Support groups are an effective way of helping people cope with various problems. From addiction recovery to helping people learn, some people just benefit better when they have a group of like-minded folks to talk to.
One event that you may need plenty of support to help you is divorce. Divorce is a painful, expensive, and confusing time, and getting as much support possible is recommended. One way you may go about this is through a divorce support group.
Divorce Support Groups
This is a form of group therapy consisting of people who are in the middle of a divorce process or are have been divorced and are picking up the pieces. Sometimes, it may be led by a therapist, but other times, it can be made up of ordinary people. These groups may meet weekly, biweekly, or monthly, and each member shares their story.
Many people seek the help of these groups because, quite often, we may not know people who are going through the same experience. In the group, people may share their experiences, and each person has a chance to speak.
Sometimes, these groups may be in-person, but they can be done online as well. This may come through forums or video chat sessions.
Benefits of a Support Group
There are many benefits that a divorce support group can offer. Here are some of them:
- They can be a safe place to vent. When you’re going through a divorce, you may have some emotions backed up. Sometimes, it can be a few choice words for your ex. Other times, it may come in the form of regrets. A divorce support group can be a safe, nonjudgmental place where you’re allowed to explore your feelings. This is especially true if it’s led by a therapist.
- A divorce support group can help you learn some unique coping ideas. While you can look up ways to cope all day, people have their own unique ways, and by learning them, you may find that they work for you.
- With divorce support groups, one reason they are powerful is that they help you make connections. While some of the people in the groups will simply be acquaintances, you may find that some of them are people you can be friends with, especially if you end up having things in common.
- They can give you the confidence of speaking your mind because you’re seeing everyone else do it. Sometimes, you may worry about talking about your divorce because you feel like it’s embarrassing, or you don’t want to be judged for your marriage. However, when you hear other people’s stories, you may realize that people have it the same as you, and it can make it much easier to talk.
- In regards to professional therapy, divorce support groups can be less expensive than individual therapy. This is because there are many people in the group and one therapist leading them. Often, the bill is split, so you pay less. When you’re struggling financially due to the divorce, a support group can be a cheaper way to pay for help.
- Divorce support groups can offer parenting advice. Parenting when you’re divorced comes with its own set of challenges. Sometimes, you may not be able to see your kids much at all, and you may not know how to make the most out of your visits. Other times, you may have the opposite problem, where you have primary custody and it’s harder for you to raise them all on your own. A divorce support group can help with that.
- Divorce support groups can help with all other issues relating to divorce. You can talk about dating after divorce, or how your mental health has been affected. Anything is on the table. Your group may divide sessions into tackling each topic that concerns divorce, helping you to collect your thoughts before every session.
- Finally, divorce support groups, being led by therapists, can teach you evidence-based coping techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness. This can help you cope with the negative emotions and self-defeating habits you have during your divorce.
Drawbacks of Support Groups
With that said, divorce support groups have some downsides when compared to individual therapy.
First, there’s the privacy issue. When it’s just you and the therapist, the therapist has an obligation to keep everything a secret, unless you’re a danger to yourself or another person. However, in a group, there are more people, and even though they’re told that everything is private, some of them may still talk about what you’ve said.
In addition, group therapy does have a problem with you not being able to say everything you want to say within the allotted time. When you have multiple people and only so many hours, not everyone can get everything out. Because of this, it may take longer. With that said, a good group may end up helping one another find their own solutions.
In the ideal world, it’s good to have both individual and group therapy as an option. Perhaps you may consider individual therapy to discuss your most personal details about your divorce. Meanwhile, group therapy is good for when you want to talk about the more general issues surrounding it.
In addition, group therapy may be harder to find, especially if you live in a smaller area. You can go online, but you may want to do it in person, especially if you want to make local friends or want people who have a similar perspective as you.
Divorce support groups have many benefits, and those who are facing divorce should consider going to one. While it can be a little embarrassing to talk about your problems, divorce support groups are usually non-judgmental and allow you to express yourself as freely as possible. Go to one today and see how it fares for you.
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