Divorce is an emotionally turbulent occurrence that we all hope to avoid in our lives. Unfortunately, it is a common result in marriages worldwide as not all marriages can survive. We realize this information is incredibly disheartening, especially since we do not doubt that you cared deeply about your spouse and that divorce was the last thing you wanted.
Support groups have been used for mental health support for decades, allowing people experiencing grief to connect with others. Unfortunately, some oppose these groups out of irrational shame over their situation. However, divorce support groups can be an amazing way to process the emotional struggles you are experiencing amid this complicated situation. The real trick is finding a support group where you feel welcome.
This article will focus on methods and tools you can use to track down a divorce support group so you can begin healing.
Some of our readers might not be completely aware of what exactly a support group is. While you likely have a general idea, a little more detail goes a long way.
While support groups might seem like a modern innovation, they harken back to an earlier time in human history when organizations formed to support peers in the same field.
Support groups are essentially peer groups for emotional support. While support groups are descended from social organizations, they have evolved tremendously to accommodate contemporary emotional and psychological issues. There are even different support group sub-types that alter the way the group operates.
The main two types of support groups are:
Both groups are equally valid and highly effective at helping manage the emotional and psychological effects of the event that formed the group. In this case, you would meet with fellow divorcees struggling to cope with the divorce. While these groups are highly effective and recommended, finding one can be challenging.
Before looking for a support group, knowing what kind of environment you want from the group is essential. Support groups, no matter what they are helping you through, will have several details you want to evaluate before committing to one. Some considerations must be made to ensure the environment is conducive to your healing process.
Some of the most important considerations that need to go into your support group are:
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when you begin looking for a support group to heal from the emotional strain of your divorce. The group is meant to make you feel comfortable and welcome so you can recover without further emotional stress. The less comfortable you are, the harder it is for you to share your experiences and begin the recovery process.
Once you have identified the type of group you want to be a part of, you have taken the first step toward the healing process. However, the greater challenge lies in actually locating a group at all.
When dealing with something as emotional as divorce, you likely want to find a support group that allows you to interact with your peers physically. These groups not only allow you to interact with fellow divorcees to get a new perspective but encourage you to leave the house. While we certainly understand the desire to remain home when dealing with emotional turmoil, getting out of the house can be therapeutic. However, the trouble with in-person support groups is that they can be difficult to find unless you know where to look.
Since the number and quality of support groups are not constant and will change depending on where you live, tracking one down requires a fair amount of research. Fortunately, there are modern tools available that will allow you to track down local groups that might be able to provide you with the support you need following your divorce. However, using these tools requires you to know what kind of environment you want from your support group. For example, while social workers and psychologists run many groups, others are run by religious officials such as priests and rabbis.
For example, Divorce Care is a well-known tool for locating a divorce support group that provides learning materials so you can start your group. However, Divorce Care is facilitated by members of the Christian church. While there is nothing wrong with people seeking aid from followers of a religion, it might be uncomfortable for you if you are not particularly religious.
Conversely, you can find support groups run by psychology professionals through the Psychology Today website. Their website allows you to enter your ZIP code, and their engine will track down the nearest support groups for you. They even separate their search engines by the type of support group you are after. If you are interested in a psychologically motivated support group, you might feel more comfortable with this website.
Multiple websites are dedicated to tracking down support groups without a professional or religious mediator for those who want a group comprised of their peers. If you are more interested in seeking peers to discuss your emotions about the divorce, you might be better suited to use websites like DivorceHQ or 211 Directory. However, these applications are far from the only tools available to you.
A Google search for divorce support groups will reveal a host of websites serving local group finders. Should you find one that is reputable and meets your criteria, it could replace the ones listed here fairly easily. The main goal is to ensure that the environment is one where you feel comfortable enough to open up.
Much like seeking an in-person support group, finding an online group will require research. Fortunately, many of the websites we have already listed for the physical groups offer online alternatives. However, the beauty of an online support group is that several are designed to offer support at all times, even when the rest of your regular group might be asleep.
When it comes to online support groups, a few groups are highly ranked in quality compared to the others.
A few of the best online options are:
There are countless additional support groups, and you might have to shop around per the parameters discussed earlier. However, once you find your support group, you should be able to begin the journey to recovering emotionally.
Divorce will never be pleasant, and it will never be easy. A lot of emotion goes around when a marriage ends, and it can be overwhelming. However, feeling these emotions is not only okay but also ideal. The more in tune you are with your emotional response, the easier it will be to share with your support group so you can truly begin to heal. Talking with someone can work wonders on your emotional state and help you prepare for the next chapter of your life, not that you should rush it.
While a support group is an excellent way to cope with the emotional strain of divorce, another excellent tool is knowledge. Learning about divorce proceedings can give you more to talk about with your group so that you can get firsthand accounts from your group members. This discussion can help you prepare for the proceedings so your emotional state is not further compromised. However, the only way to heal is to do what is best for yourself. Anything else will only cause more stress.