Divorce and Separation
A decision to separate or divorce is a difficult step, no matter what the circumstances are. Though the prospect of ending a complicated relationship may come as a relief, there are many practicalities to consider. The legal and emotional process of divorce can become long-drawn and stressful, making this an emotionally disruptive event. Working with a good psychologist can help minimise the stress for the divorcing spouses and their children.
Effect of divorce on children
Divorce can be a traumatic experience for children and its natural for them to feel scared, confused and frustrated. It’s not uncommon for children to blame themselves for their parents’ separation. While most children adjust well over time following the divorce, a high-conflict separation can lead to lasting emotional distress and psychological problems in them.
Parents can do a lot to ease the Child’s transition and help them cope with the change. It’s best to keep any conflict from the Child and be available to make them feel safe and secure.
Effectively communicating the decision of divorce to the children:
The divorcing spouses need to plan on how to communicate their decision to the children. Before speaking with the Child, the parents need to be aligned on their plans post-divorce. The Child will have many questions about their living arrangements, school, friends, and holidays. While the parents may not have answers to all the questions, it essential for them to be prepared and aligned.
The initial shock of hearing the news may make the Child behave in strange ways. In such circumstances, it’s not easy for the child to express how they feel. They could go silent and not have any questions, or they may plead with the parents to reconsider. The parents must
- be available and be a good listener
- be consistent with their answers, and the transition plan, and
- make the Child feel safe and secure.
It’s crucial to talk to the Child’s school teacher and counsellor so that they are prepared to support the Child as required in the school.
How can Divorce counselling help?
Both Divorcing spouses and their children can benefit from speaking to a psychologist. This will help them deal with their emotions and adjust to the changes.
At Psynaptica, our Psychologists routinely work with divorcing spouses and their children. They help the divorcing spouses objectively discuss the issues and transition steps both for themselves and their children. Further, our Psychologist helps the parents effectively communicate their decision to the children while minimising the Child’s distress. Additionally, the Psychologist can work with the Child to help them learn skills to cope with the anxiety, change and uncertainty.
What happens during Divorce Counselling?
Divorce counselling is usually short-term counselling process. The Psychologist will initially meet with the divorcing spouses. If required, they may schedule sessions individual session with partners and their children.
During these sessions, they will work with the partners to understand the need and to come up with the objectives of this process. For example, they may support the couple to work through topics of disagreements and help communicate the decision to the children.
They may also schedule sessions with the Child to support the Child through the process.