Divorce is invariably difficult. It can cause a lot of anxieties and depression. A therapist can provide tremendous support by simply listening and allowing a person to express all emotions honestly. A good counselor makes us feel “seen” and understood when we need it the most.
Our friends and family care about us and try to be there when we need them. But they are not experts, nor are they neutral parties. A therapist can help a client get to the source of the problem, which can help him or her from repeating mistakes the next time around. While friends can provide hugs and comforting words, a good therapist can provide us with the tools to make better relationship choices.
Myths Relating To Therapy
- Many people believe they won’t learn anything in therapy; they believe they are smart enough to deal with their own problems. Therapy has nothing to do with intelligence. The truth is, a therapist’s main aim is to provide us with a new perspective on how we are managing our life. Most of us can benefit from better choices.
- While therapy is perfectly acceptable today, there is still a bias against it. It can be regarded as a remedy for “crazy” people or for whiners. Nothing could be saner than seeking insight and a better life.
- There is a myth that therapy is all about traumatic and dysfunctional parents. Discussing one’s family is helpful, but even people from happy homes undergo divorce. Perhaps they were expecting too much from the onset. A therapist does not blame or focus on Mommy Dearest. He or she will work with you on understanding your past and changing and improving your present and your future.
How To Find A Therapist That Is Right For You
Counselors are individuals, like any other group of people. A therapist that has worked for your friend may not be the best choice for you. Sometimes, you need to try a few times before settling on a counselor with whom you feel comfortable. Many offer a free introductory session, and that is one way of evaluating how well you might work together. During this initial meeting, discuss your goals and your expectations from therapy.
You don’t settle for the first outfit you try on in a store. Why would you take on the first therapist that you meet? Shop around for the perfect fit. And don’t be afraid of asking a probing question about experience, area of expertise, and specialties, such as abuse or infidelity.
Ensure that your therapist is licensed and research the internet for any complaints. Anyone can call him or herself a counselor.
Ultimately, go with your feelings. If you feel comfortable about opening up with someone, he or she may be a good choice.
What To Ask Yourself Before Committing Yourself To A Therapist
Before making a final decision regarding a therapist, ask yourself:
- Does the therapist seem like a caring person?
- Do you feel understood when talking to the therapist?
- Is your therapist accepting or judgmental? Can you be yourself?
- Are you comfortable revealing your deep thoughts and feelings to this person?
- Does the therapist listen carefully without interrupting?. Does he or she hear your unspoken words?
Different Types of Counselors
Counselors can come in all shapes and forms. A few examples are:
- Psychologists have earned a doctoral degree and are licensed therapists.
- Social workers have a degree in social work and clinical training.
- Family or Marriage Counselors have a minimum of a master’s degree and have clinical training specifically in marriage and family counseling.
- Psychiatrists are doctors with medical degrees who specialize in mental health. They are the only ones in the group who can prescribe medicine.
While training is important, a good fit and a sense of comfort are primary for successful therapy.
The Length of Therapy
The length of your therapy depends on several factors. If you are merely trying to get through a divorce, therapy may turn out to be short-term. However, while talking with your counselor, you may uncover other issues that you would like to pursue further.
To get the most out of therapy, apply what is being discussed to your daily life. You can’t work on your mental health for an hour – or fifty minutes – a week. This is something you should focus on every day by paying attention to your actions and emotions. Therapy takes commitment.
You can incorporate healthy changes in your lifestyle daily by becoming more self-aware, eating better, exercising more, and indulging in necessary self-care. The therapist can guide you but probably won’t provide you with specific actions. Here, you must do the necessary work.
How Do You Know If Counseling Is Working?
You and your therapist should evaluate your counseling on a regular basis. Therapy isn’t a straight road with landmarks. The road to improvement can be twisted, misleading, confusing, and take a few wrong turns. Discuss any questions with your therapist.
Here are some signs that you are benefiting from counseling:
- You are achieving your goals.
- You are learning new and better ways to deal with problems.
- You are gaining insight into your behavior.
- You are feeling stronger and more empowered.
- Your relationships are smoother and more satisfying.
Signs that you are not benefiting from your particular counselor:
- You don’t feel comfortable talking about certain things.
- Your therapist doesn’t seem to understand your problems and issues.
- Your therapist does not listen well or enough.
Determining if you should get divorce counseling is a very personal decision. There is a therapy that may help you through the divorce itself; then, there is post-divorce counseling to help you build a new and improved life.
At any time during a divorce or even thereafter, it can be helpful to discuss issues and progress with a third party. Consider it a mental checkup.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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