Therapists hold the hands of their clients through divorces all the time. In fact, many people start going to see a therapist because they want to get a divorce and they need to feel validated that it's okay to move ahead and file their divorce papers. But how much do therapists know about the divorce process?
In many cases, therapists have never been through a divorce themselves, and although they can help their clients deal with the emotional aspects of divorce, they might not be able to help their clients with anything else. More importantly, they might not understand the psychological and emotional toll that the various stages of the divorce process could play on their clients.
Therapists don't get special training on divorce
Most mental health therapists complete four years of psychology undergraduate work and another two years of graduate school, but the majority don't take a single course about divorce. Nevertheless, divorce is one of the primary reasons that people go to see therapists in the first place. Many therapists who work with divorcing clients have never even been married themselves.
Work with a legal counselor and a mental health counselor
A mental health counselor can help divorcing people navigate the emotional earthquake that hits every aspect of their lives during their divorce proceedings. The psychologist or therapist can also assist the divorcing person to feel supported. The best and most experienced divorce therapists may also be able to provide their clients with resources so they can educate themselves about the various legal aspects of getting divorced; however, many of them can't.
Any therapist who has yet to educate him- or herself about Colorado divorce law and the best ways for couples to peacefully and cost-effectively bring their divorces to a close is doing their divorcing clients a disservice.
Nevertheless, even if an individual's therapist is ignorant to the divorce process, a qualified and sensitive legal counselor can pick up the slack. A legal counselor will ensure that the divorcing person knows more about what to expect during a divorce, manage the person's expectations, help him or her spend less and assist in resolving the process as quickly as possible.