The decision to end a marriage is a momentous one, and most couples do not make this choice lightly. Many spouses choose to go to couples’ counseling before they decide to divorce. A new trend in therapy involves both parents and children, and it is often referred to as family counseling. This type of therapy can help families before, during, and after a divorce. It provides an outlet for parents and their children to share what is on their minds in a neutral setting.
Benefits of Family Therapy
Divorce is not easy under any circumstances, especially when children are involved. Children often have a difficult time during their parents’ divorce, since they do not have a choice in the decision. However, family counseling can help ease the distress that comes with the end of a marriage, and it can offer everyone ways to move forward in a healthy manner.
For families that are going through a difficult divorce, counseling can help family members communicate better during conflict. Parents will learn techniques for how to calmly talk to each other without getting overly emotional. During and after divorce, it is likely the children will have to split time between the two parents, and they may even have to move out of the marital home altogether. This can be very traumatic for them, and family therapy can provide them with a way to talk about their feelings instead of keeping them bottled inside.
Family counseling sessions are typically led by a marriage and family therapist (MFT), who could be a psychologist, social worker, or therapist who has specialized training. Some of the topics that may come up during family counseling include:
Conflict between siblings
Children’s behavioral problems
Care for a family member with special needs
Shared custody of children
It is best to research therapists to find one who is formally trained in family therapy, and families can also narrow their search down to a therapist who has experience in specific issues. For example, if drug or alcohol addiction is a factor that in the breakdown of the parents’ marriage, a therapist who specializes in these matters may be most beneficial. Parents must also consider how much the therapy will cost and whether it will be covered by insurance. In some cases, payment plan options are available. The office location and hours should also be considered, as well as how long each session will last. These are important factors to be aware of when scheduling around children’s sports or extracurricular activities.
A therapist can help family members communicate better, solve problems, and reach compromises. Family therapy can last for as many sessions as the family needs, but 12 sessions is a good average, and families can often benefit from meeting once a week. Family therapy does not necessarily make problems disappear, but it can give parents and children new skills to manage the stress associated with divorce.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
Going through a divorce can be difficult, and it takes a significant emotional toll on the whole family. The Andrew Cores Family Law Group has experience in many different types of divorce cases. Our Wheaton divorce attorneys will guide you through the steps of the divorce process, ensuring that you consider everything that could impact your family’s future. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.