Both emotions and trauma can impact during a divorce or separation. Understanding more about your emotions and how your body is reacting to a highly stressful and/or traumatic event and getting the right support are crucially important.

Five of the most common emotions felt during a separation are grief, uncertainty, exhaustion, excitement and relief.  You may swing between one and another as your life is in turmoil and you try and come to terms with the changes. Remember whilst these are just some of the emotions felt by many, your journey is unique to you, try not to compare yourself to others.

Signs of trauma?

If you are experiencing a very acrimonious divorce and you have experienced infidelity, domestic violence, emotional abandonment, and verbal abuse, then you may be experiencing signs of trauma. These might be negative thoughts, self-blame, isolation, depression, and insomnia.

The articles on this hub have been prepared and written by those with an expertise and appropriate qualifications in these areas of emotions and trauma. They offer guidance and advice and contain signposting to other specialist information and support organisations.


Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist

Child psychology is the study of how children interact with others and process the world around them. Child psychologists can make a tremendous difference in children's lives by helping them explore their feelings in a healthy way and overcome difficulties.

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Counsellors will have undertaken professional training and be registered with a relevant professional body. For example, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy register shows that they meet certain educational standards and abide by a code of ethics.  It’s the counsellor’s role to help people work out their feelings in relation to divorce or separation – this allows reflection on what is happening to them and consider alternative ways of doing things. Counsellors actively listen to you, offering time, empathy, and respect to talk about particular issues and problems, with the aim of reducing confusion and increasing ability to cope with challenges, and to make positive changes. Counsellors are impartial and non-judgemental, providing a safe and confidential environment to look at your own values and beliefs. They won’t give advice but will support you whilst you explore behaviour patterns and make your own choices. This may involve challenging your beliefs in order to help you see things from a different point of view. Usually, people see a counsellor for a limited period of time, especially in the context of divorce and separation.  When looking to appoint a counsellor you may want to consider their experience and specialism.

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Psychotherapists work with you over a longer period for more deep-seated issues. They help with psychological issues that have been built up throughout your life. You will probably have to go back to your childhood and discuss different life circumstances up until the present day to see how you were shaped and influenced. In doing so, you will get a better understanding of your feelings, actions, and thoughts. If there are past traumas or life experiences that are holding you back, then they will work with you to help sort them out. This can enable you to cope with your family break up and prepare for the future.  When looking to appoint a psychotherapist ensure they are a member of a recognised professional body such as BACP and you may want to consider their experience and specialisms.

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External Resources

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

An A-Z of issues and concerns which may be helped by talking to a counsellor.