Whether you are a newly single parent, or have been a single parent for a while, we face many difficulties in our lives. There are many different emotions swirling around in us from anger, disappointment, sadness, bitterness and pure frustration, to happiness, joy and enthusiasm. Whatever you are feeling it is ok and is normal, you have every right to feel the way you do, after all you are going through one of the most difficult phases in your life. To be able to give your children a great and stable future you do need to address the negative feelings, and sort through the reasons why you are feeling this way and how you can move on to a brighter future for both you and your children.
This is where counselling can help. Counsellors can lend much needed support and understanding, they are trained to listen to your problems and provide you with strategies to resolve problems, and help you gain the information and skills you need to live a more fulfilling life. Sometimes talking to someone who is a complete stranger can help you express more of what you are feeling and thinking, as you do not tend to hold as much inside as you are not so worried about being judged and the information passed onto others that you know.
All counselling sessions are private and confidential, what you tell your counsellor will be kept strictly between the two of you.
Children and counselling.
Children find it very difficult going through a family break up as well. Do not think that kids are resilient and will adjust easily, as the majority of them don't. They are going through a very hurtful and confusing time as well, and this can go on for many years with children. It is not uncommon for children to become disobedient, and lash out as they too are normally hurting and going through a grieving process, after all their World has just been flipped upside down.
Early intervention with counselling can help as children normally feel themselves pulled between both their parents. Talking to somebody neutral such as a counsellor can help them express their feelings in a healthy way, and the counsellor can provide them with strategies that children can use to cope through their problems.
Where to find counselling?
Most people think that counselling is a very expensive process and cannot afford the associated costs, but there are many agencies out there that offer affordable or free counselling Check with your local Citizens Advice Bureau to see if they can put you in touch with a community group that offers affordable/free counselling, or try a local church. Many local churches provide free or very low cost counselling services to the local community. You do not have to be a church goer or religious to access their services and they are always happy to help you.
If you are having problems with your child's other parent and you cannot both agree on custody/or access arrangements then you can apply to the Family Court for free counselling. For more information please see http://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/family-court/what-family-court-does/counselling