Attorneys 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?” or “Only weak people need therapy, I can handle this alone,” or “I am embarrassed to see a therapist, what will it say about me?” or “I don’t believe in therapy. How can talking to a stranger help me, 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 find it difficult to move forward, or they are unable to manage the divorce process. Everything they do associated with the divorce process is governed or provoked by their mental or emotional state. 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 letting it be a civilized – and even an amicable – process.
Using Your Attorney as Your Therapist is Expensive
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 given the tools to develop coping skills, decision-making skills, self-awareness, gain more clarity and focus, be less confused, and 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 Therapy During Divorce Can Have Additional Benefits
Seeking professional help in times of emotional need is one of the most sensible steps you can 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 for your divorce-related anger or depression.
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 recent trend called “Collaborative Divorce“. 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 working with a mental-health professional.
All Members of a Divorcing Family Can Benefit from Therapy
In my professional experience, both parties greatly benefit from participating in therapy. Having a therapist listen to you and help you figure out what you’re feeling and why can provide invaluable insight: they can help separated couples resolve conflict and finalize their divorce, and they can help divorcing parents learn how to communicate more effectively with each other.
Children of divorce can also benefit from therapy to help them understand that they are not responsible for their parents’ divorce, and to work through issues that are holding them back.
You are not the only one who can enjoy the fruits of therapy: all the members of a divorcing family can!
Dr. Roni(t) Meshie Mai Lami is an internationally renowned expert on the psychology of money, success, and relationships. She is an internationally renowned psychologist with over 18 years of experience helping her clients effectively deal with challenges associated with the divorce process. www.drlami.com