Have you ever walked into a social situation where a divorced couple is there, perhaps with new partners or even new spouses, and the tension is palpable, stress and discord so apparent that it makes you want to leave immediately?
Or perhaps it’s a close friend or family member that has gone through a divorce so filled with anger and hostility that the two individuals have become people you no longer recognize.
When encountering or experiencing these angst-filled divorces, one quickly realizes that the marriage is over, but the relationship, however contentious, continues.
Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) and other psychologists recommend divorce counseling or therapy, a relatively new therapeutic concept designed to re-structure relationships between partners and spouses. Professional counselors are trained to help couples shift their relationships from an emotional bloodbath to more of a non-emotional, practical relationship. These counselors or therapists are licensed mental health practitioners specializing in helping couples set ground rules for constructive ways to engage and get along – essential for creating a sense of peace and well being.
This is a type of peace that almost all professionals agree is imperative when children are involved. Children remember the pain and discord of acrimonious divorce battles long after the divorce – into their own adulthoods – sometimes necessitating later counseling or therapy to work through these troubling memories. And divorced parents who respect and treat each other well model a form of cooperation that teaches their children valuable life skills.