Divorce Counselling

Divorce Counselling

Divorce Counselling is a way to understand the impact a divorce can have and offer you guidance and support toward ending your marriage in a manner that is the least detrimental to your emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.

Going through a divorce with someone whom you initially envisioned spending the rest of your life with is not an easy process for anybody. It may involve going through a lot of pain, grief, anger, shame and an abundance of other negative emotions. You might feel helpless, alone and unsure of what to do or who to turn to for help and support.

Though divorce is very common, not many are fully aware of its process and how it can impact individuals. It can cause a significant amount of stress to both parties – not only because of the emotional, mental, legal, and financial factors that the couple has to consider, but also because their lives are bound to change drastically once the divorce proceedings are over. There are a great deal of considerations that have to be taken into account and addressed, and many individuals only grasp the gravity of the situation after they have finalised their decision. 

Divorce counselling may help you in many different ways. It may offer you guidance and support towards ending your marriage in a manner that is the least detrimental to your emotional, psychological and physical well-being. 

Stages of Grief During or After the Divorce Process

People experience grief when they encounter any form of change or loss in their lives. Grieving often involves emotional suffering of intense sadness, numbness, anger, guilt and disbelief which may also affect our physical health, disrupting our eating and sleeping patterns as well as the way we think and behave. Though grieving is a highly individual process, there are typically 5 stages that many individuals may go through:

  • Denial

Many individuals find themselves trapped in denial at the initial stages of the divorce process. One may experience denial even if you are the one who first brought the idea up and initiated the divorce. During this stage, you may find yourself knowingly or unknowingly avoiding the fact that you will be going through a divorce. You may tend to do so to postpone facing and accepting the reality of the divorce. 

  • Anger

As the numbness of denial wears off, intense sentiments like that of fear, pain and hurt will begin to flood your senses. When you go through divorce, you will often feel a rush of emotions, including fear and pain. Anger is often used as a cover for these emotions, but it may also motivate you to move on and become self-reliant or resilient. However, if not regulated effectively, uncontrolled anger may lead to impulsive behaviour that can make the divorce process much more difficult than it already is. 

  • Bargaining

During a divorce, bargaining may serve as a useful step that allows you to reevaluate whether the marriage is truly over, or if you and your spouse can make amends. Bargaining in divorce can take several forms such as counselling, couples retreats, or even just making promises to each other to behave differently in the future. 

  • Depression

A brief period of depression typically follows after denial, anger, and bargaining. Being sad about your lost marriage and having feelings of regret are the first signs of acceptance that the marriage is over. During this stage, having a strong support system is crucial as it will help you to overcome the sadness and realise the divorce as an opportunity for growth. 

  • Acceptance

Typically the final stage, acceptance occurs when you have fully processed that the divorce has occurred. At this point, you can slowly move on and start making a new life for yourself. Acceptance comes with feelings of courage and realisation of your potential and strengths. During this stage, you may be able to start making logical plans and decisions for yourself and your new future. 

How Divorce Counselling Works

Divorce counselling is a form of relationship therapy designed specifically for married couples who are dealing with or preparing for the reality of a permanent separation. Divorce is a serious legal procedure that affects not just the separated couple, but also other members of their family, typically children. Although divorce is relatively common in Singapore, not many couples are given the necessary support and help to be able to maintain their emotional, mental, or even physical strength during and after the divorce process.

Divorce counselling can come before or after legal procedures. It can help the individuals involved to resume their personal and professional lives while coping with the separation. Counselling can also assist in minimising the impact of divorce on their children and other family members, and help them overcome the emotional and psychological trauma they may have experienced during the process.

The aim of divorce counselling is to help individuals adjust to their new lives, and process the negative consequences of the separation on various aspects of their lives. Divorce counselling is not required for all couples who are going through a divorce, but can be extremely helpful in minimising destructive thoughts and behaviours.

More importantly, divorce counselling can also provide you and your ex-spouse with a safe and conducive space to discuss plans for the best interest of your children. A negative and high conflict divorce is never in the child’s best interests.

At Incontact, our therapists have helped many couples overcome the grief experienced during and after their divorce process. By communicating your thoughts and feelings with our trusted therapists – through verbal or non-verbal means – will be able to greatly lighten the weight on your chest. By teaching you healthy strategies to manage and cope with your emotions, divorce counselling can slowly help you heal and get back on your feet, allowing you to plan for a better future ahead.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: The amount of time it takes for a person to heal varies for every individual. All of us heal and recover differently. The recovery process is a highly individual experience and it varies based on the nature of your divorce as well as your personality and coping mechanisms. Rest assured, our counsellors at Incontact are equipped with the experience and tools that can help you heal at a pace that is most comfortable for you.

Answer: While some people are able to cope with the effects of a divorce on their own, many cannot. You may need to consider divorce counselling if you find that the divorce is taking a toll on your mental health, and is affecting your day-to-day functioning and performance. Divorce counselling may also be crucial if you find that you may not have a strong support system to guide you through the divorce process.

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