Divorce is unarguably one of the most difficult and emotionally fraught experiences one will ever encounter in their lifetime. It is like a death in many ways – the death of your relationship – and like with a literal death, there is a grieving process to endure.
People divorce for many reasons, including lack of commitment, infidelity, abuse that is physical or emotional in nature, communication issues, financial issues, or simply growing apart. When a marriage doesn’t succeed, the personal journey through the process (even for the partner who instigated the split or even if the split is very amicable) can be incredibly hard. This is where professional counselling can be invaluable.
What are some of the benefits of seeing a professional counsellor before, during and after divorce?
Learn to communicate more effectively
Communication issues are among the biggest drivers of relationship breakdown. Disconnection and distance created by poor or ineffective communication create bigger problems over time. Positive and effective communication between parties who are divorcing may not reverse the separation process (though in some cases it can), but it will certainly help the process run more smoothly.
Air grievances in a “safe” place
You will have plenty to get off your chest – anger, disappointment, heartbreak and most likely some negative commentary relating to your ex-partner. If you didn’t, there would possibly be no reason to divorce! Rather than expressing these thoughts and feelings to other family members or friends, who are feeling stuck in the middle or unequipped to deal with it, a counsellor offers a safe platform for you to air your grievances so that you can manage them in a constructive and positive way.
Help to maintain a rational outlook
You need to remain rational, despite the tsunami of emotions you’re experiencing, not only to get through the dissolution of your marriage but also to function in everyday life. This includes your work, your parenting and your friendships.
Managing your emotions in a constructive way is critical for your wellbeing and for your divorce outcome. A counsellor becomes a mental “partner” of sorts, to help you understand and deal with the feelings and then let them go.
Preserve your wellbeing
Everyone needs to feel a sense of peace to be both mentally and physically healthy. Emotional upheaval and stress can create physical impacts including headaches, stomach upsets and fatigue, and over time stress can cause chronic and significant health issues. It’s better to deal with things as they arise and before they impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Build your self esteem
Erosion of self esteem is a common consequence of divorce. A healthy sense of self-worth is crucial to coping with life’s challenges effectively – and to setting a healthy example to your children. Counsellors can help you restore your self esteem.
Learn to be single again
Ultimately, you need to move on with your life. By talking with a professional counsellor, you can process the emotions relating to the demise of your relationship and prepare for your future with a positive outlook.
Divorce counselling can be undertaken singly or as a couple. Children of the partnership can also greatly benefit from having counselling, to help them deal with the family and home changes being forced upon them. Trained counsellors who specialise in divorce counselling offer support in dealing with the emotional impacts of the process. It not only enables you to survive the journey through divorce, but to embrace the future with positivity.
MUST READ: Separation – where do I begin?
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