The role of therapy in helping children get through divorce

Regardless of the ages of children whose parents are getting divorced in Virginia, the emotional toll that such a significant change in the family dynamic creates, can undoubtedly affect them in numerous ways. While children are resilient in many ways, they often require committed love and understanding in being able to overcome the challenges associated with divorce. 

The reactions and responses of children whose parents are separated and working toward divorce will vary drastically depending on several notable factors. These factors may include the following:

  • The age of the children in the family. 
  • The relationships the children have with each of their parents. 
  • The environment the children have been brought up in. 
  • The presence or lack of a strong support group of friends and family. 
  • The unique behavioral and personality traits of each child. suggests that the year immediately following a couple's divorce is often the most difficult for their children. This period of time is when the most changes happen that may leave children feeling vulnerable and confused. This is usually when it is most critical for parents to introduce professional therapy in helping their children to cope with the changes. 

According to the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT can help children learn effective and safe methods of thinking, feeling and acting in response to difficult circumstances. Therapy can also benefit children by allowing them a way to express their concerns or fears in an environment that is protected from the judgment, criticism or misunderstanding that can sometimes occur in a parent-child conversation. 

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