Regardless of the steps parents have taken to minimize the stress divorce has on their children, some children may need coping tools and post divorce therapy to come to terms with this huge life change. 

The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado promotes peaceful resolutions and believes mediation is the pathway to changing the way society divorces. Peaceful resolutions are possible not just for the divorcing couple but also for their children. A collaborative divorce can lessen the stress on children of divorce since it often takes less time and children witness their parents coming to an agreement outside of the contentious nature of the courtroom. 

If your child is having problems, how do you know whether they are likely to resolve on their own over time or when it’s time to seek outside help? 

General Clues That Your Child (Probably) Needs Therapy after Divorce

• Your child's symptoms aren't  fleeting and persist over several weeks
• Your child's symptoms interfere with his or her normal functioning 
• Your child's symptoms interfere with the normal functioning of your family
• You feel angry, exhausted, or disappointed with your child a lot of the time
• People you trust have expressed concern 
• Your child asks to see a therapist (unusual, but not unheard of)

Specific Symptoms That Mean Your Child (Probably) Needs Therapy 

• Problems with eating or sleeping with no medical basis (including nightmares that don't go away)
• Excessive difficulties with separation
• A consistently (and persistently) sad or melancholy mood
• Physical complaints with no distinguishable cause (such as headaches or stomachaches) that don't go away with reassurance
• Disinterest in friends or trouble getting along with peers 
• Deteriorating school performance
• Difficulty concentrating
• The new appearance of agitation or fidgetiness 
• Extreme or unrealistic fears/phobias
• Excessive or public masturbation
• New or extreme accident proneness
• Decrease in self-esteem
• Fatigue or apathy with no medical basis
• Excessive weight loss or weight gain with no medical basis
• Aggressive behaviors toward self or others (such as biting, hitting, or scratching)
• Risky or acting out behaviors
• Constant rudeness and "talking back" 
• Heavy drinking or drug use
• Stealing
• Excessive lying
• The appearance of obsessive or compulsive rituals (such as hand washing or pulling out hair)
• Preoccupation with death
• The wish to die ( Important note: If your child expresses a feeling that life is not worth living, get help right away -- do not take it upon yourself to determine if this is a "real" or "serious" problem.)

Bottom line: If you’re unsure, you can schedule a consultation. If your child does not need therapy, a well-trained clinician will tell you. 

The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado works with various trusted and vetted therapists who practice different methods to address the stress divorce has on children. Please contact us to learn more about these and other divorce professionals whose work compliments mediation. 


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