues before going your separate ways, giving closure to both of you and providing a positive foundation on which to start the next chapter of your life
- The chance to better understand what went wrong in the relationship and how to learn from it to make future relationships more successful
- An outside perspective to ensure that both sides of the issues are being heard and that no one feels as if their opinions and feelings are less important
- Help with understanding that life goes on post-divorce and tips for transitioning into your new life
Potential Benefits of Post-Divorce Counseling
- Managing Emotions After a Divorce: Once the dust has settled on divorce proceedings, you may find that you need some help coping with the turmoil of your emotions that follow and this is where post-divorce counseling comes in. It is not uncommon for feelings of regret, guilt, and shame to set in and if these are not dealt with in an appropriate manner, then there is the tendency for them to turn into anger and self-hatred. Learning to love yourself and the new situations of your life will take time but it will all be well worth it in the end. This is especially true if you have children. Remember you must take care of your emotional and psychological needs in order to be able to offer your children the best support possible as they too try to cope with life after your divorce.
- Dealing with Every Day Living After a Divorce: Once your divorce is finalized, it will be time to get back into the routines of daily living. Most likely, many of those routines will not be the same as when you were married. Perhaps, you moved out of your previous home as a result of the divorce and must now become accustomed to a new route to work or different places to go grocery shopping. If you moved to an entirely new town then there will be the issue of new school environments for your children and a new job for yourself. If you are co-parenting, it could mean learning how to fill in the time you now have completely to yourself while your children spend time with your ex-spouse. Post-divorce counseling can offer advice on how to handle these new situations and any anxious feelings which accompany them.
- Moving on as an Individual After a Divorce: No matter how long your marriage lasted, it was a time in your life when you were part of a team. Someone else’s opinion and input mattered when it came to your decision making. Now, this is no longer the case and you have to get back into the mode where you are an untethered individual. The idea of going out on your own can be somewhat scary. Things like dining alone or seeing a movie by yourself, as well as going out with friends as an individual and not as a couple can fill you with apprehension. There are also the issues of dating and intimacy once you are ready for relationships of that nature again. The anxiety can be so great that each time it causes you to choose to stay home instead. Post-divorce counseling can provide the encouragement you need to start putting your social life back on track. A big part of managing it all is learning to like the new single you and embracing the many benefits which come from having only you to answer to when it comes to where you go and what you do.