This is a tough area for therapists and not for the feint hearted. Working with couples who are in post-separated conflict is a challenge. Patterns of conflict that lead to relationship breakdown can be vastly intensified after separation. People often hope and imagine life will be better after they initiate a separation, and although it isn’t always the case, it often transpires that things can get harder.
It’s an area of work that can be very difficult but worth doing because it can bring so much good to the world. Reducing post-separated couples’ conflict can have an extremely positive impact on the mental health of individuals and children.
Some separated couples are not necessarily experiencing conflict, but there is unresolved hurt and sadness that they want to try and heal – they want to work out how to have a new kind of relationship with each other. With this kind of couple, we try to do therapeutic work about what underpinned the separation and then heal their attachment rupture.
Other couples of course are experiencing conflict, and you need to contact to us to see if you are good candidates for post-separated communication therapy or if you actually need mediation. They are very different ways of working. Post-separated counselling is therapeutic and looks at healing relationships and working towards having a good friendship after separation. We aim to do therapeutic mediation here, however mediation is more solution and outcome focused that communication counselling.
No two couples are the same in this kind of work. Situations, personal histories and the nature and length of the separation make each case very unique.