Divorce Counseling: Benefits of Pre and Post-Divorce Therapy

Divorce counseling

The pain that is attached to a divorce will only subside once the proceedings are done with, and you begin the process of starting a new life. In relationships where partners can’t seem to have one civil discussion, the process of getting a divorce may be the worst experience they’ve ever been through. With the help of divorce counseling, even the most seemingly worst of couples can benefit tremendously. 

Sometimes, not being able to determine the root cause of animosity might lead to continued fights, and the only way out seems to be divorce. It’s sad when people feel they have to resort to divorce if the relationship could have improved with just a little bit of care given to it.

When couples seek divorce counseling, these technicalities are assessed and discussed. If you’re trying to understand the benefits of pre and post-divorce counseling, we’re here to tell you all you need to know, with inputs from experienced lawyer Tahini Bhushan who specializes in gender violence and sexual harassment cases.

The Benefits Of Divorce Counseling 

Divorce therapy, separation counseling, or any other form of therapy for that matter, aims to give you the skills and confidence needed to tackle the problems that you are facing and make the entire process a lot smoother. 

The point of pre-divorce counseling is not to persuade you out of divorce; it is to help you both understand what’s best for you individually and as a couple, and how to make sure you get what you need. 

Speaking on the subject, Tahini tells us that counseling can help couples achieve clarity and be clear about their decisions “The counselors usually just want to figure out whether there is something salvageable in the relationship. And usually, people who undergo therapy want to figure it out themselves as well.” 

“In cases where there’s been no violence, mediation counselors can help certify if the marriage is broken beyond repair or not. By meeting with both partners separately and together as well, they can even help the couple reach common ground on the multiple technicalities attached with a divorce,” she adds. 

Given just how stressful divorce tends to be, having some stress-management tricks up your sleeve during those sleepless nights will improve your overall wellbeing. Post-divorce counseling can help you get back on your feet after your divorce, and help you find a new life. If you’re still not convinced, let’s break it down and talk about some of the benefits in detail. 

Related Reading: Life After Divorce – 15 Ways To Build It From Scratch And Start Afresh

The Benefits Of Pre-Divorce Counseling

As Tahini tells us, in cases without violence, pre-divorce counseling is actually legally mandated for couples who apply for a divorce. Some couples may opt for marriage counseling before they’re even thinking about a divorce. 

More often than not, this turns out to be a smart decision. When a trained professional and more importantly, an impartial third party is determined to diagnose what’s best for you, it can help both of you tremendously. Some of the benefits of pre-divorce counseling are as follows: 

1. Understanding the root cause of your problems

One of the most significant benefits of going to separation counseling before your divorce is the possibility of understanding exactly what it is that’s causing a rift between the couple. In some situations, couples often change their minds about divorce and end up getting back together, stepping into a healthier relationship.

Tahini says, “The parties figure out what’s wrong, so they don’t solely blame each other. They can figure out if there was a third party involved or if the issues lie with each other. It makes it much easier for them to rebuild their relationship for the future.”

By no means is it an easy process, and divorce counselors will never push the couple to not opt for a divorce. They will only show you that it’s possible for you to put your differences aside, find a compromise, and work on your marriage. The rest, of course, is up to you.

2. Pre-divorce counseling helps with better communication

Divorce counseling helps with communication
Divorce counseling may help with communication

If yours is the type of relationship that has been on the brink of divorce for many years, there might be a significant amount of animosity and anger, which leads to inefficient communication. A civil discussion might have become a thing of the past long ago, and you can’t see eye to eye on anything.

In such cases, divorce therapists will help you establish better communication with your partner so that the procedure of going through a scrupulous divorce doesn’t seem impossible to attain. If you’re currently struggling with a similar dynamic and are looking for divorce counseling, Bonobology has a multitude of experienced therapists willing to help you get through this difficult time in your life.

3. Better planning for divorce

Even the most mutually consensual divorce is bound to bump into some roadblocks along the way. Often, the two parties may not consult each other and solely talk to their divorce lawyers. With pre-divorce counseling, people can better plan out things so that the process isn’t an ugly one. Since there are a lot of legal aspects involved in a divorce, planning becomes a vital part of it, and divorce counselors will help you do just that.

Tahini explains the difficulties of a contested divorce: “A contested divorce can easily last for 5, or even 10 years. If a counselor can convince both parties to put their issues aside to fast track the divorce, a mutual divorce can be done in just six months.”

“Once both partners can discuss things like finances and undergo a mutual divorce, the courts are pretty happy as well. Three hearings and a smooth divorce can be accomplished as well,” she adds.

4. Family counseling

Divorce counseling for families that have children in the mix can help both the children and the parents go through the entire process more easily. It comes as no surprise that divorce is hard on the children, and perhaps, with a bit of divorce counseling, parents may be encouraged to make things better for them.

Related Reading: Should You Get A Divorce? – Take This Divorce Checklist

5. You can be sure if you need a divorce or not

A decision as big as a divorce cannot, and must not, be taken hastily. Especially if one of the parties feels there’s much to be worked out in their relationship. With the help of divorce counseling for couples, you can make sure that you’re 100% on board with whatever decision you make.

If a divorce is taken while there’s still some doubt, it can make things a lot worse for both parties involved. If the option of divorce is put to bed without working on the marriage, the conversation is bound to come up again. Being sure of your decision will help in the long run.

Divorce counseling before actually filing for divorce, can help you in a number of ways when you’re on the brink of a major change in your life. Be it to help you with the divorce itself, or even to help you both work on your marriage, the benefits are there for everyone to see.

The Benefits Of Post-Divorce Therapy

Once an informed and civil decision has been made to opt for a divorce, divorce counseling can still help you in numerous ways. The process of separation and divorce doesn’t just end when you’re both divorced on paper. The obligations/personal struggles/familial struggles can go on for a much longer period. 

Hence, post-divorce counseling is a very viable tool people use to help them get accustomed to this new way of life they might find overwhelming in the beginning. Some of the benefits of post-divorce counseling include: 

1. Individual therapy for a better quality of life

It’s understandable that once the divorce is final, it may seem like your life has taken a turn for the worse. You might feel depressed/hopeless and stressed. To help you get back up on your feet again, post-divorce counseling can come to your rescue.

By giving you the mental tools you need to find your next step in this new life you’re now living, your quality of life can improve dramatically. Depression is a very real threat post-divorce, and avoiding/managing it can literally save lives.

Tahini agrees on the efficacy of individual post-divorce therapy, saying, “Apart from clients, I also have a friend for whom individual post-divorce therapy is working. Marriage, as an institution, is treated as a big deal. Once you suffer the pain of a divorce, it’s not easy to let go of it. They might say they’re okay, but they’re actually not. Individual therapy can help people get back on their feet.”

2. Post-divorce counseling can help handle the legal issues

Alimony, living arrangements, child support, child custody, property matters, it’s no surprise that divorce brings with it a plethora of legal aspects you need to deal with. While divorce lawyers can help you with most of them, the stress that may be induced as a result will not be tended to by lawyers.

Tahini says “Usually, none of the parties are happy with the financial aspects of the divorce. Counseling can help them reach common ground and help them cope.”

This is where divorce counseling comes in, to help you deal better with the legal issues that must be taken care of. When a divorce with mutual consent is executed in the smoothest way possible, you won’t worry about spending a fortune on your divorce lawyer.

3. Post-divorce therapy for families

Your marriage may have ended, but your job as a parent still requires you to be on your toes. If you’ve had a child with your ex-partner, post-divorce counseling can help you navigate just how you two are going to be good parents for your child.

Divorce affects children immensely. They might feel as if their life is disrupted now, so to make sure their upbringing isn’t hampered because of your divorce, learning how to co-parent after divorce can do wonders for them when they still realize that they are your priority.

Related Reading: 10 Things To Do When You Are Thinking About Divorce

4. Learning to live alone

Especially after a long marriage, it can come as a shock to many, just how hard it is to live alone after a divorce. When people have been married for years or even decades, it becomes difficult for them to keep hold of their individual personalities outside of their marriage. For the longest time, they are seen as ‘a couple’, two parts of a whole.

Divorce counseling can help you find yourself outside of your marriage and help you transition into living alone. The decision to opt for a divorce was taken keeping your best interests in mind. Making sure that translates into your life after divorce is vital for mental well-being.

Tahini says, “speaking from what I’ve seen, women don’t take to being divorced, too easily. In 90% of the cases, the custody of the child is given to the mother, and being a single mother isn’t easy. Therapy helps the mother gather her strength and work on her issues.”

5. Planning for the future

Venturing into the “dating world” after a divorce may seem extremely odd, to the point where you may even be dissuaded from the whole experience altogether. While a divorce therapist won’t tell you what to say on your date to impress him/her, they can give you a sense of self-worth and confidence that is needed for you to try to find a new partner again.

“Our society isn’t kind to single people, and divorcees are seen as, “Oh god, s/he’s divorced.” Therapy is something a lot of people need to undergo, it’s just that they might be refusing to take it,” says Tahini, about how post-divorce therapy can help people deal with depression and mental health challenges.

Even if you wish to spend the rest of your life alone, divorce counseling can help you get used to that, as we mentioned earlier.

The benefits of divorce counseling don’t just end with making the legal process easier, they help you manage stress, anxiety, anger, and any other overwhelming emotions you may have. Separation counseling will make sure a pointlessly ugly divorce doesn’t come into play, and God knows nobody’s looking forward to an ugly divorce. If you’re looking for effective divorce counseling to help you both during these troubling times, Bonobology has a wide range of experienced therapists who will guide you every step of the way.

FAQs

1. What do divorce counselors do?

Divorce counselors can help make the process of divorce a lot smoother. They can help with establishing clear communication with your spouse and help you get back on your feet after your divorce. Divorce counselors will assist you with dealing with the stress and emotions that are part and parcel of the divorce.

2. Should you do therapy before divorce?

Yes, the benefits of pre-divorce counseling speak for themselves. You will be able to ascertain with complete confidence whether you really require a divorce or not. It will establish constructive communication between the partners and the planning of the divorce will be made a lot easier.

3. Can counseling really save a marriage?

Counseling will only save a marriage when a good therapist sees that there is potential for it to be saved and if both partners are willing to save it. By improving communication between both partners, understanding the root cause of frustration, and working on things together, counseling really can save a marriage.

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