Deciding to separate from a partner (or discovering that you have no other option) can be a confusing, daunting process. Many people feel overwhelmed by their emotions and unsure who to turn to. Getting support from friends and family members can sometimes make things even more complicated. In addition, when people feel emotionally raw it is very difficult to make wise decisions that are in their own (or their children’s) best interests.
Separation Counselling assists people to make considered decisions about their current situation so that they can act in their own long term interest. It is about making the very best choices available, given their circumstances.
People who would benefit from Separation Counselling may be in one of the following situations. They may:
People going through the process of a divorce or separation report that it feels like an endless quagmire of choices to make, where the consequences of those choices are not at all clear. There are legal processes to work through and a range of practical and financial choices to make. Unfortunately the legal experts tend to not always support people well to understand the real consequences of those choices. People report being carried along through a series of legal meetings, documentation, instructions and hearings, then having to make choices where none of the options suits them. Finally, if the people do not come to some agreement, a choice will be made for them by a magistrate who may not understand their families’ circumstances and needs, and which neither separating partner is happy with. This emotional rollercoaster all ends up costing a large proportion of most people’s personal wealth.
The separation counsellor will help to identify the client’s particular barriers to separating from their partner and how those barriers can be overcome. These barriers may be emotional and/or practical issues. They may relate to concerns about violence (physical or emotional), children, money, affairs, addictions and many other issues.
The counsellor will help the client to make a wide range of practical decisions about their situation by considering the options available and the consequences of each option.
It may be useful for the client to understand the process of grief and where they are within that process. In that way they will be clearer about their current and future needs and these needs can then be explored and addressed.
During separation counselling people may realise they need expert assistance. For example, people often need to understand and rethink their financial situation now that they have decided to separate; or they may need particular help when personal safety, or the safety of children, is a concern. Getting the right help may involve other experts, such as lawyers, health providers, financial counsellors, child psychologists, and so on. When funds are short the counsellor can assist with locating local, low cost services.
While the separation counsellor will help the client to understand their options and source the right help, they will not tell the client what they must do or make the decisions for them. In addition, while they will provide emotional support, they will not take the place of a psychotherapist or counsellor who can better assist the client in relation to any deeper psychological issues.
If you would like to learn more about Separation counselling or would like to make an appointment please contact us.