The importance of counselling during divorce

Marilyn Stowe

Divorce can take a serious toll on people’s mental and physical health. In this extract from the second edition of Marilyn Stowe’s book Divorce and Splitting Up: Advice from a Top Divorce Lawyer, she discusses why it is important to seek professional help.

Some clients refuse to see a doctor or counsellor. “I will get through it just fine”, they say. “There is nothing wrong with me.” Yet their emotionally charged choices and behaviour suggest the opposite.

In my experience, a client may refuse to seek medical help because they are scared that if it comes out during their divorce that they are depressed and taking medication (although not every doctor will prescribe medication), the revelations will affect the outcome. They fear that they will suffer financially or worse still, that they will lose their children.

This is simply not true. Please rest assured that you will not be penalised if you have sought help. In fact, your decision demonstrates that you are still in full control of yourself: you recognise that something is temporarily wrong, and you are putting it right.

So if you do feel low and distressed – if you recognise that this is how you are feeling – and you would like to address your situation with the help of a professional, what are you waiting for? Professionals are there to help you. It is their job. Place yourself in their hands. Let them help you. Even if you are prescribed medication it is likely to be a short-term measure that should not affect you adversely and will restore your equilibrium.

Perhaps your GP will be able to spend time talking to you, and that will be all that you need. If it is not, please do consider professional counselling. I have observed that when clients have been to counsellors, the results are often swift and truly amazing. Don’t sit there worrying. The restoration of mood, self-confidence and assertiveness works wonders.

When you are able to put your worries into perspective and into proportion, the cold, hard legalities of divorce will become less daunting.

As for quelling your fears about the legal process: that’s my job!

Download your copy of Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice from a Top Divorce Lawyer for just 99p here. The profits from each sale are donated to the Children’s Society.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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4 comments

Elena - August 31, 2016 at 6:17am

You are absolutely right: a good psychologist/therapist is a necessity particularly when you are divorcing a NPD or when you in a high conflict divorce but never let the other one know.

Devil's Advocate - August 31, 2016 at 10:18am

Tell my ex this. 16 times of Court appearances, and 14 times counselling and mediation attempts.

She must have been a deaf mute and/or have behavioural traits of a closet narcissist for doing what the Court declared as being in the best of interest of two lovely boys so much so that thay have been terrorised by her family and her never to think feel or act in any way that they have sisters or a father and to engage with them. You know the two dreaded words!

So in this case Marilyn your northern lawyer instinct is correct. But as always legislation to support the real welfare of children pales into insignificance compared to Brazil, Mexico, Italy and of course the most civilised of all Finland.

Yes lawyers in this country are responsible for this they could have assured what is really needed when women got universal franchise in 1928!

Yvie - September 1, 2016 at 4:20pm

I wish there was an advisory service with a nominal fee for all divorcing couples. It should cover all aspects of divorce, child maintenance, and shared care arrangements. It should guide couples through the whole procedure, hopefully reducing or even eliminating conflict over finances and more importantly, reducing the serious consequences for children who may be unwittingly caught up in disputes between hostile parents regarding contact. It should be a lot easier and quicker for solicitors to tie up the legal aspects.

Andy - September 4, 2016 at 5:36pm

What the civilised client should seek is how to divorce a NARCISSIST mother…then specialist advice should be gained…
Of courts the support will be for the NARCISSIST in court because they believe it was never them and everyone else is wrong..
As for the mental side of divorce…And depression with all other side effects of this is how do you fend for yourself with costs…
You can’t….

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