Friends and family can be a great source of comfort when you are going through a break-up or bereavement, however, sometimes talking to a stranger has its benefits. You can open up in a confidential and safe space  with a non-judgemental professional. The following are common types of therapy that may help you to cope with the process of divorce, separation or bereavement.

 

Counselling

When a relationship ends it is natural to feel a sense of loss, even if you made the decision to end the relationship. Counsellors can help by enabling you to work through your feelings and deal with any issues that may be causing you anxiety.

During the process of a divorce or separation counselling has the added advantage of helping you to deal with feelings such as anger, hurt, revenge, mistrust and betrayal that can cloud your judgement when dealing with any practical or legal issues. This is especially important when you have children to consider.

If you are bereaved it is important that you find a counsellor that specialises in bereavement counselling as they can help you through the grieving process.


Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a form of counselling but psychotherapists have generally undergone a longer period of training.

Whereas counselling is generally short term, psychotherapy is a longer term process which aims to explore long term, emotional and psychological problems and can help you to understand your thoughts, feelings and actions more clearly. It identifies emotional issues and the historical reasons for those issues.

Many counsellors are psychotherapists and  will use psychological methods in their counselling.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is a form of counselling that looks at how your thoughts and feelings affect your behaviours. It's a short term therapy that usually focuses on one aspect of your behaviour at a time, for example a phobia or fear.

It teaches you that you cannot control every situation, but that you can have control over over how you deal with things.

It can be very good for people who have ongoing relationship problems and want to explore their behaviour within relationships and change that behaviour, or anyone who is afraid of being alone following a break-up or divorce.


Coaching

Coaching is different to counselling or psychotherapy as it is about the present. It doesn't try to make sense of things based on your past but instead focuses on a goal or set of goals.

A good coach will listen and guide, the work essentially being yours. You set a goal, and the coach will help steer you in the right direction, make priorities and create an action plan.

Coaching can be especially beneficial where you are struggling to cope with work and emotional trauma. Rather than go too deeply into painful memories, it will focus on how you can stay in the here and now and look forward.

However, unlike counsellors and psychotherapists, coaches do not need to be trained. Many do have a lot of life experience which can be helpful. Coaching is good when it comes to moving on from your grief and hurt and can help you to define a future without your former spouse.


NLP

Neuro-linguistic programming is often overlooked as a way through trauma or loss, yet it can be a powerful tool in helping you to let go of what is holding you back and create a new future for yourself.

NLP focuses upon your thinking patterns: what you think and why you think that way. It also looks at how your physiology can affect your thinking and mood.

It can provide quick results, particularly when you are feeling negative or low, however, you need to be open minded and willing to engage in the process in order to see results.

Technically speaking, NLP is a cognitive-behavioural therapy. You can change the thoughts in your head without giving too much thought as to where they came from.

However, the NLP world is not as well regulated as counselling or psychotherapy so approach with caution. Charges vary as does the quality, so ask for recommendations and part with your money with caution, especially if you are feeling vulnerable. 

therapy

Helplines

Calmzone
Help for men who are depressed or suicidal

Child Line
Helpline for children and teenagers who need help or someone to talk to

Cruse Bereavement Care
Information and helpline for people who have suffered a bereavement

Hope Again
Care for young people suffering from bereavement

National Domestic Violence Helpline
24/7 support for women needing help with domestic violence

Rethink
Mental health advice service

The Samaritans
24/7 support line for anybody feeling suicidal or simply needing someone to talk to

Sane
Helpline for anyone coping with mental illness

Support Line
Confidential counselling and a listening ear for anyone needing someone to talk to

 

Click here for further helpline numbers

Notes on therapy:

  • The pain you feel following loss is a normal part of life. Therapy won't offer a magic cure to make you instantly feel better. Think of it more like a guiding hand to ease you through.

  • If therapy doesn't seem to working, you may have the wrong therapist or be undertaking the wrong type of therapy - don't be afraid to admit that it isn't working and try something else.

  • Some therapies focus on your past as a way to explain the present - be careful not to simply blame and alienate those that really care for you. Use your judgement carefully; sometimes blame is appropriate, but ultimately you are responsible for your actions in the present and going forward.

  • Don't get into debt to fund your therapy or take further courses on the quest for enlightenment, especially when you are feeling vulnerable. Speak to your GP and try ringing local organisations to see if help is available to fund therapy.

  • Waiting lists vary from region to region. If you are waiting and desperately need to talk to someone, try one of our helplines and seek help from your GP.