Family therapy can be used as a therapeutic approach to a wide range of presenting concerns, problems, or frustrations. Yet, rather than each family member meeting one on one with an individual counselor, family therapy invites multiple family members to meet together to participate in the therapeutic process.
A healthy family should be a safe haven for all individuals within the family system. Individuals should feel comfortable expressing their needs and anticipate that their needs will be appropriately met by the family. Family members should feel as though everyone in the family has their best interest at heart and will be willing to grow and change to meet future needs, hardships, and expansion of the family.
According to Dictionary.com the meaning of divorce is:
- a judicial declaration dissolving a marriage in whole or in part, especially one that releases the marriage partners from all matrimonial obligations.
- any formal separation of husband and wife according to established custom.
- total separation; disunion:
Divorce is not easy for anyone involved. You might have feelings of failure, disappointment or sadness when you separate for the last time from your partner. It shouldn’t be a decision taken lightly, but one that is well thought about and carried out.
It will affect each partner in the divorce, as well as family members, children and friends. Think of this as a time to grow as an individual, and focus on the future. Learn from relationship, but don’t let the divorce be a weight you carry around your neck.
What are the effects of having a single parent? We all know someone who grew up with a single parent, or we might have even grown up with a single parent ourselves. The idea around the modern ‘nuclear family’ is that a family is one that consists of children and their respective parents.
Does this mean that children who have only one parent, are more susceptible to possible negative effects psychologically, socially, as a family, etc? According to some studies done in Sweden, children who have only one parents have double the ‘incidence of psychiatric illness, apparent suicide attempts, substance abuse issues, and lower self esteem’.
It is said that children who are in a single parent home might not have the stability that a double parent home would have. The single parent won’t have the other parent to bounce ideas, strategies, decisions, and be able to take breaks with. And in turn, the children will see the single parent suffer or struggle more in these types of situations.
If the parents are going through a divorce, are they able to keep the tension, arguments, and possible resentment away from the children? Are they able to still keep the other parent in a positive light to benefit the children? One of the biggest problems families going through a divorce is the parents will let their anger or sadness paint a negative light on the other parent, and the children will pick up on that. Being able to not speak negatively or aggressively about the other parent to the child (or in front of the child) is key to their adaptation and acceptance of the divorce.
There is a wonderful in depth article over at How Stuff Works on all of the psychological effects of having just one parent, where they give tips and solutions on how to weather the storm if you’re struggling as a single parent.
Were your parents divorced growing up? Or did you experience your parents getting divorced as an adult? Has this changed or affected you in any particular way?
Everyone has a divorce experience. Whether you have gone through one yourself or know someone who has gone through one. And when there are children involved, it can easily complicate things. It’s hard to figure out if doing what is right for a marriage, is also right for the family. The most important thing is to realize how this will affect everyone in the family, instead of just the couple in the marriage.
Divorcing can have long term impact on children as they grow up. Sometimes children can suffer academically, socially, or can start to suffer individually and not know how to speak up about what they are feeling. There are ways to make sure that you are going through your divorce with the right steps, ensuring that you and your spouse are communicating effectively and cordially.
There is an excellent article on Psychology Today called ‘Quality Parenting Needed Most During Divorce’. It starts with list of questions to ask yourself about your decision to divorce as it relates to your children. It goes on to give great advice on how to navigate the sometimes difficult road of divorce. If you’re going through divorce, thinking about it, or know someone who is, take a look at this article today!