Finding The Best Divorce Counseling Near Me
By: Michael Puskar
Updated February 11, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Kristen Hardin
The divorce rate in the United States has tended to hover near 50 percent for many years, but no one who gets married plans on getting divorced. Whether it has taken you by surprise or been clear for a long while, facing the end of your marriage can be an overwhelming time full of confusing emotions, especially if you're trying to work through it on your own. However, there is an option that can help you through the process, and it starts with a simple search for, "the best divorce counseling near me."
What Is Divorce Counseling?
You have probably heard of marriage counseling. You may have even been through marriage counseling while trying to save your marriage. Marriage counseling is for couples working to improve their relationship, recover after challenging marital situations, or decide whether it is healthy to stay married. For some couples, counseling leads to improved communication and increased marital satisfaction. For others, it brings a different solution: the realization that divorce is the best decision.
Divorce counseling is for people who are going through a divorce and have likely already been through the marriage counseling process. Where marriage counseling strives to educate couples on how to work through their problems and reunite as a couple, divorce counseling works by educating people on how to move forward in a healthy way after their marriage ends.
You can attend divorce counseling on your own or with your ex-partner. While it might sound like an uncomfortable idea to go to counseling with someone you have already divorced or plan on divorcing, it can have many benefits, especially if you have children together. A therapist can help you learn how to keep your interactions healthy as you co-parent.
The early days can be especially difficult as you both work to find your new normal and adjust to being divorced. Having an unbiased, objective third party can make this transition easier. Your counselor will create a safe space that you and your ex-spouse can use to have difficult conversations in effective and healthy ways.
When Should You Attend Divorce Counseling?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Therapists usually divide sessions into pre-divorce and post-divorce counseling to help make your transition easier. However, if you start before your divorce and don't feel you need to continue afterward, you don't have to. Also, if you have already been through your divorce without pre-divorce counseling, you can begin therapy sessions after the divorce is final. Counseling before the divorce can help you learn how to deal with each other civilly. You will need to have some form of communication with the other person as you work toward finalizing the details of the divorce. This process can be easier when you have someone helping you work through your feelings.
Who Should Attend Divorce Counseling?
Divorce counseling works under a number of circumstances. For starters, if you and your spouse have recently decided to divorce, it can be helpful to get guidance on the process. You don't need to worry about the counselor trying to change your mind, and you don't need to worry that they're going to judge you. Licensed therapists are trained to work with you on your specific goals. If you don't want to stay in the marriage, they won’t try to force you to reconcile.
You don't need your spouse or ex to attend sessions with you. While it can be helpful, especially if you have children together, you can still benefit from attending on your own. You can also attend together in the beginning and later separately if attending together is no longer needed. Maybe you have both reached a point of realizing that you need to learn how to improve your relationship as a divorced couple, or maybe you have felt stuck since your divorce was finalized. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, sadness, or feelings of inability to move past the divorce, individual divorce counseling can be beneficial.
It's common to work through various feelings associated with grief during and after a divorce. A therapist can help you through each emotional stage in a healthy way. Your therapist can also help you work through any guilt and find feelings of forgiveness, both for your ex and for yourself.
What To Look For In A Divorce Counselor
When looking for a divorce counselor, you'll want to seek a licensed therapist who is experienced in providing counseling through and after divorce. While any licensed therapist can provide you with this type of advice, it doesn't necessarily mean it's their area of expertise. If approaching divorce through a religious background is important to you, you may want to find a therapist who aligns with your values and beliefs.
You will also want to check their availability. Chances are, when you are working through a divorce or are recently divorced, you are dealing with a major change to your schedule, especially if you have children. That means you need to be able to get to counseling when it works best for you. Even a fantastic therapist who isn’t available for months will not be a fantastic fit for issues you need to work on right away.
Things To Remember When Dealing With Divorce
Along with going to divorce counseling, here are some other things that can help you through this time:
- Don't isolate yourself. You're hurting, you might have had your trust broken, and you may be feeling ashamed or embarrassed. These are all typical feelings when enduring a divorce. However, these feelings can cause you to isolate yourself, and this is a time to surround yourself with family and friends who love you.
- Practice self-care. When your life changes so dramatically, it's easy to forget about taking care of yourself. Try to get a healthy amount of sleep and provide yourself with nutritious meals. Exercise can help you feel more energetic and healthier. You may also want to practice mindfulness, meditation, or other activities that help you feel peaceful and fulfilled.
- Find things you enjoy doing. This is a time of transition, which is a great time to rediscover who you are and what your passions are. Pick up old hobbies that you haven't had time for or try something new.
How To Find A Divorce Counselor
You can start with a simple Google search: "divorce counseling near me." Research any therapist that sounds like a good fit before you choose one to work with. You want to make sure that you find someone you trust and are comfortable talking to.
If you have a close friend or family member who has been through a recent divorce, you can ask them for suggestions. If they completed divorce counseling, they might have a great personal recommendation. However, interview the therapist to see if they are a good fit for you as well.
If you can't find a local therapist experienced in divorce counseling or your schedule makes getting to appointments difficult, online therapy might be a better fit.
Online Therapy Can Help
Realizing that you will need to go through a divorce is a painful, difficult process. Remember, nearly 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce within the first 20 years; while this is an unfortunate statistic, it can remind you that you are not alone. Research has found that showing yourself compassion throughout divorce proceedings can strengthen your emotional recovery, both at the time and up to nine months later. To help you take care of yourself through this challenging time, an online therapist may be a great resource. You deserve to feel supported and cared for, and the flexible online therapy services available through BetterHelp can provide you with the support and guidance you need.
Online therapy can be arranged around your busy life—a feature that is particularly useful if your work or family schedule is being upended by the end of a marriage. You can work with a caring, licensed therapist in the comfort and privacy of your own home, on any device with an internet connection. BetterHelp’s services are also more affordable than in-person therapy options, which can make all the difference if you are trying to save money for attorney’s fees and other expenses that lie ahead. You deserve to have a knowledgeable, compassionate expert in your corner during a divorce; a therapist with BetterHelp can be that person. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people who have experienced similar issues.
Dr. Nolan is an exceptional therapist. I began working with him during a stressful life event (a divorce), and he was very helpful with helping me work though my emotions and move forward. I have stayed with him to continue my self development. He is smart, insightful, empathetic and engaging to work with. I recommend him wholeheartedly.
Ellen Thomas is an experienced professional and compassionate counselor. I would recommend her for anyone who is dealing with the emotional trauma of a separation or divorce. She has often followed up a session with a pertinent quote or helpful suggestions. Ellen’s guidance has helped me to dig deep to become aware of emotional touch points and find solutions to work through them. Her genuine empathy made me feel comfortable very early in the process and was I able to open up to her pretty quickly. Am so grateful for the help I’ve received during my sessions with Ellen.
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