Unfortunately as many as 50 per cent of the marriages in this country end in divorce. Divorce can produce a toxic fallout of anger, grief and anxiety in marriage partners and their children that can fester for years. Psychotherapy offers individuals or couples the help they need to navigate the divorce process with a minimum of emotional distress.

It may seem odd that a divorcing couple would enter therapy together, but this may be the best way for them to dissolve their marriage with as little animosity and vindictiveness as possible. A therapist can act as a mediator to help the couple resolve conflicts and can be a neutral voice on the subjects of financial allocation and child custody.

Although counseling is useful for couples, most people seeking therapeutic help when divorce is on the horizon are individuals. Some are only contemplating divorce and want to sort through their feelings and clarify a decision. If they have conflicts in the marriage that can be resolved with better communication skills or a different perspective on their partner’s behavior, they may be able to save the marriage.

Once individuals have gone through the process of divorce, they may feel relieved that is over yet still have feelings of anger, guilt and even fear about the future. Without therapy, they may carry these feelings with them for years, inhibiting their ability to move on and start the next chapter of their lives. Psychotherapy cannot only help them put these negative thoughts and emotions behind them, but teach them more about themselves so they can foster more positive relationships in the future.

It is important for parents to realize that their divorce may profoundly impact their children. Children may feel the same anger, guilt and fear as their parents with fewer coping skills to handle those feelings. Therapy can give children a safe place to express their feelings, and the therapist can help the child separate from the turmoil between the parents and maintain a sense of worth without taking on the burden of the divorce.

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