When actress Gwyneth Paltrow and singer Chris Martin announced they were having a “conscious uncoupling”, it left a lot of people asking, what is conscious uncoupling, and can divorce counseling help couples through this and intentional divorce?
Breaking up is not just hard to do, it’s incredibly painful. People grieve after romantic relationships dissolve, suffering from self-blame and other negative thoughts. It creates real psychological distress and a reduced sense of life satisfaction, an effect magnified for serious, highly committed relationships (Rhoades, Kamp Dush, Atkins, Stanley, & Markman, 2011).
Terri Dichiser Clinton, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Kansas and Missouri, practices in Overland Park, Kansas, she uses therapy and to help couples recognize the negative patterns that have been established in the marriage and offers strategies to break those negative and damaging patterns.
Paltrow and Martin announced that instead of divorce, they did “consciously uncoupling”. This revelation was met by the public with some surprise, some snickers, and some questions about what conscious uncoupling is, and whether it’s in any way different from typical separations.
The term “conscious uncoupling” seems to have been popularized by psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas, whose five-week program is designed to ease individuals through detachment from a relationship and readjustment to single-hood. The program challenges the traditional view of a break-up as a traumatic experience, conceptualizing it instead as a growth opportunity and offering a “smooth and painless transition into your new, magnificent life.”
“Intentional divorce” may describe a pattern of growth, self-compassion, and mindfulness that does in fact help individuals cope with the hardship of disentangling their life from another’s. Given that all individuals experiencing a separation must find some manner of coping, an approach emphasizing aspects of positive psychology, like conscious uncoupling, maybe a healthy alternative to self-blame, hurtful words, and guilt.
The move toward a more intentional divorce in marriages, committed partnerships and families is a positive one in a society where 40 to 50 percent of couples still divorce, a statistic that hasn’t changed much over the last couple of decades.
A traditional divorce can cost anywhere upward into six figures or more, depending on the nature of the battle. If custody becomes an issue and children are used as pawns in the divorce, the kids testify and the divorce can drag on, becoming more expensive and more emotionally damaging to all parties.
When in divorce counseling with Terri, it helps move past the surface problems to the root issues that brought the relationship to this point. Terri guides you to recognize the destructive patterns of behavior and communication you and your spouse have created in your relationship and move into healthy detachment.
Take Charge, Inc., is located Overland Park, Kansas. For more information about marriage counseling with Terri, call (913) 239-8255.