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Session 1 Impact of Divorce on Adults

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1 Session 1 Impact of Divorce on Adults
Parents R 4-Ever Session 1 Impact of Divorce on Adults

2 Ground Rules Anything shared in this group is confidential
[NOTE: There is one important exception to the rule of confidentiality -- the law requires that instances of child abuse or neglect be reported] Everyone has valuable ideas and comments to share. Each person should speak only for herself/ himself. Only one person at a time should speak.. While everyone is encouraged to share honest feelings, everyone also has the right to privacy. No one will be forced to speak.

3 Objectives of Parents R 4-Ever
To assist you in focusing on the needs of your children during and after the divorce, and to provide an overview for you to better understand the developmental needs of your children at various ages and stages of life. To help you to continually nurture, guide, understand, and motivate you children, and to serve as advocates in behalf of your children’s well-being. To explore with you the stresses and challenges of your changing roles in the lives of your children. To remind you of the importance of healthy self-care as an integral part of being effective in your parental role.

4 “Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary bypass.”
-- Mary Kay Blakely Journalist and author (1994)

5 “Guilty, guilty, guilty is the chant divorced parents repeat in their heads. This constant reminder remains just below our consciousness. Nevertheless, its presence clouds our judgment, inhibits our actions, and interferes in our relationship with our children. Guilt is a major roadblock to building a new life for yourself and to being an effective parent.” -- Stephanie Marston Family therapist and author The Divorced Parent (1994)

6 “You have many choices. You can choose forgiveness over revenge, joy over despair. You can choose action over apathy You hold the key to how well you make the emotional adjustment to your divorce and consequently how well your children will adapt”. -- Stephanie Marston Family therapist and author The Divorced Parent (1994)

7 Six Overlapping Stages of Divorce
1. Emotional Divorce 2. Legal Divorce 3. Economic Divorce 4. Co-parental Divorce 5. Social Divorce 6. Psychological Divorce

8 Stress Associated with Divorce
Physical symptoms (for example, headaches, back pains) Emotions (for example, sudden anger, depression) Thoughts (for example, anxiety about job loss; self-talk such as “I can’t do it”, or, “I can’t live with what people will think”.)

9 Stress Associated with Divorce
Relationships (for example, withdrawal, fighting with the other parent, anger at children’s demands). Behavior patterns (for example, drinking alcohol or using other drugs, losing sleep, procrastinating, isolating yourself or needing constant companionship).

10 Ways to Un-Stress Regular exercise Relaxation Breathing Good Nutrition
Don't Worry Laugh a Lot Grow in Self-Esteem Forgive Play Hug Massage therapy Get Back to Nature Take life one day at a time Talk about your troubles Know your limits Live by YOUR own values rather than those imposed on you Get in touch with your spiritual nature. Seek professional help

11 ABC-X Model of Family Stress

12 Feelings Divorcing Parents May Experience
Resentment Acceptance Sadness Fear Panic Relief Anxiety Self-blame Guilt Frustration Ambivalence Anger Hostility Bitterness Happiness Failure Rejection Annoyance Jealously Doubts Loneliness

13 Processing Feelings Regarding the Divorce Experience
Five Stages of Grief (Kubler-Ross, 1973) 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance

14 Impact of Divorce on Adults Will Depend on Several Things
Whether you are the initiator or the partner being left. Your life stage and age. Your life experience and developmental age. The ages of your children. Whether alcohol or other drugs were involved. Whether your parents divorced -- and your age at the time. Whether you are primarily a “thinking” or a “feeling” person.

15 Summary We have tried to show in this session the importance of taking care of yourself in order that you will best be able to meet the needs of your children during a difficult period of transition. We have done this by discussing the prevalence of divorce, the complex process of divorce, the importance of self-care, the stressors accompanying divorce and strategies for managing the stress, the grieving process, and the fact that different people will be impacted differently based on several variables.


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