Saturday, October 30, 2010

Families and Divorce

By Jeffrey Katowitz, LMFT

      Treating couples and families in transition can be very challenging.  Struggles within marriages often lead to separation and divorce. Main topics in treatment often center around infidelity, financial pressures and co-parenting conflict.  Many parents articulate a concern regarding how the relationships with their children will change as a result of a separation and divorce. It appears that more effort is being directed towards examining the harsh realities associated with a separation and divorce. Many spouses also question the fairness of the judicial system and the process in which others determine what is in the best interest of their children. Many fear engaging in the legal system and what they could lose in terms of having access to their children.
    It can be a difficult predicament for couples, particularly those who are in a state of contention where communication is significantly compromised, and they must rely on their own intuition and instinct. They struggle with the conflict between their desire for emotional freedom and the possibility of going in a new direction in their lives versus the loss of time and experiences with their children should they separate and divorce. 
   A healthy route or beginning place for couples to start as they ponder separation and divorce is to define the process as a potential "shift" rather than a "loss." Though invariably the feelings of loss will be an emotion felt and experienced by many, the redefining of the process may aid the family as they navigate through difficult periods of separation and divorce. There are many children who desire a "shift" to occur where their parents do move in a direction of divorce. Many of these children have evolved and arrived at a place of acceptance, letting go of the fantasy of their parents staying together and look forward to a change. Many conceptualize their parents being happy unattached or with a new partner.
   As spouses navigate through difficult and challenging moments of separation and divorce, those who can successfully work together, along with their children, in making decisions and engaging in a process that is collaborative create greater possibilities for healing, forgiveness, and charting a new course – one that is filled with hope.  

Jeffrey Katowitz, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist providing individual, couples, family counseling, and parent coordinating. Specialties include adolescent development, separation, divorce, adoption, and blended families. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Jeffrey at 215-307-0055 or email him at  Read more on our blog [Insert link to:]

1 comment:

  1. does it just take time to arrive at the place of seeing a separation as shift rather than a loss? why are more couples splitting up? what ever happen to sticking it out through the difficulties?....

    maybe there is one question to help couples decide: are you better together than apart?