The questions that come up when considering separation and divorce can be some of the most difficult questions you will ever face. We understand how hard this time in your life is. We know the struggles you are dealing with, and the answers you are searching for.
You want much more for your future than what has happened in the past. You want to know that the pain will end, but also that you did everything you could, to heal the relationship. Knowing this would help you to make your choice with more peace, dignity and self-respect.
Therapists at Marriage and Family Therapy Services are committed to empowering people. And let's face it: The process of separation and divorce can be anything but empowering. The prospect of it is daunting at best, and frightening at worst. We can assist you to examine your choices through a more objective lens.
Not all marriages can be saved, but interviews with divorced people show that much of what they thought they would get as a result of divorce was never achieved. Research also indicates that subsequent marriages are even more likely to fail than previous ones.
We know that if a healthy relationship is possible in someone's future, that person would have to learn the skills necessary to have and maintain it. Couples who leave a relationship without those skills will simply enter the next relationship without them and be even more likely to repeat the dysfunctional patterns from the previous relationship.
We believe the best chance you have to learn the skills necessary for a healthy relationship is in your current relationship -- no matter how dysfunctional it may be. If you heal the damage from the past, your relationship has a chance to either heal and move forward, into new possibilities for the future, or peacefully move apart, knowing that divorce is the next right step, free from fear, regrets, remorse, or guilt. Either way, you have the opportunity to learn and grow, and your future relationships are much healthier!
Our therapists work with clients who are considering divorce in various formats. You may attend by yourself, to address individual concerns, or with your spouse and/or other family members.
Whether you are considering divorce as a viable option, or just seeking a way to end the lack of fulfillment in the current relationship, our therapists can expertly guide you through your choices.
We offer 3 different therapy options for couples facing the possibility of separation and/or divorce:
1.) Decision-Making Therapy
When you're sure your relationship can't endure anymore of the current problems, but are unsure whether divorce is the right decision, our therapists can help you explore your options. The goal in Decision Making Therapy is to come to a decision from a place of health and strength, not blame and anger. When the issues that brought you into therapy are resolved, a decision can be made with clarity and effectiveness.
2.) A "Therapeutic Separation" -- The Divorce Alternative
This tool is offered for couples in which one or more of the individuals find continuing to live together unbearable, but who are still willing to work on healing the damage from the past, or at least explore whether or not healing is possible.
A Therapeutic Separation is a structured, written contract, in which the couple agree on various aspects of the separation in therapy. In a Therapeutic Separation, the couple continues to attend therapy together, and they may attend individually as well. The main goal is to heal the damage and begin practicing new, healthier relationship skills with one another. The goal is not necessarily to reconcile the marriage, although this is often the desired outcome of one or both parties.
Many couples find that once the painful past has been resolved and new skills have replaced the dysfunctional behavior patterns, a new, wonderful future as a couple emerges. In other cases, peaceful resolution to historic conflict leads the couple to a much less conflictual divorce. At this point, they may choose to utilize our third option, "Divorce Mediation."
3.) Divorce Mediation
This option is for couples who are clear that divorce is the next step. The therapist facilitates a collaborative agreement that works for both parties. These sessions usually result in a written document which can then be brought to an attorney, who can be hired by the couple to make it a legally binding contract. This process usually saves a great deal of time, legal fees, and emotional energy.
Therapists at MFTS are NOT Certified Mediators, however, extensive training and years of experience make them highly qualified to mediate the ending of a marriage from a non-legal standpoint. It is important for clients considering Mediation with MFTS to understand that they will still incur whatever legal costs are involved with filing documents and settling the divorce. MFTS cannot provide any legal advice, and should not take the place of qualified legal advice and/or representation.