If you’re going through a divorce, it very well may be one of the hardest trial’s life brings to your doorstep. With trying times comes the commonly asked question: what are you doing to cope and facilitate emotional health?
Therapy has a way of gently and slowly tearing down that protective wall we’ve all so meticulously constructed, extending its healing touch into the dark edges that we’ve desperately tried to conceal, and reminding us that we’re a normal person with challenges to overcome just like the rest of the world. There is absolutely no shame in going to therapy, quite the opposite actually—because of this, people are slowly starting to see the stigma associated with counseling fade away. While people may have historically seen therapy as a shameful confession of something being “off”, public opinion is now praising the prioritization of mental health—truly, it’s empowering! Being willing to tackle your trials head on and take control of your mind and emotions is one of the bravest and most powerful things a person can do, and such an integral part of growing and overcoming difficult hurdles.
Divorce can lead to a multitude of burdensome emotions, such as anxiety, depression, anger, feelings of abandonment or failure. The psychological impact will vary from person to person, but rarely anyone walks away from the process completely unscathed. Managing your emotions and staying mentally healthy is crucial for not only your mental health, but can also lead to a better divorce outcome. Being volatile, lashing out, or refusing to be civil and work with your ex simply does not benefit anyone--it burns bridges, inflates legal fees and, and if you have children, can complicate their lives and result in poor custody arrangements.
Being able to stay level headed and understand the root issues that are surfacing difficult emotions is hugely important during a divorce. No matter how emotionally aware you may think you are, it can be difficult to see outside of our own scope of understanding. Counselors and Psychologists are trained in helping people find not only a different, healthier perspective, but also better understanding of what led to the falling out of their marriage, and steps that can be taken to ensure better success with their next relationship. Don’t get stuck in the common thinking that you’re so self-aware that you don’t have a need for growth—you’d be surprised what revelations can be discovered when we invest in better understanding the “why” behind our actions and words.
It’s not uncommon for children to struggle with similar difficult emotions as their parents go through a divorce, such as abandonment, guilt, confusion or loss. These feelings can be amplified if their parents are outwardly hostile and aggressive towards each other. They can struggle with feeling like they’re the cause of the divorce, like they’re not wanted or prioritized by their parents, or like they have to choose between two parents who they love equally. If you recognize that your child is struggling, acting out or shutting down, going to Family Therapy is a way to work through those emotions as a family unit, with a therapist asking pointed questions and facilitating healthy conversation.
If you are going through a divorce and recognize that you or your children are wrestling with deep sorrows, don’t let pride stand in the way of the healing and growth that can be accomplished through therapy. While the support of friends and family is invaluable, advice from those sources can often be biased. A therapist offers a safe, unbiased and protected space for you and your children to work through what may be the hardest time of your life.
If you’re in need of a divorce counselor, Pacific Cascade Family Law works alongside some of the best in the Portland and Vancouver area. We are here to offer not only legal support, but whatever resources you may need to get you through this time. Call us today at (253) 227-0200—we are here to help you create a better tomorrow.