Marriage & Couples Services
At Wynns Family Psychology, we value marriage and healthy relationships. And we offer a robust set of marriage and couples therapy services. To learn more about how we can help you nurture and build strong relationships, please visit our Marriage and Couples Therapy page.
Separation & Divorce
While many people enter marriages with good intentions and plans to live happily ever after, some couples inevitably have to make the tough decision to end their marriage for various reasons. Whether planned or unexpected, divorce or separation can impact the well-being of each member in the family. Divorce can be a difficult time for a family.
Couples who are divorcing may have competing feelings. The parent who asked for the divorce may feel relief about finally taking action on something that they have been thinking about for a while, guilt that they are hurting their partner and/or breaking up the family, anxiety about what will happen next, or feel like a failure for not making the marriage. On the other hand, the parent who may have wanted to work on the marriage may feel blindsided by the end of the marriage, experience feelings of loss, betrayal, and abandonment by the request to end the marriage, and experience feelings of guilt/shame that they were not able to make their partner happy. Feelings get even more complicated if the marriage ended because one partner cheated. Even partners who mutually agree to separate and divorce may feel the same feelings of failure, guilt, and fear.
Regardless of a child’s age, their parents' separation/divorce may also lead to complicated feelings. Children of all ages may be confused about why their parents are breaking up, especially if they did not have any clues that their parents were unhappy. For example, younger children may feel that they are at fault for their parents' break up; pre-teens/teens may be angry and fearful about how this change may disrupt their everyday routines. Likewise, a child’s personality traits and the level of conflict in the home may also impact your child’s response to your separation and divorce.
WFP Can Help!
Whether you are contemplating separation, have agreed to separate, have taken steps towards getting divorced, or are recently divorced, we can provide your family with support to adjust to this life change.
Studies suggest that divorce may negatively impact a child’s mood and behavior and may serve as a risk factor for future mental health and educational problems. However, studies also suggest that children’s outcomes may be improved if parents are able to reduce/manage conflict, try to work cooperatively to maintain stability in their child’s environment, and find healthy ways to cope.
Despite its reputation, divorce does not have to lead to long-lasting and unhealthy changes for a family. For many married couples on the brink of divorce there are healthy choices and options for moving forward towards separation and divorce.
Couples who are planning to separate can work with one of our experienced clinicians to decide when, how, and what to tell their child about their pending separation/divorce, how to focus on the best interests of their child despite their own feelings or fear, frustration, and anger; and, match a parenting plan to their child’s developmental needs.
Individual Therapy and Parent Coaching:
For parents who need emotional support and advice during or after a divorce, individual therapy can be a helpful resource. We can also offer parent coaching when it’s difficult to know how to discipline, how to talk to kids about the other parent, or how to maintain routine.
For children who have been told about an upcoming (or recent) separation or divorce, they can work with one of our experienced clinicians in therapy. Children and teens can have a safe and neutral environment where they can express the feelings they may have about their parents' break-up.
Parents who are having difficulty making decisions or communicating about their child(ren) may choose to work with one of our experienced providers on strategies for effective co-parenting.
Reunification Therapy and Family Therapy:
When a child refuses visitation or has a troubled relationship with one parent, we can provide reunification therapy to provide a place to heal the relationship and resume (or start) an appropriate time-sharing schedule. When the entire family system could benefit from support and a safe place to talk through complicated feelings, family therapy can also be a helpful option.
We also have a full menu of Custody Services when needed.
Stay Happily Married Podcasts
Dr. Wynns discusses couples and family issues with Lee Rosen through the Stay Happily Married podcasts. Please note these podcasts are only meant to provide general information about a topic. They should not necessarily be used as psychological counsel or advice, as each person's specific situation requires a more custom solution.
Most computers come pre-installed with this free software. However, if you don’t have it, or need a newer version, you can download Quicktime Player here.
If you have any questions or would like more information on a particular topic, feel free to send an email to Info@WynnsFamilyPsychology.com.