The end of a marriage is stressful and often unsettling. At the very least, relationships come to an end, everyday routines change and amid the stress, there are legal battles drifting the family apart before amicable solutions are reached. As a result, involved parties develop a range of uncomfortable feelings such as guilt, anxiety, loss, and depression. This paper explores the effectiveness of group therapy in addressing feelings of guilt and loss experienced by Lilly, a victim of late-life divorce.
Lilly recently walked away from a 52-year marriage after her husbands continuous physical and verbal abuse ten years before the divorce. The divorce has negatively affected Lillys relationship with her children leaving her feeling lonely, uncertain, and guilty and also experiencing feelings of loss. Dombeck (2017) notes that overcoming a late-life divorce is a lengthy process and cannot be conquered by the victim alone. Victims need people to talk to or places to vent (Dombeck, 2017). Group therapy offers the best platform for such activities.
First, group therapy helps patients find solace through sharing their feelings, emotions, and experiences hence speeding up the recovery process. Patients often find their burdens lessened when they share their hurt feelings with a sympathetic audience (Dombeck, 2017). Second, group therapy is a source of motivation to a patients recovery process. A group therapy session comprises of patients facing different challenges which they openly share with other patients (Dombeck, 2017). Such personal accounts enlighten patients of each others burden hence motivating them to form a support group or rather becoming each others keeper thus, promoting a speedy recovery. Lastly, other than providing a venting environment, therapists also provide suggestions on healthy alternative methods of dealing with late-life divorces (DeLucia-Waack et al. 2014). Thus, a positive relationship between a therapist and patients is crucial for an appropriate understanding of the patients' challenges and providing proper guidance.
In summary, sharing is caring. Group therapy provides a rather sympathetic audience where Lilly can go and vent or share her unsettling feelings of guilt and loss hence ease some burden off her shoulders. Secondly, group therapy is a source of motivation to overcome challenges. Thus, by listening to the accounts of other patients, Lilly will be motivated to want to become better through caring for herself and others. Lastly, group therapy presents Lilly with a proper platform to connect with her group therapist who may offer other safe methods of dealing with late-life divorce such as exploring nature or taking part in social work.
DeLucia-Waack, J., Kalodner, C., & Riva, M. (2014). Handbook of group counseling and psychotherapy. Los Angeles: Sage.
Dombeck, M. (2017). Emotional Coping and Divorce - Divorce. Amhc.org. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
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