When facing a divorce, you will likely be tasked with navigating a multitude of unknowns. You will receive advice from primarily three different types of professionals–legal, financial, and real estate. We think that there is a fourth professional that is often missing: the psychologist.
The psychologist is an underrated player that you want in your corner as you work through, and come out of, a divorce. Like anything important in life, seeking advice from a psychologist during your divorce will take a commitment of time, energy, and finances. But candidly, the rewards you will reap are more than worth the investment. Here are 4 major ways a psychologist can help you during your divorce.
1. Taking Care of Your Mental Wellbeing
Divorce inevitably leaves individuals to sift-through a barrel of complicated emotions. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, stressed, lonely, angry, or even guilty when processing a divorce. Left in isolation, these emotions can be confusing and misdirected if they go unaddressed during this transition.
Having an experienced psychologist during your divorce in your corner will allow you to identify these feelings and learn where they are coming from. Confronting your emotions, calling them out, and understanding that it is completely normal to be experiencing these feelings are vital steps in your healing.
2. Developing Healthy Coping Strategies with Your Children
If you are a parent, your children are the center of your world. Outside of yourself and your spouse, your children are likely the ones most impacted by your divorce–but that doesn’t mean they have to be traumatized for life, especially when you have the help of a psychologist. A psychologist trained to work with families and children will be able to guide you through some of the common misconceptions and feelings that your children may experience because of the divorce.
Some children fear that the divorce was their fault. They also may doubt whether their parents still love them. After all, they are witnessing their parents, who once loved each other, part ways. Because of this, it is important to reassure them that they are still loved and that the separation has nothing to do with them, even if you think they know this already.
Lastly, consider that just as you need to lean on the expertise of a psychologist to navigate this next chapter of your life, so do your children. Regardless of your children’s ages, it is incredibly beneficial for them to meet with a child psychologist to use as a neutral sounding board while they try to make sense of their newfound family division.
3. Planning and Addressing New Challenges That Arise During Your Divorce
Once they move past some of the initial shock and grief of the separation, spouses will likely be living apart from one other and your “new normal” will begin to take shape. Matters such as separating finances, determining custody, dating new partners, and implementing summer and holiday schedules fall into a category of tactical planning that accompanies the aftermath of a separation. In addition to navigating the emotions of a terminated relationship, these potentially new experiences will take some time to learn on your own.
However, much time and stress can be saved by mapping out some of these major life changes with a psychologist and taking the proper steps to ensure a smooth transition into your new normal. It certainly beats the alternative of trying to implement a shared custody schedule or begin a new dating relationship without any expert advice!
4. Building A Brighter Post-Divorce Future
A successful CEO can envision what her company will look like in ten years and achieve that vision for her business. In a similar vein, a psychologist can help provide a healthy perspective of what comes next for their client while encouraging them to look forward to their future.
The months or years leading up to a divorce are often traumatic. Many have experienced infidelity, isolation, or even abuse. Others may have felt unloved for years. It is crucial to work with a professional to remind yourself of who you really are.
You cannot let the divorce define who you are going forward. By encouraging you to push past the present and cast a vision for your own future, you can start moving back to who you really are as an individual, separate and apart from your past relationship. Psychologists can help you along that healing process and onto a better future.
The Biggest Takeaway: Do not neglect the mental and emotional aspects of your wellbeing as you go through a divorce.
You aren’t embarking on a DIY divorce without an attorney (at least, we hope not!) nor should you try to process everything you are feeling without the guidance of an expert in the field.
The benefits of leveraging a psychologist during your divorce will not only be felt immediately, but also pay dividends down the road of your post-divorce journey.
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