Pre-divorce, Separation and Divorce Counselling Singapore
Going through a marital breakdown can be very stressful. Whether you are at the stage of contemplating divorce, going through separation or undergoing divorce, it is not easy, and you are probably feeling very stressed and overwhelmed. You may have a range of intense emotions like anger, guilt, sadness, fear, shame, remorse, anxiety and worries. These emotions can be so intense that they affect your daily functioning, your work and your relationships.
If there are children involved, the decision to separate or divorce can even be harder as the stakes are higher. You may be in a constant state of worry for your children, wondering what arrangement will be like for them. You may have many questions on your mind about what to do, or how to minimize the impact of separation or divorce on your children.
Speaking to a mental health professional who is not a family member or friend can give you objective advice on what to do and how to manage your emotions and mental wellbeing. A mental health professional can also help give some tips and strategies on how to manage your divorce so as to minimize the impact of divorce on your child.
Pre divorce counselling
Pre divorce counselling is for couples who are at their final “last straw” of their marriage and they want to give their best shot to work on their marriage. This is when both parties really want to keep the marriage and make it work. It can help couples understand what has gone wrong in the marriage so that both parties can take the appropriate steps to resolve the problems in the marriage, and then build intimacy in the marriage once again.
Pre divorce counselling is not suitable if either one or both parties are ambivalent or uncertain about the marriage. Instead of predivorce counselling, couples who are ambivalent will be more suited for discernment counselling. Discernment counselling is not counselling to improve your marriage. Rather it is a type of counselling that helps couples gain more clarity and confidence about their decisions for their marriage. It is a process that helps couples understand what had gone wrong in their marriage, their own contribution to the breakdown of the marriage, understand what has worked or hasn’t work and understanding what role, if any, of the children play in the decision of the marriage.
Outcome of discernment counselling could be i) to remain status quo, or ii) to divorce, or iii) to spend 6 months of couples counselling without any threats to the marriage.
Discernment counselling is short term counselling consisting of 1-5 sessions.
If you are ready to give it all you can to save your marriage or if you woud like to have discernment counselling, book now for an appointment.
Separation and Divorce Counselling
Separation and divorce counselling are for those couples who have decided to separate or go through divorce but they are struggling to discuss important issues like custody of the child and co parenting issues amicably. When separating or divorcing parents remain in conflict with each other, research has shown that children are at risk of developing long term mental health issues, like depression and anxiety.
Here are some common issues separating or divorcing couples fight about:
- Custody and access issues for the child
- Parenting approaches
- How to discipline the child
- Money/child maintenance
- Educational needs for the child
- Values to be imparted to the child
Children whose parents are in perpetual divorce dispute with each other tend to develop :
- Low self esteem
- Behavioural problems like aggression, temper tantrums
- Emotional problems like depression and anxiety, eating disorders
- Deterioration in academic abilities
- Attention problems
- Delinquent behaviors like smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, early sexual activities, truancy
Therefore seeking divorce counselling early can help to mitigate adverse impact of separation or divorce on children. Divorce counselling can be a safe space for both parties to discuss important issues and improve your co parenting relationship. Positive co parenting has been found to have a positive impact on children’s mental health post divorce. Parents who attend divorce counselling shift from being warring parents to being peaceful parents for the best interest of their children.
Divorce counselling for children
Divorce can be very hard for children. They are often caught in the middle between two parents and as a result, they can feel conflicted, confused, sad, anxious, or even angry. Children who are affected by their parents’ divorce can either internalize their feelings ( by becoming more withdrawn) or externalizing their behaviours ( by being aggressive or having emotional outbursts).
Some children are also affected because of their parents’ acrimonious divorce. They may have witnessed conflicts between their parents and this can cause the children stress and anxiety in children. Some children react to parents’ divorce very negatively. They may start to reject a parent or refuse to spend time with a parent. If you are undergoing divorce and you are worried about your child, seeking professional help can enable you to get the support you need for your child.
Divorce counselling for children can be helpful when
- Your child is showing changes in their behaviour
- Your relationship with your child becomes strained
- Your child refuses access with the other parent
- There is suspected parental alienation
- Your child is confused about the divorce
- Your child is actively taking sides parents
Why choose Sylvia Tan Psychology?
At Sylvia Tan Psychology Consultancy, we are highly experienced in helping people going through pre divorce, separation and divorce. Our counselling psychologist Ms Sylvia Tan had previously worked in the divorce court system both in Australia and Singapore. She has helped many divorcing parents work out their parenting plans peacefully and their children benefited from the divorce counselling as a result.
She was also an expert witness and custody evaluator. She had trained both mental health professionals as well as family lawyers on important topics such as parental alienation, impact of divorce on children, how to conduct custody evaluation and how to provide intervention for families of high conflict divorce.
If you are ready looking to improve your co parenting relationship with your ex spouse or if you are ready to work on ways to improve your children’s wellbeing post divorce, book an appointment with us now.
Sylvia Tan - Founder, Principal Counselling Psychologist, MPsych (SRP Registered)
Sylvia is a Counselling Psychologist practicing in Singapore. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from Curtin University of Technology ( Perth, Western Australia) and is currently a registered counselling psychologist and a clinical supervisor with the Singapore Register of Psychologists (SRP).
After her graduation in 2002, Sylvia lived and worked in Australia for many years before her relocation back to her home country Singapore in 2014. To date, Sylvia has over 20 years of experience working in a range of settings both in Australia and Singapore.
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