Good therapists are disciplined about recognizing and addressing their own emotional pain. This practice can allow us to use our own experiences in our therapeutic relationships. Being of service to others shouldn’t be used to justify suffering, but I am grateful when I am able to use personal experiences and challenges to better understand and support others when they are going through a difficult situation.
My personal experience with divorce was painfully isolating. Not only did I lose my primary partner, but I also lost their family (which of course felt like mine), mutual friends that we had, as well as other key parts of my support system including relationships we had with organizations in our community.
Unfortunately, these were not the only changes I had to navigate. I had to find a new place to live, my job had to change, and I had to rehome pets. At times it felt like I had to start my life completely over. I spent so much time feeling alone and I often felt completely overwhelmed. I’m so grateful for the support I did have, but it could often feel inconsistent.
Divorce is Hard for Everyone
Your experience may not look or feel like mine did, but divorce can be one of the most challenging and difficult experiences a person can go through. There are many additional challenges other than the ones I named that can compound issues exponentially such as dealing with shared custody or significant financial or legal issues.
Culturally, divorce and major break-ups are less taboo than they once were, but even when you know divorce is the right thing for you, it can still be difficult not to internalize narratives of failure. Complicated feelings including relief, guilt, loneliness, grief, or anger could all be part of the experience.
Divorce Support Can Help With Healing and Recovery
Getting some additional support as you navigate the stress, emotional pain, and life changes associated with divorce or primary partner changes could help with your healing and recovery. While individual counseling is valuable in these situations, another helpful resource is a divorce support group. These groups can provide safe spaces to share your experiences, feelings, and fears.
In Divorce Support Groups, other members have more context for what you’re going through, and their perspectives, feedback, and coping skills can provide genuine insight and help with feelings of isolation. This understanding can lead to meaningful emotional support. Hearing from others’ experiences can also give you hope or help you feel more optimistic.
What to Consider When Joining a Divorce Support Group
If you are considering joining a divorce support group, you will want to make sure it is a good fit for you. Groups can be specific to certain genders or age groups or be more general. You may prefer virtual versus in-person, a closed group versus an open group, or a smaller versus a larger group.
The Divorce Support Group that I co-facilitate at Catayss Counseling is more general, closed, and limited to six people. We also recommend groups that are led by qualified professionals who can facilitate a safe, non-judgmental, and supportive environment. At Catalyss, you get an individual screening with a counselor who will help you assess whether the group would be a good fit for you.
Benefits of Joining a Divorce Support Group
If you do decide to join, one of the major benefits of being part of a support group is the relationships that you develop with other group members. A key part of developing these relationships is your willingness to be vulnerable and share your own feelings and story. This provides more opportunities to connect with others and these connections are what make the group dynamic and optimally beneficial.
With these benefits in mind, we recommend attending a Divorce Support Group for a minimum of 4 weeks. This will give you time to get more comfortable with the process and hopefully begin to see how you can benefit from being part of the group.
Because navigating divorce can feel particularly lonely, and because much of the pain is due to relational issues, groups can be an ideal setting for obtaining support. Groups provide spaces to share, connect, and practice the relationship skills that are vital to sustaining thriving connections. As I shared with my personal experience of navigating the pain of divorce, you may even eventually find value in supporting others as you navigate your own recovery.
How We Can Help
Reach out to us today to find out more about how a divorce support group may be a fit for your healing journey
For individuals who want to heal from the emotional turmoil of a divorce or break-up while getting support and tools to move forward with your life again.
Follow these simple steps if you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more balanced life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling, couples counseling, and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision with Firelight Supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Jessica Carpenter is an intern therapist with Catalyss Counseling who works with adults who have experienced stress or trauma to develop better self-regulation skills. Jessica is also a licensed massage therapist, yoga therapist, and TRE provider. She is passionate about making wellness accessible to everyone. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.