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Divorce Adjustment

Russ Patten MA - CMHC

Russ is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has earned a Master’s of Arts in Counseling from a CACREP accredited program at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. Russ’ strength as a therapist lies in approaching the counseling process from a client-centered standpoint in which the unique world view and perspective of each client is validated and respected. Emphasis: Couples, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, Trauma and Abuse, Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management, Mindfulness, DBT Family Skills, Men’s Work, Children and Youth 12+, Death and Dying, Elder Support, LGBT Affirming Therapy, EMDR Trained

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Divorce is one of the most traumatic events in anyone’s life, but it can be devastating to children. Divorce adjustment counseling can assist adults and children in this difficult transition. Children often react with depression, anger, behavioral problems in school and lower academic performance. Younger children frequently regress, and parents observe behavior more commonly at a much younger age. Some recently toilet-trained children begin wetting the bed again, other children resort to talking in baby talk. All of these symptoms reflect the trauma of this situation. Psychological counseling can help children and adolescents to adjust to the changes of divorce and to minimize its negative impact. Counseling can also help parents to understand the best way to manage their children during this transition period.

Adults frequently need counseling to manage divorce as well. This is particularly true for the spouse who does not want a divorce, but is forced to accept it. Depression and anxiety problems are common results, and treatment is designed to minimize the negative impact of the divorce and help the individual manage the changes thrust upon him/her. Parent- child relationships often change during divorce and parents need help learning how to cope with new responsibilities. Custodial parents often feel overwhelmed by the increased responsibility of being a single parent and also experience considerable anger toward their spouse, which sometimes is translated into interference with visitation. Non-custodial parents may have to manage their children alone for the first time in their lives. Some tend to withdraw, rather than face the responsibility, while others simply do not know how to care for young children. All of these issues are appropriate for counseling and psychotherapy.