Managing the Emotional Challenges of Divorce: Good Therapy Can Help

Anyone who’s been through a divorce–or been the sounding board for a friend who’s going through it–knows that there’s a lot of emotional stress involved. The word “crazy” comes up a lot–for example, in the new romantic comedy about divorce, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and the popular book Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life. It’s especially hard if the divorce is high-conflict, but even if it’s relatively peaceful, people in the midst of divorce often find themselves depressed, angry, and having trouble functioning.

Many people dealing with the emotional challenges of divorce need some support during the “crazy time,” and a good therapist can make a big difference. Finding one, though, can be a challenge–most of us don’t know much about how therapists work or what the difference is between a good and a bad therapist. One excellent resource is GoodTherapy.org, which includes basic information about different types of therapy and how the process works, as well as blog posts and resources for finding a therapist who will be a good fit. Mental Health America is another good resource for information and referrals, including resources for low-cost therapy.

In addition to individual therapy, a relatively new field called “divorce therapy” provides help for divorcing couples who are parenting together–it’s not the same as couples counseling during a marriage, which has the goal of repairing the relationship, but instead focuses on supporting parents as they learn to work together and communicate more effectively for the good of their children.

Therapy may not be for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, don’t hesitate. Divorce is hard, but help is available. I’ll do a future post on therapy for kids during and after divorce.