Even in the best of circumstances, legal cases are stressful. You have to somehow function in your regular life and go to work, get your groceries, clean the house, and so on, and, AND, you now have to figure out how to structure the end to one of the most interconnected relationships in your life. That gets even more complicated when you have to go to court and deal with the back and forth of litigation. It’s hard. It’s ok to recognize that it’s hard, and that you might need help in dealing with the more personal aspects outside of the court room.

We should not have to hear that you spent your Friday evening locked in a bathroom screaming and crying into a pillow so no one else can hear you because you have no where to turn for support (True story).

We preach the importance of team building with our Firm, and an important part of that team building is identifying the areas where more support is needed and finding people who can provide you with solutions to that need. Finding emotional support fits right into that practice.

The Ripple Model of Support

Picture, if you will, a stone being dropped into a pond. At the center of the impact, that’s where the most turbulence is. From that point, ripples move outward in a bunch of different and uniform circles.

This imagery is actually a model of how emotional support can work in a healthy way. The person experiencing the turbulence is in the middle, and every ring that moves out from there is a person or group where emotional support can be found. The first ripple might be your parents or your best friend. The second ripple might be a community group or a therapist. The farther out you go, the more detached from the experience that specific group or person might be. Further, and this is important, people can only reach out to the next ring for support. They cannot reach back inwards.

You are not the person to provide emotional support for people you are trying to lean on for support. So, if your parents find out you’re getting divorced, they cannot try and lean back in on you for whatever they’re feeling. They need to take their experience and lean outwards toward someone else. So, how does this fit in with knowing when to seek extra help?

If you find that the people you are trying to lean on for support are trying to resolve their own emotional response for something happening to you, then you need to direct your search for help elsewhere. You cannot make it your job to help someone else get through something happening to you.

A Lack of Tools

No one practices for dealing with emotional distress or grief associated with significant events like the end of a marriage or intimate relationship. No one. When it comes to dealing with a significant emotional event, it’s written off as a part of life and the advice that we get is heavily centered around the learned responses that other people were fed by people who also had no idea what to do! This ends up with advice that might help in the short term, but doesn’t lead to a healthy resolution of long-term happiness. If you’ve ever met someone who struggled to trust after an experience, it’s because they did not get the help that they needed to close that loop.

We don’t need platitudes like “time heals all wounds” – if that were true then no one would be in therapy to begin with. What we need is constructive and meaningful assistance. Because we don’t prepare, we need to equip ourselves with the tools that we need to thrive.

Where to Find Help

Finding the right clinician in your community may seem easy, but you should consider these questions.

What will the cost be?
Most offices accept private health insurance, but knowing your copay for this service is important. Most copays will be less than a full out of pocket expense. Offices who do not take insurance charge by the session with fees ranging between $150-$180 per hour. Many clinicians also accept state insurance, however depending on your insurance, your wait time for an appointment can vary.

Hours and Availability
You may be working from 9am-5pm, so knowing your clinician has evening or weekend availability is important. Early in the recovery process you may need to seek more frequent sessions, knowing how that is managed is something to consider. Is your clinician available by phone, email, telehealth or in person sessions only?

Type of service and experience
Knowing the experience of the clinician is vital to have a successful outcome. Perhaps its not the amount of time in the field, but a seasoned clinician who has worked with patients in a similar situation would be a better fit for you. Does this therapist have cognitive-behavioral or solution focused treatment approach, and which is best for your needs? It is also important that the clinician sees all members of your family. A clinician focus is usually family, adult or child focused.

Picking the counselor best fit for your needs is not an easy task. Be sure you can connect with them and know their level of commitment to your needs. These steps will help you find a good match. Take time, do your research, read reviews and know it will happen. You’ve got this.

At O’Connor Family Law, we can help you work through a divorce because we’ve been there before. Our team will help you throughout each step of the process while protecting your rights and defending you from any attack from your spouse.

To learn more about divorce in Massachusetts or Rhode Island and to speak with a member of our team you can call us at (774) 214-2137 or by visiting our contact us page.