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Separation & Divorce

Psychotherapy Services - Separation & Divorce

Separation & Divorce

Marriage and other forms of committed relationships bring great joy but they can also be challenging to navigate. A long-term healthy relationship depends on how well couples manage their challenges. Some factors, unfortunately, can introduce catastrophic ruptures in relations. Betrayal is one such factor. Unresolved hurt and anger can lead to contempt, a leading predictor of the end of a relationship. Questions about separation and divorce, unfortunately, arise in many relationships, even those that are seemingly secure and long-term.

With the exception of abusive relationships, couples should take pause and give deep thought to ending a committed relationship. This is a major life decision with financial and emotional consequences for both parties. This fraught decision can reverberate through your family and friend circle, and in particular, deeply impact children.

Couple & Relationship Counselling

Unhappy couples often rely on the advice of family, friends or articles online where their unique circumstances and needs cannot be captured. Consequently, many end up in repetitive and exhausting conflict cycles that are unlikely to lead to a resolution. A prudent and beneficial first step in these circumstances is to engage a qualified therapist to counsel you during this turbulent period. Couples’ therapists receive extensive training drawn from decades of proven research into what makes relationships work. This specialized knowledge allows them to understand relationship dynamics with far more insight than a layperson.

Unfortunately, many couples wait far too long after problems begin to pursue this type of therapy. Even with a therapist, climbing out of a deeper hole takes longer and requires more effort. A well-trained couples therapist can help you get to the root cause of the problem. Your therapist can also frame the issues in a manner that will allow you to make informed choices about reconciling or separating. The skills you will gain from therapy sessions will allow you to conduct yourself better going forward with improved self-awareness and communication.

Separation and Divorce: Parenting Counselling

Couples not yet ready to part ways can opt for a trial separation. However, living separately to diffuse tensions and gain a different perspective can be complicated when children are involved. If on the other hand, you must end the relationship but continue to co-parent after a divorce, then your therapist can help you manage such situations with less animosity towards each other and to the benefit of your children.

Conscious uncoupling is a contemporary method of managing the end of a marital relationship. In low-conflict separations, a therapist can help couples part ways amicably with mutual respect, for the sake of the children. This can help everyone move on with the least amount of drama. 

Both you and your children can encounter complex emotions during or after a separation or divorce. Parent counselling and coaching can help you understand your own emotions, that of your children and your ex-partner. Having this insight will help you be gentle with yourself and allow you to interact with your children so you can meet their needs. These coaching sessions will generally not involve your children. However, the parenting skills you acquire will benefit your children for a lifetime. Typically, these are one-on-one sessions, however, you can choose to include the other parent or another adult that is actively involved in caring for your children, like a step-parent or grandparent.

Two-Home Co-Parenting

When relationships end, they come with the burden of grieving, disappointment, anger, and more. Children are very perceptive and will keenly notice any anger or frustration you harbour for your ex-partner. In some families, this can turn into a dangerous and emotionally damaging environment, known as “triangulation”. Your counsellor can help you steer clear of behaviour patterns that do not bode well for your children.

An abundance of evidence shows that kids thrive in loving and stable environments. Amicable co-parenting can help children feel loved and supported amidst changes in their routines and living arrangements. Transitioning kids to two-home living can be tumultuous for everyone and conflicts can continue well after the physical separation. Parents who are separated or divorced often seek out counselling, specifically to help them co-parent their children while living separately. The structure of your counselling sessions is organized at the outset and you have a choice to see the counsellor together or separately.

Step-Parent Counselling

Blended families are a rapidly growing segment of society, and parenting someone else’s child can be challenging. Every step-parent’s role is unique to the family. Successful step-parenting requires strong role clarity, communication systems, and self-care. Your counsellor can help your family to navigate common problems with acceptance, caring and mutual respect. 

Developing Parenting Plans

Parenting roles rarely come to an end after separation and divorce. In fact, this type of parenting is complicated and requires both of you to create and abide by ground rules. A trained therapist can mediate to create equitable parenting agreements that would form the basis for a legal document or negotiated settlement. You will find this to be a much cheaper alternative to engaging high-priced lawyers for this task.

Beaches Therapy Group

Jill St. Clair | Beaches Therapy Group

Jill St. Clair, BA, RSW, Assc FM, is our resident specialist with decades of experience in the field of separation and divorce counselling. In her own words,

Families change when parents separate, but parenting does not end. Parents are forever. Parenting during or after separation and divorce can feel like one of the most uncharted times in your life. Without support, it can become daunting and overwhelming.

Jill St. Clair.

Therapy Fees

Therapy fees are one reason why some couples avoid seeking help, and we understand this, completely. Here’s how we charge for our time. We are happy to have a frank and open discussion with you about this to ensure we manage your care in the best way possible. Our services are covered by most extended benefit insurance plans. If you do not have coverage, we also offer affordable therapy sessions at discounted rates through our internship program. Therapy is an investment in your health and happiness and it is more affordable than common belief.

Also, our blogs, authored by professionally trained therapists, are available for free on our website. We publish them regularly and feature topics that are useful for individuals, couples and families. We encourage you to visit our site often. In many cases, this information will help you understand what you are experiencing. However, our blogs do not constitute professional advice, diagnosis, treatment or therapy. You must always consult with a physician, psychologist or qualified mental health provider to professionally direct your physical, mental and emotional health.

 Often a few targeted sessions may be all you require. We never keep you in therapy for longer than you need. To accommodate varying schedules we offer online and in-person therapy sessions during office hours, evenings and weekends.