Monday, February 7, 2011

Separation & Divorce Counselling

Navigating through the upheaval of a divorce is overwhelming at the best of times and, more often than not, we can find ourselves sucked into an emotional, mental, physical, financial and even spiritual abyss.
Without proper support or a framework of values to work within, before you know it, the process can take on a life of its own and you can find yourself feeling as if you are no longer in control of your life and its outcome. Regardless of the circumstances, this is one of the most painful and difficult experiences you and your family will ever endure and, no matter how strong you are, you will need a steady supply of ongoing support and encouragement.  Family and friends are well meaning, but they often lack the skills necessary to assist us effectively and, real or imagined, we can find ourselves feeling alienated from those we once relied on and for reasons that seem unfair or inexplicable.  That is why it is most important to seek help as soon as, and, if possible, even before you have made the decision to separate.  A compassionate therapist with experience in separation and divorce is an invaluable partner in helping you develop your vision for the future and stay true to your values and principles along the way.  In addition, if you are planning to or have already entered into the legal system, this can add even more complex issues and decisions into the mix. Even the most compassionate and experienced legal professional is not a skilled therapist and entering into the legal process too early or without adequate information or emotional support can be a painful, slow, expensive and often unnecessary way to learn how the system works and what your options are.

The service I offer to indivuals, couples and families is multi-faceted in its approach.  My greatest wish is that I meet you early enough in the process so that I can assist you in examining all of your options in a clear and honest way. Leaving a relationship or a marriage is a decision that is often influenced by hidden factors as well as obvious ones, and I feel it is crucial to have as much information as possible and to understand that this decision will effect the rest of your life in ways that you might not have considered.

In the event that a separation is unavoidable, I will then help you and, if possible, your spouse, get a very real picture of what to expect.  Together, we will identify your goals and create a vision based on your individual and collective needs, values and priorities. We will address the emotional and practical issues associated with your unique set of circumstances and design a framework that will address all relevant issues such as creating and adjusting to new relationship boundaries, expectations, financial concerns, living arrangements, how/when to tell the kids and others, co-parenting arrangements, property, friends and family, choosing a legal process and more.

It is my belief that, with ongoing emotional support and a rational, disciplined and value-oriented approach to separation and divorce, couples and families can dramatically reduce the duration and long term effects of this traumatic experience.

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