Going through a divorce is one of the hardest things you can experience. A divorce not only affects the two parties involved but also affects other family members, specifically children and in-laws. Family counselling is a method to develop, maintain and foster healthy functional relationships. People involved in a divorce may seek family counselling for various reasons:
Family counselling for couples
Divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in people. With that being said, family lawyers can recommend getting family counselling to help each partner be amicable about the situation.
Family counselling is helpful for couples trying to reconcile and also proves useful in assisting each party to move on successfully.
Family counselling can be therapeutic as it allows you to express your feelings and help you cope with the stress of the divorce. It allows both parties to express their issues and concerns in a calm environment. Being able to share and getting feedback from your therapist or counsellor gives you a feeling that you don’t have to go through the divorce process alone.
Family counselling can help each party to think rationally and fairly; this enables each party to approach decision-making with care. You are more likely to make better decisions about finances and your children when your emotions are under control.
Family counselling for children
When children are experiencing the divorce of their parents, they may become withdrawn, aggressive, depressed or even suicidal. It is not uncommon for children to blame themselves for their parents’ separation and, as such, to act out. They may even blame one party, adding more strain to the divorce process.
You may believe that a divorce does not have much to do with children or has little impact on them, but it can affect them directly. Their family dynamics have now changed, and they will have to adjust to spending time separately with each parent. They will also have to adjust to changes in the parents and the parental decisions that will be settled with your family lawyer. This can cause children to feel pressured to choose a side or stay neutral. Family counselling helps reassure children that they had no part in the separation of their parents. Through family counselling, any concerns or feelings of guilt with your child can be aired and dealt with by the counsellor. It is in these sessions that a therapist helps children understand what is taking place and why a divorce is happening.
Counselling helps to buffer the effects of divorce on children and aids with an easier transition into a separated family. You may ask yourself the question, “When is the right time to introduce the children to family therapy?”—the answer is as soon as children start to exhibit behaviours such as:
- Eating or sleeping disorders
- Compulsive behaviours
- Change in personality
- Sadness or depression
Even if your child or children are not displaying these symptoms, you should still consider including them in family counselling, as everyone can benefit. Your counsellor can provide you with literature and resources to inform you of the long- and short-term impacts of divorce on you or your children. Overall, family counselling creates good communication and provides strength and coping tools for family members; it also improves family problem-solving abilities.
If you are going through a divorce and seeking legal representation in the Oakville area, contact Carpenter Family Law. Our experienced family lawyer, Geoff Carpenter, provides professional support and helps you reach a final resolution efficiently and affordably. He can connect you with a family counsellor in the Oakville area to help you and your family through the divorce.