A divorce can be a highly stressful and traumatic time for both husband and wife; however, the impact on the children can be detrimental as well and, in some cases, can result in life-long emotional problems. It is recommended in divorce situations and particularly with younger children that the child attends counselling sessions with a child psychologist. The aim of these sessions is to assist the child in addressing their thoughts about the divorce and the emotions they may need to handle. While many adults feel their children can be managed by the mother or father, it is possible that the adult is suffering themselves and is unable to deal with more traumas. This article will discuss both the positive and negative aspects of counselling for kids after a divorce.
While some parents may believe counselling for kids will add to the child’s difficulties, there are many who feel that the counselling will provide a healthy outlet. A child counselling session involves far more than mere discussion of the situation; instead, the child is allowed to engage in activities and share their thoughts through play or interaction. The safe environment is beneficial as it allows the child to share thoughts in an active environment, not one where they “stew” on the negative emotions.
Of course, older children do feel far more negative regarding divorce situations and it is common for the older child or teenager to experience thoughts of depression or suicide. While some of this may stem from the divorce, it is possible that the emotions are related to childhood difficulties and social problems. By attending counselling sessions, the child can share feelings with a trained professional beyond the realms of divorce issues. Parents may not notice the problems; however, professionals provide environments where the child can share all information, and they can identify the specific difficulties.
One of the greatest cons to counselling for children in this situation is that the parents often feel the session validates their fears of the child having emotional difficulties caused by the divorce. Many parents attempt to downplay the effects of this situation trying to maintain as great a degree of normality as possible; however, the attempt to downplay does not always work. It is often seen that the parent’s trying to avoid negative responses only invokes emotional difficulties through an excessive increase in attention or need to do more with the child. If a child is not used to this behavior, they may feel uncomfortable, and this can cause emotional concerns.
A second disadvantage to counselling is that the parents feel it discomforting to bring a stranger into this personal situation; despite the stranger being a trained professional. This can confuse the child, especially if the child is young, and there is the potential of the child beginning to feel frustrated with emotional conflicts. In many cases, the child is not yet emotionally developed, and any frustration can become a prolonged trauma if not dealt with immediately.