Sunday, November 30, 2014


The diagnosis typically assigned for clients and families dealing with divorce is depression. The symptoms are usually the same for children, adolescents, and adults.

Symptoms:Persistent sadness
Inability to enjoy favorite activities
Increased irritability
Physical problems such as headaches and stomach aches
Poor school performance
Poor work performance
Persistent boredom
Low energy
Poor concentration
Changes in eating and or sleeping patterns

Long-term Treatment Goals for Treating Depression due to DivorceImproved mood and stability
Prevent further episodes of depression
Help the client become well established in a new family living arrangement

Short Term ObjectivesDevelop therapeutic rapport
Identify feelings and anxieties about divorce
Increase social contacts and create a support system
Develop coping skills to deal with depressive thoughts and feelings
Discuss the feelings about the loss of the family relationship is it was
Help client adapt to new situation

InterventionsVerbal therapy to discuss feelings
Play/ Art therapy:
o Pairing emotions and colors
o Draw different representations of emotions symbolically
o Use clay or other materials to recreate story
o Puppets to tell a story
o Board games designed to discuss feelings
o List positive and negative emotions or changes
o Journal feelings
o Unsent letters
Parent Education
o Teach parents about typical emotional reactions they will see in their children and how to handle them.
o Encourage parents to make teachers aware of the situation.
o Have parents engage in an activity with the children each week, teach dyadic techniques.