South Denver Psychotherapy: Helping Kids Cope with Divorce.

In the United States, around 50% of marriages end in divorce. Regardless of the reasons for a divorce, it can be a traumatic experience for all parties involved.

This experience becomes infinitely more complicated when children are involved.

How children cope with divorce depends on several factors, including age, personality, and the reasons for the divorce. In most cases, children may initially react with anger, sadness, frustration, anxiety, or confusion. However, parents can play a role in creating an environment to help their children cope in a healthy manner. Suggestions to help kids deal with divorce are discussed below.

How you explain the situation to your kids should be appropriate to their age. If possible, both parents should be present when breaking the news. It is important that the kids know that the divorce is not their fault, and that even though the parents will be separated, they will always love their kids. It is normal for the kids to have questions. Try to be as honest as possible to help them understand the situation. That said, it is best to avoid blaming the other parent in front of the children.

Explain to the kids that you are there for them if they want to talk. Validate their feelings and ask them if there’s anything you can do to make the transition easier for them. Children may be concerned about how their daily routines will be affected. If possible, try to minimize disruptions to their routine.

Children feed off of the energy of their parents. It is therefore important to take care of yourself throughout this process. Taking care of yourself will also ensure that your kids will get the best possible care. It is best to avoid fighting or discussing legal issues in front of the kids.

Divorce is never easy, but you are not alone. If you are in the Denver area and would like to explore divorce counseling or any other type of psychotherapy services for yourself or your children, contact South Denver Psychotherapy today.

Source:

KidsHealth. Helping Your Child Through a Divorce.

Why Couple’s Counseling is More than a Last Resort

Couple's Therapy

Learning to live with your spouse is never easy. Every person has their quirks, bad days, coping mechanisms (good or bad) and past baggage. All this comes together to form a complex person who may not always be easy to be with. In many relationships, we don’t address the little things that are bothersome. They pile up, leading to explosive fights, disinterest, a lack of intimacy, affairs and sometimes divorce. This is where couple’s therapy is extremely helpful. Instead of waiting until things get really bad, think of couple’s therapy as a way to maintain a healthy, happy relationship.

Good marriage counseling is helpful in that it gives a knowledgeable, third-party view on your relationship. A counselor can see things that you can’t and help by pointing them out to you. Some examples are:

  • Reasons and history behind reactions
  • Intentions
  • Consequences of certain words and actions
  • Hidden, un-voiced expectations
  • Options you haven’t thought of
  • Beliefs you may not realize you have
  • Relationship patterns

Couple’s therapy really helps you get past the hurt and frustration and see what is behind it. Maybe the way you were raised causes you to fear being wrong or giving a bad suggestion. Because of this, you’re afraid to give a real answer when your spouse asks for your opinion. Since you “don’t” have an opinion, your spouse goes ahead and makes one that you don’t agree with. To your spouse, this is confusing because it seems like you didn’t care or have anything to suggest. But couple’s therapy can help reveal your fear of saying the wrong thing and help you both work through that.

Misunderstandings like these are extremely common – whether in an intimate relationship or not. As a society, we have labeled couple’s therapy or marriage counseling as a sign that your marriage isn’t doing well, but this isn’t true! If you simply desire to improve your relationship, couple’s therapy can be extremely helpful.  Feel free to check out our Couple’s Counseling page or Contact Us to set up an appointment.

Relationship Trouble?

Relationship Trouble

Focus on Reconnecting This Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day will soon be here, and with it the stress of creating the perfect romantic gesture.  Despite good intentions of celebrating love, this holiday often causes people to reflect on what’s wrong with their love life.  So instead of trying to mask any issues in your relationship with impressive gifts, make an effort to work out your problems with your significant other in the weeks ahead.  (We don’t suggest dispensing with cards, flowers, and candy altogether, especially if those are things you know your partner will enjoy.  Just keep in mind that these things can’t “fix” a relationship.)  Here are some tips to start a productive conversation about your relationship problems.

Communication Is Key.

Your significant other is not a mind reader!  Many times one person is unhappy in a relationship, and the other person doesn’t realize it, or doesn’t understand why.  If something is bothering you, make the time to discuss it with your partner.  You should also check in with each other periodically about your expectations and goals for the future of your relationship.  This will help to prevent misunderstandings and allow you to make sure you’re both on the same page.

Avoid Distractions.

Show your significant other that your relationship is a priority.  Make time to address any problems you’re having without the distractions of the outside world.  Turn off the TV, switch your cell phone to silent, and send the kids to a friend’s house.  Relationships do take work, and both you and your partner need to commit to working out your differences.

Talk, Don’t Fight.

Relationship problems can be a difficult subject to broach with your significant other, and it’s important not to make them feel like they are under attack.  Screaming will not lead to a productive discussion.  So, take a minute (or a day) to cool your temper before confronting your partner.  If you still feel like you can’t talk about your problems without fighting, set aside some time to discuss your concerns with them in a public place; that way you’ll be less likely to yell since you won’t want to make a scene.

Remember to Listen.

Listening doesn’t just mean not interrupting.  You need to focus on what your partner is saying.  It may help to begin addressing his or her concerns by rephrasing them, something like “What I think you’re saying is…”  Then give them a chance to correct you before proceeding with your response.  It’s ok to ask them to clarify; a specific complaint is much easier to work on than a vague one.

If you and your partner are still having trouble resolving conflicts, you may need to find a professional counselor.  A third party can provide valuable perspective, especially if you find your emotions getting in the way of the conversation.  At South Denver Psychotherapy, we work with all kinds of couples to build greater understanding and respect.  Let us help you reach a compromise without feeling resentment.

Additional Resources

http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/vav/vav_healthyrelationships.html

http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/couples’-best-strategies-managing-stress

https://news.unt.edu/news-releases/educational-psychology-expert-offers-valentine’s-day-tips