Published on January 6, 2023

What is a counsellor and what is counselling are good questions to ask. As a Counsellor I offer compassionate, non-judgemental, and confidential assistance for individuals going through the divorce/separation process. Psychological support is essential to navigate the emotional turmoil that effects not only the way we understand and approach feelings and thoughts but also the outcome of the break-up. 

What I don’t do

I do not encourage or support blame. I do not discuss anything that is disclosed in the therapy space with solicitors, confidentiality is upheld, and boundaries are firmly promoted. I do not advise on legal matters.

What qualifications, memberships, and experience to look for

It is vitally important that you seek a practitioner who is qualified and member of a governing body such as the NCS, BACP, BPS, FMC.

You are putting your state of mind into the hands of someone who has to be equipped to hold you in both emotional and psychological safety. The most essential aspect of this type of support is the therapeutic relationship, do you trust them? Can you challenge what is said without fear of rupturing the relationship?

Your chosen practitioner has to be qualified, an accredited member of a reputable governing body and insured but most importantly develops a relationship with you where you can safely divulge everything without fear of judgement.

Top tips for getting the most out of a counsellor

To prepare for your sessions it helps to keep a journal. When our minds are flooded with the chaos that divorce/separation brings, we often only remember events according to how we felt at the time; clouding our judgement and the way we think/talk about events later. 

Be prepared to explore your own role in what has taken place, this can be difficult when we are focused on who is wrong and who is right.

You can find out more about counselling on this website for the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Postscript. Additional reading material is contained in a number of books explaining the law to people going through a divorce or separation. There is a range in our specialist shop. We have links to a number of organisations and charities who offer additional advice and support on these pages. If you are considering looking for alternatives to going to family court, these pages have some quality material to read through.

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Communication

It almost goes without saying that for those divorcing or separating there will have been problems with communication in your relationship. Such problems can, probably will, worsen during the process of separation. Stress levels increase and conversations about even simple things can become very intense. The reality of life is that nobody lives in a fairy-tale relationship and, even in a healthy relationship, there are going to be disagreements and at times arguments.

Communicating well can become a real challenge.

If you have children, at some point whether you mean it or not, they are likely to hear you and your partner argue or disagree. Most of us would agree that this is never a positive experience for a child and if you have memories of your own parents arguing you will be able to empathise with the feelings it brings up when this sort of behaviour is witnessed in a household. There are lots of useful materials on this hub; reflective articles, tips and other resources throughout that can help with these inevitable communication problems that we all face, especially at the difficult time of separation and divorce.

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