During the days and weeks of May, 2012, KLF Counseling and Consulting, PA will be adding information for parents, families, couples, individuals, teens, college students, and senior citizens regarding various topics of interest for learning and also for gaining insight into ways to have improved mental health and wellness. At KLF Counseling & Consulting, we are committed to a focus of wellness through counseling. As a certified CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) counselor/therapist, clients and their families are given tools and develop skills for use throughout their lives to hopefully attain improvement in the mental health wellbeing.
Newsletter, blog posts, Facebook listings, and other items will be added, starting today, for information, guidance, and hopefully, education to promote an effort to reduce the stigma of seeking mental health counseling when needed.
Our May, 2012 newsletter, soon to be completed will be available as a Facebook link in the next few days. If you wish, you can sign up for our newsletter which can be emailed to you. Events in the practice this month will include groups being formed with focus on grief and loss, women’s group, self-esteem, with other areas being created for launching this Summer, 2012 such as Virtual Teleconference Groups on various topics, including Women’s Groups, Wellness, and more to be announced.
Just recently, the second Women’s Group held on the topic of Happiness, has a Skype call with Nationally known Psychiatrist who has expressed an interest in a type of future development of similar events in conjunction with other women who wish to attend during the Summer, 2012. The groups are coming together for a reunion call with this special physician who will see how changes have occurred since her original call in 2010 and now with the new group members and “graduates” of the 2010 group. If you wish to be a part of the new groups forming, contact Kathy L. Fortner, EdS, LPC, NCC at email@example.com.
Our first topic for discussion focuses on Children and their mental wellness. For today’s discussion, we will focus on Children and Divorce. So often, children are involved in the divorce process which can be so challenging for them, particularly when caught between their parents. They experience grief, anger, frustration, and depression due to what has happened to them, which of course, isn’t their fault or responsibility.
One out of every two marriages today ends in divorce and many divorcing families include children. Parents who are getting a divorce are frequently worried about the effect the divorce will have on their children. During this difficult period, parents may be preoccupied with their own problems, but continue to be the most important people in their children’s lives.
While parents may be devastated or relieved by the divorce, children are invariably frightened and confused by the threat to their security. Some parents feel so hurt or overwhelmed by the divorce that they may turn to the child for comfort or direction. Divorce can be misinterpreted by children unless parents tell them what is happening, how they are involved and not involved and what will happen to them.
Children often believe they have caused the conflict between their mother and father. Many children assume the responsibility for bringing their parents back together, sometimes by sacrificing themselves. Vulnerability to both physical and mental illnesses can originate in the traumatic loss of one or both parents through divorce. With care and attention, however, a family’s strengths can be mobilized during a divorce, and children can be helped to deal constructively with the resolution of parental conflict.
Talking to children about a divorce is difficult. The following tips can help both the child and parents with the challenge and stress of these conversations:
- Do not keep it a secret or wait until the last minute.
- Tell your child together.
- Keep things simple and straight-forward.
- Tell them the divorce is not their fault.
- Admit that this will be sad and upsetting for everyone.
- Reassure your child that you both still love them and will always be their parents.
- Do not discuss each other’s faults or problems with the child.
Parents should be alert to signs of distress in their child or children. Young children may react to divorce by becoming more aggressive and uncooperative or withdrawing. Older children may feel deep sadness and loss. Their schoolwork may suffer and behavior problems are common. As teenagers and adults, children of divorce can have trouble with their own relationships and experience problems with self-esteem.
Children will do best if they know that their mother and father will still be their parents and remain involved with them even though the marriage is ending and the parents won’t live together. Long custody disputes or pressure on a child to “choose” sides can be particularly harmful for the youngster and can add to the damage of the divorce. Research shows that children do best when parents can cooperate on behalf of the child.
Parents’ ongoing commitment to the child’s well-being is vital. If a child shows signs of distress, the family doctor or pediatrician can refer the parents to a child and adolescent psychiatrist for evaluation and treatment. In addition, the therapsit can meet with the parents to help them learn how to make the strain of the divorce easier on the entire family. Psychotherapy for the children of a divorce, and the divorcing parents, can be helpful.
If you, as a parent who has been involved with divorce, and have concerns regarding your child and their well being, contact the practice at KLFCounseling@yahoo.com or call (843) 652-5532 to schedule an appointment for your child.
Tomorrow’s blog will focus on Bullying, a topic that affects many children and teens through various ways including texting, social media, and in-person school events.