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Divorce: When is a good time to get help?

If you don’t feel right in your body, you’ll see a doctor to improve and recover. Decisions about your mental health and your future are similar, especially when going through divorce. You know when something is wrong because it seems to take a lot of effort to achieve any kind of happiness (if at all). 

Therapy or Coaching? What is the difference?

Divorce pushes many buttons. Therapy (counselling etc.) look at stressors that come from our past, traumatic events and such that block us from moving forward. Therapy helps you get in touch with your feelings with understanding and empathy. Therapy can help you find peace with your past and therefore be at peace with your now. Therapy also helps with any mental health challenges you are having.

Coaching is forward focused. 

Coaching helps you think about your here and your future, helps you set goals and look at outcomes you want to achieve in the future so that you can move forward in your life. Coaching is dynamic. A coach will challenge you, challenge your thinking and your beliefs so that you can reach your full potential.

A coach can help you through the divorce and move on towards the new life, this can greatly benefit you and your family. 

It is possible to do both at the same time, depending on what challenges you are facing. You will know what you need and when you need it. However, if you feel that your past is so overwhelming that you cannot seem to let all the decisions about going forward in your life be guided by the events of your past, then you do need to consult a mental health professional.

Your lawyer is not your therapist, nor your coach and a therapist or a coach cannot give legal advice, so it is a good idea to have these professionals work with you during this difficult time. 

Divorce is a scary word for many reasons. 

First, it represents a major change in your life that can often resemble death. That’s because it’s basically relationship death.

Second, what many don’t talk about is how traumatic divorce really is for everyone involved and how divorce therapy or coaching can help you move forward as an individua

The break of a marriage is a big loss that is likely to cause a lot of worry and stress in your life. The types of stress include emotional, physical, psychological, financial and societal stress. The breakdown of a marriage needs to be managed carefully in order to come out stronger, healthier emotionally, physically and physically. Remember that you can get support during the divorce: you don’t have to wait until after the divorce to get started.

How can therapy help me? 

Divorce is one of the most draining events in a person’s life. Even if you’ve never been interested in therapy, you may want a safe space to process your complicated emotions. In that space, you can also learn positive coping mechanisms and gain the necessary tools to heal from anger, grief, or loss. It will also help you build stronger relationships in the future if you understand what problems you faced in your marriage and why it didn’t work. 

Seeing a professional can also save you money. In many cases, the only person you’ll talk to about the divorce is the divorce lawyer. Instead of spending time with a lawyer to deal with your feelings, your future and how best to go about it, see a therapist, get a coach or both.

What are the sessions like?

Therapy could include individual sessions, with your spouse, or as a whole family. Some offer separation counselling to take a last look at the marriage before the couple decides to separate on a pathway to divorce, and others offer divorce counselling in which the initiating spouse can tell the other spouse why their decision is irreversible and the other spouse is given an opportunity to express the feelings about the divorce and the loss of the relationship. 

Even if your past involves conventional couples therapy, seeking therapy with or without your spouse can be a helpful way to ease the divorce, build a future, and create a healthy co-parenting relationship going forward.

Do my children need therapy? 

If you think you need therapy, your children will probably need therapy too. Parents under the stress of divorce may need help to manage their children’s emotional state, and therapy or counselling can help children deal with the loss, guilt, hurt, pain, rejection, and confusion that come with divorce.

What if I’m not distressed about the divorce? 

This is a common question. Maybe it was even your idea. Does this mean you don’t need to get counselling or coaching? Not necessarily. 

Even if you are the one who initiated the divorce, even if you are ‘happy’ about the divorce, it is still a big change in your life. Especially if you are on your own.

You no longer have two incomes and you may have broken the family business or may even be fighting over the family business, money is suddenly disappearing from the business.

You need to make sure you have a place to live and can take care of yourself without the help of someone else. You are probably living alone for the first time in years. Big changes are happening and they can overwhelm you and stop you from seeing clearly, even if you know the breakup was the right thing to do. 

This can hit people in different ways, and even though you may feel like you’ve adjusted quickly, it might still be a good idea to talk to a professional. In this case, having a coach can objectively help you rebuild, look for ways to improve your income and who can help make sure you see things clearly. 

One thing you will find is that many coaches were pulled into their profession or their niche because of their own experiences with what they are coaching.

They’ve been through it and they understand the challenges you are facing.  

How long should therapy or coaching last? 

There is no rule about how long you should be in therapy or coaching. You will feel ready when you have put your past behind you. Some who have experienced gaslighting, violence, and other abuse from their exes may find that a longer stay in therapy helps.

Others may feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off their shoulders, and want to make plans to secure a healthier, more stable financial future or once they have reached their goals through coaching, then stop. It is about each person doing what is best for herself. 

How do I find the right Therapist or Coach?

Finding the right therapist or coach is important. You want to work with someone who is experienced with women going through separation or divorce. Most importantly, you want to work with someone you feel comfortable with and who meets your needs. Take time to ask your network of friends and those around you. Ask the question to other women who have had similar experiences on the Facebook group Separation, divorce & beyond. Do research, Google is your friend from that aspect. Be informed.

After COVID, it is a challenge to get an appointment, so if you can secure an appointment – take it. It will change your life for the better!!

While this closing note might appear self-serving, I would like to encourage you to not go through divorce alone. Yes, of course you’ll get through it – after all, many of us including me have got through separation and divorce without therapy or coaching. 
But at what cost? Why would you choose to take years to recover, waste all that energy, waste money and fall in the same trap as others on the way to rebuilding when it could take you only a few months and you could be living your best life?
When I tell women what I do, the majority of them ask me, “Where were you when I was going through it?”.
Even my mum…

To talk about what your need during this challenging time, get in touch with me.

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