Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Would a Therapist Help?

Disclaimer (naturally, I'm a lawyer):  This is not intended to be counseling or therapy for your situation. It is information for you to consider if you are facing a divorce.

The end of a marriage (or other relationship) can be one of the toughest events anyone has to go through. Dreams end. Plans change. You lose friends and connections.Feelings of failure often surface.  Doubts start to dominate. 

If can all be pretty overwhelming.

Most people initially believe they can handle the situation. They talk with friends and family. They self medicate. Many bury themselves in their work.  Some just try to ignore the situation.

For many, there's a better alternative:  counseling.  You don't have to be crazy to benefit from counseling. There are all types of counselors around.  You just need to find one with whom you are comfortable.

If any of the following is happening to you, it would be a good idea to meet with a counselor. This is not a complete list of all possible reasons to see a counselor. These are common situations that warrant attention. You may have other reasons that warrant counseling, so please be open to that.

1.  You may have strong anger toward your ex because of the breakup. The anger may start to affect your life. Your relationships with other people may suffer and your ability to work could be impaired. If your anger controls your life and behavior, you should seek relief through counseling.

2.  It may be that you can't stop thinking about the breakup. It dominates your thoughts. You may not be able to focus on anything else. That interferes with your life, work and friendships. You need to find peace and balance.

3.  You may start to feel physically ill.  Stress can cause headaches or stomach issues. You may start feeling constantly tired. Before your health starts to seriously suffer, please talk to a therapist.

4.  You may lose interest in your close friends and favorite activities. Not being able to enjoy life is a signal that you need help. If you are at this point, it's probably not something you can just work through yourself.

5.  If your family or friends start talking to you about their concerns for you,  it may be time to seek help. Family and friends can be more objective than we are sometimes. They may notice if:

  • You seem depressed.
  • Your drinking has increased.
  • There's drug use or it has changed.
  • You seem disconnected from your family or circle of friends.
  • You show a lot of anger.
  • They observe other behavioral changes.

If any of the above circumstances may be occurring, please meet with a counselor to see if there's some help you can get. It doesn't mean you are crazy or weak or a failure. It means that you're smart and you care. Please take care of yourself!