divorceThe divorce rate was slightly above 50% in the US in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some debate exists as to how those numbers are crunched and whether they’re comparing apples to apples or not.  But one thing is certain– a lot of people are going through divorce every year.

Most people enter marriage with the hope and expectation that it will be a lifelong commitment. So it’s not surprising that divorce is a painful experience for almost everyone. Some newly divorced individuals have temporary setbacks.  Others find themselves on a downward slope that seems endless. Some people are better able to handle the stresses and challenges of divorce.  Others need to lean on the support of family, friends, and mental health professionals.  Everyone’s divorce experience is different.

The decision to end a marriage can be traumatic, chaotic, and filled with contradictory emotions. It can be a real roller coaster ride!  Certain feelings and attitudes are associated with whether a person is in the role of initiating the divorce or not. For instance, the initiator may experience feelings of fear, relief, impatience, resentment, doubt, and/or guilt. On the other hand, the person who has not initiated the divorce may feel shock, betrayal, loss of control, insecurity, anger, a desire to “get even,” and/or the wish to reconcile.  It’s normal to feel all of those emotions when going through a divorce.  None of them are ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’

Divorced people are less involved in social activities and can feel more isolated compared to married individuals. Being socially active can be difficult because accomplishing the day-to-day activities of home, work, and childcare is harder to do alone. There’s no one to share the burden of housekeeping, running errands, and taking the kids to sports practice.  Divorced individuals may face greater loneliness than those who are married. In addition to losing a spouse, they lose many of their social contacts such as in-laws, married friends, and neighbors. The loss of these social contacts may result in the loss of emotional support.

Both women and men experience negative effects from divorce.  Women are more vulnerable to depression, higher levels of stress, lower levels of overall well-being, and poorer self-esteem.  Men have a higher rate of mortality and are more prone to substance abuse and depression.  Many experience similar problems in later relationships, especially if they didn’t seek mental health treatment during their divorce.

So how does music therapy fit into the picture?

Does this sound familiar? Does it feel familiar? Is this your experience?  You’ve come to the right place then! Music therapy can offer some relief.  We can work together to resolve whatever challenges you’re dealing with related to your divorce. Relaxation techniques. stress management, and working through emotional issues are just a few of the ways that can help. Some previous clients have reported immediate positive results after the first session.  Most clients report effects that last for several days after their sessions.  In general, music therapy sessions will only be necessary for the duration of your divorce process.  The client and therapist decide on the exact length of treatment, based on the client’s specific needs.

Every divorce is different.  Each client is different, and I can’t promise the same results for everyone.  However, I’m confident that we can find an effective solution for you. We will work together to get you through your divorce process.  Call to find out more information about how music therapy might help, or to schedule your first appointment.