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Divorce Recovery – What It is and Ways to Recover

Divorce can cause emotional problems for every member of the family. Divorce recovery aims to help recently divorced individuals and their children learn to cope with their new situation. A variety of psychotherapies are often used during individual and group counseling to help each member of the family find productive ways of handling the divorce.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Divorce Recovery

Divorce can make individuals in the family feel worthless or hopeless. These feelings often come from negative thoughts that begin to dominate the person’s perception. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for divorce recovery uses strategies to challenge negative thoughts and introduces effective behaviors to help individuals cope with the recovery process.

The negative feelings that many adults and children experience during a divorce come from inaccurate thoughts such as "I am worthless," "no one loves me," and "I never succeed at anything." CBT asks the individual to question the validity of these thoughts and challenge them with realistic statements. Someone who feels completely unloved is therefore encouraged to think of successful relationships that they have to balance the negative feelings that emanate from their thought distortions. Over time, those who receive CBT often develop the skills to challenge unrealistic thoughts automatically.

Interpersonal Therapy for Divorce Recovery

Interpersonal therapy takes a different approach by focusing on relationship barriers that cause individuals to act in unproductive ways. The theory behind interpersonal therapy shows that it is useful for therapists to consider the way that people interact with each other instead of just how the individuals think and behave on their own.

This form of divorce recovery is often successful for children who act out in negative ways because they cannot communicate their feelings appropriately. Divorced parents can also learn how their behavior influences the way that their children act. Adults undergoing divorce recovery often learn how their behaviors influence the actions of their ex-spouses as well. Making adjustments in interpersonal relationships can help individuals find ways to get along with each other during difficult situations.

Individual and Group Therapy for Divorce Recovery

Most counselors suggest individual therapy for divorce recovery because it gives them the opportunity to use psychoanalysis techniques such as CBT and interpersonal therapy that work best for specific individuals. Some people also benefit from group therapy where they can meet other people going through divorce recovery.

Group therapy helps many patients feel that they are not alone. Discussions with other people going through similar problems also give them the advantage of learning which divorce recovery techniques have worked for them.

Group therapy is often used in conjunction with individual psychotherapy. This combination provides a balanced perspective for the patient so that he or she can learn from the group while simultaneously discovering the best divorce recovery techniques that work for the individual.

A combination of individual and group therapies can also encourage children to recover from the negative effects of divorce more quickly than those who only receive one type of treatment. This, however, is not true for everyone. Individuals should work closely with their therapists to decide which methods are best for them.

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