After a divorce, you may think you can handle it yourself. You may think that after the divorce decree is finalized and you no longer need to rely on the services of your family law attorney, you can create a life for yourself without the mental and emotional support of others.
You may feel like those who feel the need to contact a mental health professional to cope with the trauma of the process are “weak” or “lesser” for doing so.
While some may not require the help of a mental health professional, those that do are far from “weak” or “lesser” for doing so.
They are admitting the issues that they are facing and are taking an active role in their recovery. They are deciding that their mental health is better left in the hands of someone trained to help them during their time of need. They are recognizing their lack of familiarity in the mental and emotional aftermath of the divorce process.
They understand that when you are unfamiliar with how to do something, you should probably ask someone who is trained to do that task. Whether it is electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, or navigating the emotional landscape of a complicated divorce, relying on the professional training of someone who knows what they are doing will only benefit you.
Understanding that notion allows you to take a step forward and surpass many who are unsure, due to the fear involved in disclosing elements of your private life. However, if you are worried about conversations being private, mental health professionals are bound by a privacy rule within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that creates national standards to protect your personal health information and medical records, including information about therapy and mental health.
Taking that step forward in your therapy requires you to get past those concerns and create a list, either a written one or a mental one, of topics that you would like to cover during the course of your therapy sessions.
This will give you a better idea of what you would like to accomplish during therapy. You may want to cover a wide variety of topics that adversely affect your mental health. However, you need to be aware that you are only paying for an allotted amount of time per session, so it will take multiple sessions, in order to cover all of the facets of every given topic.
You also can take an active role in your post-divorce therapy by keeping an open mind throughout the process. Some who enter therapy already are looking toward the emotional solutions to their problems, without being open to the idea that their idea of an outcome may not be the outcome that leads to their emotional health and well-being.
The longer you hold onto your ideal mental and emotional outcome of your issues in post-divorce therapy, the longer it may take to open up your mind. According to research from Loyola University of Chicago, those who consider themselves to be experts in a field or who have an opinion of how things are going to go, are often more closed-minded to alternative viewpoints.
The best way to go about opening up your mind during post-divorce therapy is to be open to noticing new things. There may be issues during the course of your marriage and subsequent divorce that may have facets to them that you have never considered from a perspective other than your own.
You may have to open yourself up to the notion that it may not just be your ex-spouse’s fault. They may not necessarily be at the source of everything that troubles you from a mental and emotional perspective.
Whatever the case may be, keeping that open mind enhances the dialogue that you may need to restore your mental and emotional wellness. You may need the conversation to flow freer than a closed mind would have allowed, and that requires a level of honesty with yourself.
You cannot go into therapy with lies. It will accomplish nothing and waste your time and the time of the therapist. You have to approach this process with the honesty and integrity that you would want to be approached in your field. You have to show the respect that you would hope would be shown to you.
Given the emotional volatility that can exist during the divorce experience, that may be difficult for some, but it is important to remember that the longer you hold onto the resentment of something that already ended, the more opportunities will pass you by.
If you are unable to find a mental health professional, it is important to contact your family law attorney. They have the ability to assist you and your needs through the divorce experience.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.