Center for Shared Insight, PC

Divorce Recovery: Navigating the Divorce Process

March 8, 2016
Posted By: Kristen Hick, Psy.D.
couple holding hands

Divorce, separation, and the associated heartache is something we hope to experience very little in life. Losing an important person, whether the parting was your choice or not, is an excruciating experience -- and nearly all of us have been through it at least once. They say that “time heals all wounds” and while true, connecting with others going through the same situation provides an invaluable venue to share feelings, practices, and resources to cope with the emotional challenges of divorce recovery. 

Are you having difficulty understanding and coping with divorce? 

Many of us have invested ourselves in relationships to the degree that we have lost our sense of self. Sometimes we rely too much on validation by others to fuel our sense of self-worth. Other times, a divorce wasn’t our choice and the resulting devastation feels like too much to handle.

All of these situations, and more, create a deep sense of regret, blame, abandonment, and lack of trust. If these emotional wounds are left unhealed, they can contribute to blockages in future relationships or contribute to destructive, unhealthy relationship patterning. Unaddressed relationship pain can cause us to continue to chose the wrong partners or make the same mistakes. Even worse, they can effect our personal development, career ambition, parenting, or trigger addictive behaviors.

It’s in cases like this that a professional relationship psychologist can direct healing efforts to ensure that future relationships are not triggered by past pain.

Do you notice a familiar pattern reoccurring in your relationships?

Humans beings are creatures of repetition and habit. The choices we make in relationships aren’t any different. Much of our “adult attachment style” dictates the way we respond to relationship. While it’s often a strong predictor, the attachment style you developed as a child based on your relationship with a parent doesn’t always define the ways you relate to those you love in your adult life. Understanding your attachment style, as one of the following three:

  • Secure - Consistent/Emotionally Healthy

  • Preoccupied - Anxious/Clingy/Desperate

  • Dismissive - Avoidant/Withdrawn/Ambivalent

  • Fearful-Avoidant - Inconsistent/Fear Abandonment 

Are your friends/family growing tired of hearing the same love story from you?


While friends can console, and help you through the initial days of a separation, most aren’t equipped for long-term support. It might be easy to pick up the phone and want to call someone close to you, yet chances are they are going to tell you what they think you want to hear, in an effort to make you feel better.


The truth is that the pain, heartache, anger, and eventual healing can go on for a very long time. Generally you will experience these five phases while processing and working through a divorce:

  1. Denial - "Is this really happening?”

  2. Anger - "What did I do to deserve this?"

  3. Bargaining - While this often takes place before the breakup, the drive to beg, wish, and pray are not uncommon to experience.

  4. Depression - This overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and self pity also includes mourning “the dream” of what the relationship could have been and imagined plans for the future.

  5. Acceptance - While it might take weeks to years to arrive here, this place of peace is the ultimate goal. The journey will be one of personal growth and the results will be fond memories of your loved one.

An objective third party professional can assist in navigating the process from Denial to Acceptance and provide tools along the way to complete each phase to the greatest degree.

Could giving and receiving support help you through this time?

If you can relate to these challenges as you recover from the end of a marriage, our process-oriented group for women -- Divorce Recovery -- is designed to help.


Divorce Recovery is a group that goes deeper than a divorce support group – by helping you recognize patterns within your previous relationships. It helps you build insight into relational patterns, and learn new ways of being in romantic relationships, by strengthening your essential relationship, with yourself. Whether it’s been one day or five years since your separation or divorce, Divorce Recovery helps you make significant progress on your healing journey.

If you would like to experience the healing power of small-group therapy led by relationship therapist Dr. Hick, call 720-644-6698 or email her at for more information.


Mondays 7:00-8:30 pm

1777 S. Bellaire St. Suite 430, Denver, Co 80222

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