Choosing a Family Therapist for Your Divorce
When most potential clients to contact a family law firm about a pending divorce, very few of them will have ever gone to a trained marriage or family counselor. In fact, many couples never even make it to counseling in the first place. Yet this is important.
Many couples who have gone to marriage and family counseling, and then to mediation, find that there is a disconnect between the two that cannot be fixed. They go back to court or wait for the mediation process to finish, which means they’re more likely to divorce. Counseling, on the other hand, can help these couples see the solution in a way that they cannot see on their own. For some reason, people tend to need help to talk through issues that cannot be resolved in mediation or with family and friends.
For example, one husband and wife had been married for 25 years when they finally decided it was time to go to marriage counseling. Unfortunately, they were not able to resolve any of their problems during the sessions. Even after the divorce attorney recommended mediation, both spouses’ feelings were so strong that neither wanted to go to mediation. Instead, they hired separate lawyers to pursue the matter through the court. They settled in a marital settlement agreement, with both parties agreeing to move forward in separate courts.
If these couples had gone to family law, they would have been advised to try co-mediation. They would have received legal advice about how to file for joint-medical, child support, visitation, and all the particulars of the case. However, by the time they had all that sorted out, the husband had financially lost his job, the wife felt mentally unstable, and the child did not feel comfortable being in the presence of her mother. The family law attorneys recommended co-mediation and the couple signed papers indicating that they were divorcing.
Today, there are several different types of therapy that people use when they are trying to solve their marital problems. They may choose a marriage therapist, psychologist, or social worker who is licensed in Washington state to provide counseling on their marital problems. Some couples choose to do marriage workshops in other Washington state cities or hire a personal mediator who works on a free-lance basis. All of these types of therapists are trained in family law and have experience working as family law attorneys. In addition to the sessions with the therapist, many of these couples also attend marriage counseling classes that are provided by the American Psychological Association and the National Marriage Therapy Association.
The great thing about these therapists is that they are not limited to just one type of therapy. Many different types of therapy are offered. If an individual is interested in working with a therapist who is a social worker, for instance, they will be able to find a therapist who has additional training in family and marriage issues. There are also couples-counselors who are licensed psychologists and who work solely in counseling sessions. Some therapists opt to go beyond simply counseling and offer spiritual guidance in the form of marriage seminars and workshops. When seeking counseling from any of the therapists listed above, it is a good idea to seek further information about them, especially since there are so many different paths to go down when it comes to saving a marriage.