Hi, I'm Nicole Myers, Licensed Professional Counselor. If you would like to know more about me or my colleagues, please check out our introductions available in video, audio or text.
The question I'm going to be discussing today is: What are signs that would indicate, or suggest, that I or my children should see a counselor before, during or after the divorce?
This is an important question to ask yourself because If things continue to go "downhill" within your household, if you see increased behaviors that you did not want or if you see yourself being unable to handle emotions as well, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. If you want this to turn around as quickly as possible and in the healthiest manner as possible, seeking a counselor can really be very helpful. For your children, particularly young children, you may want to be on the lookout for behaviors that they didn't have before the divorce. If they do make complaints, listen to their complaints. A time to seek a counselor for them is if the behaviors seem to be something you are not able to help them learn not do yourself or if their complaints are something that you do not feel able to help them discuss openly without yourself becoming upset and struggling through your day because of it. With older children, again, behaviors can be a good indicator but you may see different types of behaviors. They may or may not be as willing to talk openly with you. Teenagers particularly may feel more comfortable talking to a stranger as they may be more invested in not burdening you with their struggles. Again, you know that you love your children very much and remember your children love you too and, at times, they may not be comfortable sharing things with you as a parent because they may want to also protect you.
For yourself, do you need a counselor? Are you getting the sleep that you normally would get? Are you able to function as well as you did before the divorce? These are all important questions. If you're not getting through your day as well, if your work is suffering, if you find yourself snapping at co-workers or family because your temper is shorter -- these are indicators that something is not going well for you. Seeing a counselor, even for one or two sessions, could really help you get a handle on these things. Many people who seek counseling seek one just for a couple of sessions, sometimes you may go longer if the issues are longer-lasting or harder to turn around but you will be able to talk to a professional who is qualified, who has training in this area, or areas depending on how many issues you bring in, and who also is not going to be going home and having a personal investment in what's happening for you. In other words, they will be focused solely on your needs or your children's needs as may be the case.
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