The need for counseling does not end after you and your spouse opt for divorce. The stress of the process combined with the emotional trauma of leaving a partner can leave you vulnerable to mental health issues, particularly if you have a history of depression. A Clinical Psychological Science study found that nearly sixty percent of previously depressed individuals fell into a depressive episode again after experiencing divorce.
Choose Your Counselor Carefully
From custody battles to complex property division, divorced clients face several unique concerns. These issues are best addressed alongside a therapist who actually understands the divorce process and how it relates to mental health. Look for therapists who specifically mention divorce and separation as specialties. An experienced therapist with a history of working with divorced clients can offer targeted advice, which you can promptly implement for a faster recovery.
Seek Therapy With Your Ex-Spouse
Individual therapy is valuable, but depending on your relationship with your ex, group therapy may prove even more beneficial. Prior to divorce, your therapist can help you develop valuable communication skills to be used in mediation. Later, your therapist can provide much-needed guidance as you and your ex coordinate your custody and visitation schedule or deal with other lingering concerns.
Seek Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
If your current issues clearly stem from your divorce and not a pre-existing mental health concern, you may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a problem-solving approach to counseling that typically lasts between six months and a year. CBT can help you establish more positive, balanced emotional reactions to the stressors of divorce.
Don’t Be Afraid to Leave the Wrong Therapist
No therapist can possibly meet every client’s needs. Due to differing theories and personality types, some therapists and clients will never work well together, no matter how hard they try. If you disagree with your therapist’s approach or feel uncomfortable discussing your divorce, consider finding another therapist.
Therapy can significantly reduce the risk of post-divorce depression while improving your working relationship with your ex. It’s worth your while to seek out and establish a strong relationship with a highly-regarded therapist who understands your situation and cares deeply about your wellbeing.
Your lawyer is not a therapist, but the right Washington, D.C. attorney can resolve some of your current stress and anxiety by guiding you patiently through the divorce process and letting you know exactly what you can expect in mediation or divorce court. Contact DiPietro Family Law to learn more.