If you’re about to get divorced, here’s what divorce counselling may look like for you.
Are you facing a divorce and experiencing a range of difficult emotions? You’ll likely be feeling some confusion over what the next steps should be, and uncertainty over what the future will look like.
Throughout your life, your divorce is likely to be one of the most significant experiences you will ever have, and maybe the most painful.
You can either decide to attend divorce counselling on your own or with you soon to be ex, depending on what your goals are. Divorce counselling sessions vary from person to person, couple to couple depending on what you’d like to achieve, you and your partner’s willingness to engage, what your time restraints are, and overall what works best for each of you.
Here’s generally what happens if you attend divorce counselling on your own
Your therapist will ask you what you would like the outcome of the process to be. In other words, are you set in your decision, or is there some possibility that the marriage can be salvaged? If you decide that you want to try and repair things, your therapist will help you figure out what went wrong and what repair strategies may look like to match your individual needs.
If you are convinced that you still want to proceed with the divorce, your therapist will then be able to:
- Provide you with some tools to help you manage any difficult thoughts or emotions that you may be experiencing.
- Help you understand what your partner is going through and how you can best support them, which will in turn help you in the long run.
- Help you to understand your partner’s mindset, as much as possible, so you can navigate the future for the best possible outcome.
- Help you fully understand the parts both you, and your partner played which has contributed to you both being in the position you are in right now. This way you are less likely to take the same issues into your new relationships in the future.
- Help you navigate practical things like living arrangements, child care responsibilities etc.
Here’s what divorce counselling may look like if you attend as a couple
- You’ll both be asked what you want to achieve from attending divorce counselling.
- Your therapist will attempt to establish if you both want the same thing (ie both wanting to leave the marriage or does one want to stay and the other want to leave?)
- If one wants to leave and the other stay, your therapist will help you both establish what caused the current state of the marriage and then illustrate what possible options are to move forward and out of the gridlock.
The best advice a therapist can give you is to be absolutely sure about your decision before you act. Many divorces were decided upon prematurely where the one who initiated the divorce regrets that decision later. Divorce counselling provides a safe place to thoroughly explore things so this doesn’t happen.
If you both attend divorce counselling and the outcome is that the divorce still goes ahead, you will both feel honourable and proud that you tried everything you could first. This usually protects each of you against blame and resentment that otherwise could present later on down the track.