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Get through divorce and heal

In our column and podcast series, Professor Sarah Niblock, CEO of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, explores challenges that affect us all. This issue, she examines how therapy can be an invaluable support during and after divorce
PHOTOGRAPH: PÅL HANSEN. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CARL STANLEY

Divorce may be a welcome release from a troubled relationship, but there’s no doubt it can be traumatic and stressful for the couple, their family and friends. According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, divorce is second only to the death of a spouse.

One of the reasons for this is that divorce isn’t necessarily quick, in fact, it is often a long and drawn-out process. Under current legislation, which is under review, one spouse has to take the blame, whether it’s for adultery, unreasonable behaviour or, more rarely, desertion. Alternatively, a couple needs to have been separated for two years and both be in agreement for a divorce to happen. However, if one spouse doesn’t want to split, then they have to be separated for five years to divorce.

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