Skip Navigation LinksHome > Therapy101 > Types of Counseling > Divorce Counseling

Divorce Counseling – What’s Involved

When we get married, we would all like to believe that it is for life; "Til death do us part," as the refrain goes. Unfortunately, most of us are aware of the reality that things don’t always work out this way. When it’s apparent that a married couple is going to split and go their separate ways, it can often be to their benefit to seek divorce counseling.


What Is Divorce Counseling?

It may seem strange to think about divorce counseling as opposed to marriage counseling. If the marriage has failed, it would seem that the time for counseling has passed. However this is not always the case. For one, a divorce is a traumatic, life-changing event that can give rise to many feelings and complex issues, and it can be very helpful to speak with a trained professional during this difficult time. For another, divorces can get very complicated and messy when they do not need to be. A divorce counselor can help couples break up cleanly, with a minimum of ill will. This is not only healthier for the couple; it can also make things much easier on any children who might be part of a family going through a divorce.


Who Can Benefit from Divorce Counseling?

Couples who are confident that they can no longer make their marriage work but would prefer to have an amicable divorce can definitely benefit from divorce counseling. As mentioned, it can be especially important for couples with children to consider divorce counseling, as a conflict-ridden divorce can lead to a great deal of trauma for children for many years after the divorce is complete and the two spouses have gone their separate ways.


How Does Divorce Counseling Work?

One type of divorce counseling, called divorce mediation, is being used more and more commonly as an alternative to hiring lawyers to split up assets. This counselor is an objective party to the divorce, and works to increase communication and help couples come to compromises so that they are able to cleanly divide their assets and child visitation rights without coming to blows or paying lawyers many thousands of dollars.


Another type of divorce counselor, who may be a social worker, psychologist, or someone specially trained in working with couples, may be working specifically to help the couple split amicably, without a great deal of emotional scarring, and without worrying about asset distribution. These divorce counselors work much the way marriage counselors work, by helping both parties learn better ways of communicating with one another. Even though the goal is not reconciliation, the two individuals are still related by their history, and can still benefit from learning to communicate with each other. This is true even if the two spouses plan to have little contact with each other moving forward, but it can be especially important if there are children involved, since this means that the two spouses will always be a part of each others’ lives in some way, shape or form.