Stress, Stress, and More Stress.
Family law proceedings are psychologically stressful, emotionally grueling, and financially taxing. I read somewhere that the five most stressful life events a person can go through are divorce, death of a spouse, death of a child, loss of a home, and bankruptcy. I note that the top five on the internet varies from blog to blog; but the point is that most family law proceedings, in some way or another, will involve at least two of these. No, I am not saying people are killing each other; I am saying that the death of a marriage can carry the same weight and grief of the death of a spouse.
The death of a marriage is the death of a dream; it’s the death of how you thought your life would go.
Attorneys Are Not Grief Counsellors
Though one of our titles is “counselor,” we as attorneys are not, in fact, qualified to give you the emotional and/or psychological support you may need as your case moves forward. Nor is it our inclination; our training and experience is in dealing with the law as it applies to the facts of your case. While we at Hartley, Maxwell & Castellano, do care a great deal about what happens in your case and how this affects your life, the more time we spend doing grief counseling or life coaching, the higher our bill will be.
An attorney’s field of expertise should be the courtroom or the negotiating table – not the therapeutic couch.
Therapists Are Covered by Insurance.
Attorneys generally bill at a fairly high rate per hour. Therapists don’t tend to have quite as high an hourly rate, but Blue Cross and other health insurance agencies won’t pay even a portion of our bill.
If you don’t have health insurance, generally the community in which you reside will have low- or no-cost therapeutic services available.
What About Your Children?
If you have children, your ability to healthily manage your thoughts and emotions during the family law proceeding will have a tremendous impact on them. They are going to be watching you go through this, and you don’t want them scarred for the rest of their lives (at least you SHOULD NOT want them scarred for the rest of their lives) by how they see you handling your grief and your anger. We cannot possibly emphasize the need for you to go through this procedure gracefully and with dignity, not only for your own sake but for the sake of your children.
Get the tools to manage your thoughts and emotions in such a way that you can be proud of your conduct and your children don’t have to take over parenting YOU.
The Down Side to Having a Therapist.
You must be cautious not to waive the therapist-patient privilege while going through a family law proceeding. That would allow the other side to – possibly – use the discovery process to gain access to those confidential communications. Just like you should never say “My attorney told me,” “My attorney said,” or – heaven forbid! – post your attorney’s comments on social media sites, you shouldn’t say “My therapist said” or anything similar.
Since you are the one who controls the information you disseminate, the benefits of a therapist should far outweight the dangers of loose lips.