Attorneys share that throughout their work they have observed that many of their divorcing clients are reluctant to seek therapy despite their encouragement. They often hear, "I can deal with it on my own, why should I get help," "Only weak people need therapy, I can handle this alone," "I am embarrassed to see a therapist, what will it say about me," or "I do not believe in therapy, how can talking to someone will help anyway?"
How many times have people sat at their attorney's office venting about their difficulties? Some clients talk with their attorney about their anger, resentments or loneliness, others talk about their depression and difficulties, and how hard it is to make decisions as a result of it. They are those who find it difficult to move forward, or are unable to manage the divorce process. No matter what is the mental or emotional state they experience, everything they do associated with the divorce process is governed or provoked by it. As a result, and without conscious awareness, they sabotage the process, preventing the emergence of proper decisions, not allowing it to take its natural course, or to be a civilized, and even an amicable process.
When clients vent to their divorce attorney, they usually pay $200 to $700+ an hour, ignoring the fact that they can gain more and pay less to a therapist. Venting to a therapist will not end there! The client will be challenged and given the tools to develop coping skills, decision-making skills, the ability to better understand themselves, gain more clarity and focus, be less confused, work through their anger, sadness, depression, and whatever other emotions they may have.
Furthermore, how can individuals reach a proper settlement if they are caught up in their negative emotions (or drama)? It prevents making the decisions that will create a better future!
Seeking professional help in times of emotional need is one of the most sensible steps to take. Chances are that if you are getting help and your spouse raises issues in a custody dispute, the Judge will take into account that you are seeking help. This will be appreciated!
Imagine that a divorcing couple is able to be more civil with each other? Think clearly? Negotiate issues aiming at a win-win situation? How much energy, headaches, heartbreak, damage, time and money can be saved?
Nowadays there is a new trend that is called The Collaborative Divorce Process. In this process mental health professionals who are trained as coaches, work together with the couple, their attorneys and financial specialists, to reach a settlement that best serves both sides. The mental health professional helps the parties deal with each other in a more civil manner. Even parties who are not divorcing through the collaborative process can still benefit from the professional help.
In my professional experience, both parties greatly benefit from participating in therapy. You may be surprised to find out that only by having a professional there that listens to you and helps you figure out what you're feeling and why, provides great benefit. It is important to know that you are not the only one who can enjoy the fruits of therapy: all members of a divorcing family can!
Dr. Lami is an internationally renowned psychologist with over 18 years of experience helping her clients effectively deal with challenges associated with the process of divorce. Her services include Psychotherapy, Coaching, Evaluation (including Affluenza), Expert witness, Speaking and Consulting. She regularly writes on relationships and has been featured in the media. Visit the firm's website at drlami.com or universalinsights.net.