The use of the “D” word can either be a cry for help or an announcement that a decision has been made. It either case, when the word ‘divorce’ comes up it could be time to make an appointment with a Marriage and Family Therapist who has been rigorously trained to address a broad range of problems that any marriage can face.
Marriage and family therapy may be able to help…
…if you are contemplating divorce;
…if you are in the midst of the divorce process; or
…after the divorce is over.
At any point in the process marriage and family therapy can be helpful, especially when children are involved. From communication issues to differences in childrearing practices or the trust issues of an affair, the challenges can be serious and even deadly to a marriage. Diagnosing the problems is only the first part of the process. The marriage and family therapist will work with everyone involved to determine the goals of therapy and to suggest options for working through them.
The key is that there are other options…
For divorce to be the only option, one or both partners have decided that they have exhausted all possible options. Certainly, it can seem to be that way at times; but, sometimes a fresh perspective from a professional can surface new alternatives. Furthermore, a marriage and family therapist can guide families in the change process and help them choose to repair the damage done, renew their commitments to each other and even thrive in ways never imagined before.
One of the things that sets marriage and family therapists apart is their systems approach to interpersonal relationships. While couples are often spending time trying to blame one another, the marriage and family therapist is looking to identify the behaviors and interpersonal patterns that perpetuate problems. This is a key to understanding and aiding individuals and families as they try to hold together in times of conflict and dissatisfaction. Once, when we discover what those issues are and we begin to address them in a healthy, mutually respectful way, couples often decide to give it another try.
When there are no other options…
Still, if a couple decides to go forward with a divorce a marriage and family therapist can often help them through the process in a way that is more mutually beneficial. When there are children involved, they can often work to help couples develop the skills and acquire the tools to help them work together to the benefit of their kids. If this is your present challenge, the website for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has some helpful advice about Divorce and Children.
Paying it forward…
Before spending thousands of dollars on lawyers and mediation, why not give it one last try and spend some time giving marriage and family therapy a try? What have you got to lose? Better yet, think of what you have to gain if you work it all out!
Speak one-on-one, confidentially, with a counselor. Contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see if we can partner together to work it out.