The term “divorce recovery” describes the journey that individuals take as they continue to move forward from their former relationship. There is no specific timeline for an individual’s divorce recovery. Part of the individual work in divorce recovery for some; is looking at how they learned and developed certain adaptive behaviors that helped them cope and get their needs met growing up and into adulthood. That adaptive behavior may or may not have become maladaptive behavior in their adult relationships. In our sessions, we’ll take a look and see what relationship behavior you want to enhance and what parts you want to stop using. I have also found that my training as an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist is essential in helping those clients where some issues are related to intimacy, sexuality, gender concerns, etc.
Moving forward in a healthy way, post-divorce is essential. As clients move forward, they also may find times when they are grieving parts of their former relationship, and grief is processed in stages. Very few people can skip these “peaks and valleys” of the divorce recovery journey; as they are essential in order to process the ending of the relationship. If they have children, that grief process runs deeper.
Divorce Recovery Support Sessions
Divorce recovery can feel like being caught in a riptide when you least expect it. One moment clients are feeling hopeful and then a wave hits them with a past memory and they are lost in the riptide of emotions. Sometimes, it’s something like Facebook sharing a memory and then emotions are swirling again. Divorce recovery support sessions are to help you develop the skills to get out of that riptide safely and to develop the emotional first-aid skills to rebalance.
My office is a judgement-free zone and a safe space available to all religious and/or cultural beliefs, genders, all forms of sexuality, as well as monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. Some clients have never married and are coming in for the same reasons as clients who have divorced.
Self-Care is An Essential Part of Divorce Recovery
Self-care is imperative to remaining healthy through this difficult process.
Initial Steps in Self-Care:
Set a goal to become less reactive when triggered by issues surrounding separation and/or divorce, and/or co-parenting.
Work to take small steps to develop a regimen of self-care; where you have certain positive, nurturing things established ahead of time, which repeat often, instead of waiting until you are in crisis or are triggered by the person(s) you were formerly in a relationship with.
Share this self-care regimen with your children, including your adult children, in order to give the family a much-needed boost during this stressful time.
Anger can build as a result of unmet needs, trust issues, etc. Divorce Recovery sessions often result in lessening anger which is essential to be able to move on. Working on lessening anger is also important to make sure your body doesn’t manifest the anger in the form of an illness. Additionally, lessening anger is essential for co-parents to be able to compromise and focus on their kids and grandkids.
Communication with Your Former Partner(s) During Your Divorce Recovery Process
For many who divorce that do not have children, over time, there can be more of a minimal need to communicate. Exceptions are those who own a business together, share pet(s), work at the same job, etc.
I encourage you to make efforts to create healthy strategies in terms of communicating with former partner(s) and/or co-parent(s). Many former partners do quite well in this regard. Still others need more boundaries, and for them, they negotiate for example: to communicate initially through email only and then via phone calls that are scheduled with an agenda. While others find that texts should be for emergencies only in order to minimize “instant access”. Thus, in many instances, a new partner may take issue with this "instant access" that could impact their relationship with their new partner. The bottom line is that all former partners, if they agree, should create a communication system that works for them.
Co-Parenting While in Divorce Recovery
In our sessions, we will discuss tools and strategies to co-parent in a positive way to improve Co-parenting communication and agreements. All co-parents can make their own decisions about what works best for them in terms of communication with their former partner(s). Some co-parents do really well with texting, phone calls and/or emails exchanged regarding the management of their kids. While other co-parents need to limit their communication (at least initially) in order to minimize negative triggering, until they agree to a communication platform. Some clients have stated to me that limiting communication with their former partner(s) can be a form of self-compassion.
There are many co-parenting Apps (contact me for a list) that clients find are helpful tools to assist them in scheduling and managing the lives of their kids.
My background as a former teacher and school counselor, and current licensed professional counselor, will provide the professional assistance of how to support the emotional, physical, and educational needs of the children. I also have two Masters' degrees; one in Counseling and the other in Education.
Articles on Divorce Recovery
- 6 Steps in Divorce Recovery:
- 4 Stages to Reclaim Your Life:
I am a therapist member of the Connecticut Council of Non-Adversarial Divorce