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The Benefits of Short-Term Therapy During a Divorce and Why You Should Do It Sooner Rather than Later

Divorce is essentially a death and should be treated as such.  Whatever resources that one would use in dealing with a death should be utilized during a divorce just as much.  While mourning, it is common for someone to look to short-term therapy to help with the process.  Therapy is also effective for dealing with the emotions that come along with a divorce.

The process of a divorce is adversarial to say the least.  One side is pitted against another to divide up mutual possessions and time spent with loved ones.  Those things have substantial emotional weight.  Attorneys know that, and there are some attorneys who will use that to prolong the process.  “It is easy for these matters to degenerate into power struggles due to the needs of the lawyers,” says Dr. Ann Dell Duncan-Hively, a licensed therapist in Chesterfield.  Short­-term therapy helps keep those involved more grounded and less likely to get taken in with the adversarial nature of the process.  Not everything needs to be squabbled over, and the process is much less expensive when parties are able to maintain their composure.

Duncan-Hively has also noticed that those people who do not go through short-term therapy during the divorce often visit therapists later.  This is not ideal.  For one thing, by going through therapy after the fact, you miss out on the major benefit of maintaining the level of calmness that therapy provides during the process.  They are just as susceptible to the combativeness during the actual conflict.  Additionally, it is often advisable to undergo short-term therapy during the divorce rather than later for financial purposes.  Not only will you go through the process more calmly, resolving the matter in less time and for less money, but short-term therapy is covered with assistance from insurance.  After a divorce, it is typical that one party loses their insurance, making the cost of therapy after the fact increase dramatically.

The people that are probably most in need of therapy are not those who are directly involved in the dispute, but the children.  They are the real casualties of war.  However, their therapy must be approached a little differently.  It is important that they speak with a therapist confidentially.  “Children need a place to voice their concerns without the worry that those things will be pulled into court,” says Duncan-Hively.  The concerns of the children should not be used as bargaining chips.  Instead, they should be heard safely and without fear of consequence.

The potential benefits of short-term, goal-oriented therapy, along with its minimal cost make it something of a no-lose proposition.  It is highly recommended for both the parties going through a divorce and the children, or any other family members, involved in the process.

If you’d like to reach Dr. Ann Dell Duncan-Hively, you can call her office at 314-580-5346 or visit her website