Do Couples’ Therapists Ever Recommend Divorce When It Is Inevitable?
Since the hit HBO show Big Little Lies took to the screens, many questions have arisen concerning how therapists interact with couples during therapy, and whether they ever suggest divorce as an option to the couples they treat when that is clearly what would be best for the couple and their own, individual happiness.
Many therapists pride themselves on never providing direct advice to their clients on any subject, including the decision on whether a couple should stay married or seek a divorce. Many are concerned about “making that call for a couple,” and would rather inform them that they can no longer help them as therapists rather than help move them towards a definitive decision. For many therapists, there is a serious concern that it is both unethical and dangerous to mention divorce unless the clients bring it up first.
When Do Couples Seek Out Therapists?
Reportedly, the average couple who seeks out therapy has been struggling on their own for about six years which means that, according to some professionals, it could be too late to make a big enough difference through therapy.
However, there are some couples who go in to see a therapist already recognizing that the marriage is over, and they are seeking assistance with planning out how things will look post-divorce. This includes couples who are seeking to co-parent as effectively as possible and based on what is best for their families. Many therapists actually actively suggest couples come in at this stage in their relationship, as having this “clear ending” can result in positive outcomes for a number of families.
Answering a Question with a Question
What about a client directly asking a therapist for their opinion on whether they should seek a divorce? Many therapists respond by simply asking more questions about, for example, what initially brought the couple together, potential communication skills that might be helpful, identifying what they are willing to sacrifice and what they value most in the relationship, where the strengths and weaknesses are, etc.; instead of giving a direct answer—again because they are reticent to make that final decision for their clients.
The Threat of Physical Harm Changes Things
However, it is important to note that if a client potentially faces physical harm, therapists do have an obligation. Their first obligation is to keep their clients safe, which sometimes means speaking with the abused individual one-on-one so as to avoid the potential for the abuser to increase the abuse by the sheer mention of separation.
Orlando Divorce Lawyers
The Florida divorce attorneys at the Arwani Law Firm PLLC are here to provide you with guidance and support when it comes to divorce and all of the other arrangements that must be made to protect you and your family. Contact us today to find out how we can help.