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Divorce Lawyers

Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law




Does your divorce or separation make you sad, angry, vengeful, depressed, confused or hateful? Emotions are the powerful drivers of many divorce decisions. This blog by a lawyer and psychotherapist will help you cope with divorce emotions.

Archive for April, 2011

Divorce and Yoga

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

            Does it seem like an improbable connection?  Apparently people are finding that yoga is helpful in dealing with the emotions that come up during divorce.  I’ve been pondering why that might be.

            First, yoga gets you out of your head and into your body.  The first stage of yoga practice involves asanas, physical postures.  When you are trying to stretch, relax, breathe, and maintain good form, it is nearly impossible to worry about anything else.  This has to be good for you.

            Second, the physical activity stimulates serotonin and other hormones that generate a sense of well-being. 

            Third, the focus on breathing—pranayamas–helps you to center and focus.  Instead of having that sense of scattered, frantic uncertainty, you can settle into the here and now—this moment, this breath.

            And, finally, the closing meditation facilitates deeper relaxation and another way for the thinking mind to rest.  As you let your thoughts go by, as you note your feelings without judging them, you can better accept yourself and your situation.  You can find some ease in the midst of stress, and you can build your capacity for expanding that ease.

            Yoga isn’t exactly an antidote to the stress of divorce, but it can support you in minimizing some of the painful and negative emotions that come up.  As a bonus, you’ll also  feel healthier and more fit.

Pain and Suffering in Divorce

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

            Sometimes, as a lawyer, I don’t want to realize how much my clients are suffering in the divorce process.  For me, to realize it means allowing myself to feel it, and, like all human beings, I prefer to avoid pain and pursue pleasure.  So I emphasize how much better a cooperative or collaborative process is than an adversarial process, and I remind my clients how well they’re doing and how much better things are going to be once this transition is over. 

            And all this is true.  At the same time, what’s also true is that divorce has moments of excruciating pain.  There is immense pain when people who have lived together and loved each other are reduced to sitting across a table from each other, trying to figure out a schedule for child care, or arguing about entitlement to money, or accusing each other of lying.  There is a different kind of pain when somebody apologizes or shares an insight, a pain that is filled with regret and sorrow.

            The pain and suffering of divorce comes in so many flavors.  Anger, frustration, snarkiness, sarcasm, demonization, disconnection, misunderstanding, distrust, all of those feelings.  And then there’s just sadness.  The loss of the marriage is the loss of a dream, and dreams don’t die easily.  Sometimes the loss of the dream evokes more pain than the loss of the actual relationship.

            If my clients are going through all this, do I best serve them by staying rational, beyond the reach of their pain?  That rationality, of course, is what they’ve hired me for.  Or is it?  Do they just want a lawyer who can focus on the facts, or would they like a lawyer who knows what they feel?  Not a lawyer who jumps into the soup of emotion with them—that is clearly not helpful—but someone who at least is open to that moment of suffering.  Do you want your lawyer to feel with you, or just think?


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