Separation and Divorce Therapy
Unlike couples therapy, separation and divorce counseling occurs in the instance in which one or both partners decide to end a relationship. Rather than seeking a way forward together, this kind of therapy empowers couples to see their relationship take on different paths and make progress through the following:
Creating a new family paradigm: The changing nature of the relationship requires those involved to discover the new platform for the family paradigm and the dynamic with which it is created. Will the divorce be amicable? Will the people separating maintain consistent communication? These are questions that can be explored and answered through therapy.
Recognizing an awareness: This stage creates an awareness of the new situation by analyzing it both from the perspective of those separating, as well as that of the others involved. It helps couples recognize how family members are impacted by the divorce or separation, and allows them to remove themselves from the divorce in order to focus on their children and gain an understanding of the impact the separation is having on them.
Creating new rituals: In order to move out of the pain of the separation, couples must achieve a sense of closure so they are capable of moving forward individually. Dr. Smerling uses several therapy techniques to help couples achieve this. Couples are encouraged to consider the future with regard to certain life events: How will they interact with each other at family gatherings, sports games and birthdays or graduations? How will these experiences coincide with the lives they create for themselves following the process of the divorce? These are all questions that are explored in this later stage of therapy.
Dr. Smerling has also provided media interviews and talks regarding her expertise in separation and divorce therapy in the following areas: