June 12, 2013

Reset and Restore Emotional Balance During Divorce

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Recently, I viewed an interesting webinar that was sponsored by the Psychotherapy Networker. A psychologist named Jay Efran was interviewed about his study of emotions.  He described two stages of emotional experience: the arousal stage and the recovery stage.  When emotions are expressed, a person is in the recovery stage where emotional balance is then restored.

That led me thinking about couples who are in the divorce process. They are dealing with many complex legal, financial and parenting concerns, and at the same time experiencing various, and sometimes intense, emotional sensations.  An earlier blog identified the experience of ambiguous loss for individuals who are divorcing.  Along with the grief that is being experienced, there are also a range of other emotions that are experienced by every member of the family when transitioning from a one house family to a family with two homes.

During the divorce process, emotional tension can escalate.  Fear, anger, confusion and sadness are often sensations that are experienced, and people express these emotions outwardly in various ways such as:  tears, raised voices or withdrawal, to name a few of many possibilities.  To do the work of the divorce process, each person cannot be too aroused or too relaxed.  Either extreme can result in loss of focus and concentration and involvement in the problem solving process.  Whether or not emotions are heightened or numbed, people under stress need a way to express, resolve and reset emotionally.

Couples in the Collaborative Divorce Process actively participate in their divorce negotiations with their Collaborative Practice Team.  During client meetings, emotional tension can increase and  lead to difficulties with staying on the road to resolving the divorce.

Couples who have a Collaborative Practice Team are fortunate to have a lineup of professionals who know how to navigate not only the legal divorce, but also the emotional aspects of the divorce and provide a safe and supportive working space where focused problem solving can take place and the best solutions for the family can be created.  If emotions are being expressed, the Divorce Coach can assist and support, and help individuals move toward a resolution of the emotion so that the work at hand can continue.

Keeping balanced emotionally allows divorcing couples to do their best work and create the best results for their family.  To learn more about Collaborative Practice, visit www.collaborativelaw.org.

Stephanie TschidaABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie Tschida

Stephanie Tschida, M.S., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Collaborative Divorce Neutral Child Specialist and Divorce Coach is in private practice in Woodbury Minnesota. She is committed to supporting her clients through the uncertainty of family change, so that they can experience a smooth transition, have a positive adjustment and strong family plan to carry them forward. Learn more about Stephanie's therapy practice and collaborative divorce work at: Learn more at www.sltschida.com

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