The ending of a marriage can be one of the most stressful events any person will experience. Even for the partner who chooses to leave, divorce is likely to bring up a lot of painful and difficult emotions, including: grief, guilt, anger, confusion, fear, shame, anxiety, and other intense feelings.

If children are involved, the stress level will likely be much higher. People sometimes seek therapy to help them decide whether to stay in a marriage or leave. Others may seek help in counseling to make the transition from marriage to being single again. Both these goals can be addressed either in individual or couple’s therapy.

Why Do Couples Get Divorced?

There are several reasons for why partners seek a divorce, and many couples cite a combination of reasons rather than just one single problem. The most common reasons people identify for getting a divorce include:

  • Lack of commitment, including marrying too young or marrying the wrong person
  • Infidelity
  • Excessive arguing
  • Inequality in the marriage, particularly regarding chores or care for children
  • Physical and emotional abuse, and/or abuse of chemical substances
  • Unrealistic assumptions about what marriage would be like, including insufficient preparation for the challenges of married life
  • Financial problems and disagreements about money

Therapy for Divorce

When a marriage ends, it can be emotionally traumatic for both partners. To cope with the difficult mental, physical and financial process of uncoupling, an individual may choose to begin therapy. Divorce therapy is usually done on an individual basis. A spouse who is going through a divorce may be dealing with feelings of guilt, fear, anxiety, depression and grief. Working with a therapist can provide an objective and rational perspective and give a person the necessary skills to navigate the turbulent waters of the divorce. People who rely on therapy during this difficult time benefit from learning more about themselves and see the life transition as an opportunity for growth and personal development.

Divorce may contribute or exacerbate certain mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or personality diagnoses. Many people perceive divorce as a personal failure. Therapy can help work through those feelings, make sense of the end of one’s marriage, and obtain a new perspective. Going through a divorce can be an opportunity to grow and become a stronger, wiser person – qualities that will serve us will in future relationships.

Who Can Benefit from Divorce Counseling?

Couples who are confident that they can no longer make their marriage work but would prefer to have an amicable divorce can definitely benefit from divorce counseling. This can be especially important for couples with children to consider divorce counseling, as a conflict filled divorce can lead to a great deal of trauma for children even several years after the divorce is complete and the two spouses have gone their separate ways.

Divorce therapy is also available for couples who are in the process of going through a divorce, as a means for working together in a healthy, constructive fashion to achieve the dissolution of the marriage. A divorce therapist acts as a sort of mediator, and sets guidelines to ensure that the divorce is achieved with minimal hostility and emotional damage. Therapists can address pertinent issues, such as living arrangements, financial obligations and parenting responsibilities.

Therapy can be critically important for children experiencing a divorce situation. Because their parents are consumed with their own feelings, they often overlook the devastating emotional state their child is in. Children may feel guilt, loss, pain ,abandonment, and confusion during the divorce. They struggle with loyalty and worry that they could be the cause of the divorce. If their parents are aggressive with each other, the child may feel even more fearful or to blame. Parents and children must get help for all of the issues that arise as a result of the divorce in order to process the emotions and move forward in a healthy and constructive way.

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Dealing With A Divorce?

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