At the end of December my marriage ended. By the end of January I already had an appointment with the a Marriage and Family counselor for both myself and my three children. As a teacher I knew how divorce would affect my kids and as someone who knows myself very well, I knew that I would benefit from speaking to someone too . . . and boy was I right!
Our counselor is amazing. She was recommended to me by a friend and even though she isn’t in my network, which means paying full price with no co-pay, she’s been worth it. I was actually given the name of two or three different counselors, but “ML” specialized in GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) family situations, so I wanted to use her. First off, because I have a history of picking “family friendly” professionals when given the choice. I also knew that since I was going to be opening up to her, it would help to have someone with her experience helping me navigate through my own issues. (Yes, we’ll talk about this later!)
In the last ten months, I typically see “ML” about once every 4-6 weeks and the kids see her once every 6 weeks. I have really enjoyed seeing the same counselor as my children. We focus on some of my issues and she is able to give me advice about my children based on what they discuss with her. It is nice for my kids to talk with her about how they are feeling about the divorce . . . not having their parents together, moving to two new cities, changing schools, living with another woman that isn’t their mom (Dad’s girlfriend) and her children, etc. They have had to deal with a lot of change in the last several months and I thought that they could use the help figuring out their new normal. I figured it would also be helpful once I started to date too.
When I first interviewed “ML” she made the comment that she sees her job with my kids as helping them survive divorce and I thought that was perfect. She uses sand play and other fun activities to help my kids open up to her. She even called my ex during my daughter’s appointment to get permission for her to discuss things with “ML” when she had commented that her dad said what happens at their house isn’t anyone’s business and he didn’t want her talking about it. When she called on speakerphone, he agreed and said it was fine (regardless of what he had told my daughter in person). She is amazing that way . . . she really wants my children to come out of this as healthy as possible. So do I.