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Counseling and divorce Research Paper

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Updated: Jan 15th, 2020

Executive Summary

Counseling is an essential aspect in the field of psychology. This principle was introduced so as an avenue of tackling issues that require a third party in any given situation. Counseling has a number of counseling tools that guide a counselor on how to approach each situation. There are a variety of life changing situations that may cause a strain to the normal development of an individual (Sells & Yarhouse, 2011).

These situations may be permanent or temporary, avoidable or unavoidable depending on the circumstance at hand. One of the ways a person can overcome these changes and move forward is through guidance and counseling. Counseling enables an affected party to cope with their current state so as to maintain their previous mental, physical and emotional state before the infliction of change.

It is thus ideal to analyze the components of counseling in relation to the provided topic. As stated earlier, life changing situations cause a person to lose ground making them vulnerable to the rest of society. A common life changing experience that people go through is divorce (Worthington, 2005). Divorce takes place in different stages depending on the cultural background of the involved persons.

Divorce in the country continues to rise due to the change in cultural perceptions in society. A counselor has to establish a sense of ethics so as to represent the principles involved when approaching each situation. The different approaches taken by the counselor determines the improvement experienced during therapy.

Dealing with divorce requires a proper understanding of the stages experienced during the whole process. Proper understanding of the patient’s stages assists the counselor in examining the patient who in turn achieves a healthy mental state (Blocher, 2000).


One of the present issues that communities face in a large magnitude is the dynamic of divorce. Divorce is basically the end of a marriage or union that binds two people whose unity is recognized by society. Divorce affects the people involved and the immediate surrounding, making it a key issue in present day. The end of a marriage is one of the most difficult experiences to undergo in any cultural setting.

One of the end results of divorce is the change of the emotional and mental state of an individual. The use of counseling is thus recommended as a problem solving tool. In order to approach any counseling topic, a counselor needs to identify a number of elements that shape the study.

This in turn, dictates on the way a counselor approaches each circumstance. A look at the principles of counseling in regard to dealing with issues of divorce requires a number of procedures for success to be achieved. This leads to a proper understanding of the growth effectiveness of family counseling over the years (Orlans & Van, 2009).

The focus of this paper is to provide an analysis of components of counseling in a cultural and a multicultural settings. Counseling comprises of principles that control the field and all the aspects that are involved. The paper looks at the observation of counseling and the ethical research practices followed when conducting counseling. The topic in this case is divorce in the country and the role of counseling in such situations.

The paper entails the discussion of principles of responsible research conduct in the counseling field that involves the description of problems in the past studies that have encouraged the development of ethical standards. The paper looks at the various ethical considerations in conducting a research study.

This is summed up with the analysis of the central components of the counseling as a field in psychology. The above is done with the consideration of the topic at hand which is divorce in the country. The paper further provides a concluding paragraph that summarizes the components of the research and the way forward.

Counseling as a field in psychology

Counseling as a profession has changed over the years due to change in a number of variable aspects. This change is brought about by a number of conducted researches that seek to define the modern approach of the current situation. It is significant to understand the initial stages of counseling so as to recognize the changes experienced over the years.

This involves the proper understanding of the history of counseling and its role in the advancement in psychology. Counseling was introduced in the country in the 1950s owing to the recognition of the vitality of its contribution to understanding the mental state of an individual. Counseling has as a result made major strides which have changed the society’s perception of the field (Perry, 2008).

The early forms of counseling are traced to the collaboration of a number of credible societies at the time. Another factor that proved to be a major contributor to the growth of counseling is the occurrence of the world wars. The world wars changed the political, social economic and environmental state of the country and its citizens. Early counseling had some disadvantages such as lack of ethics and proper diagnosis of a patient.

This created a negative attitude towards counselors and therapist thus slowing the development of the industry (Worthington, 2005).

Most of the affected individuals changed their view of the normal life they were accustomed to. It was difficult to communicate with people undergoing such situations making the intervention from a professional the ideal way to interject. The introduction of family counseling was thus recommended to all people who displayed a change in character as a result of their involvement of the war.

This step resorted to a number of discovering which acted in favor of the use of counseling as problem solving tool. Most of the issues were related to the world war at the time making it the central issue.

This however, changed on the introduction of counseling of number issues such as marriage, family, professional, educational and career. The merging of counseling with a number of life experiences led to improvement of the emotional condition of individuals.

This in turn, created the conduction of a number of research topics that paved the way of modern counseling. One of the essential changes made to the field was the definition of the principles and ethics in the trade (Blocher, 2000).

Ethics is a significant concept to observe when practicing counseling. Counseling involves listening to the issues of an individual so as to offer guidance. This should be done without interference of personal opinions and gain. It is difficult to observe ethical counseling due to the fact that counselors are also human beings. It is therefore expected for personal experiences to influence the proper judgment of a professional.

Ethics involves respecting the current condition of the patient without passing judgment. Another ethical aspect looks at the observation of confidentiality between the patient and the counselor.

This is difficult to observe in that some of the information revealed in the counseling room is beneficial to outside parties. Maintaining ethics in counseling enables patients to feel comfortable so that they can respond to their treatment adequately. It thus considered one of the key principles when taking on the responsibility of being a counselor (Perry, 2008).

Another factor to take into consideration when offering counseling is the difference in the cultural practices. Culture is a way of life since it determines the way individuals perceive different situations, events and practices. One of the elements of culture is its aspect of diversity. A cultural practice that is accepted in one place can be completely deified in another place.

Proper understanding of a person’s culture is thus essential when offering counseling. Multicultural situations also dictate on the way a counselor approaches an issue. Being culturally sensitive entails learning about the different forms of cultural and ethical diversities. This acquaints a counselor with the level of tolerance of each patient has (Worthington, 2005).

Divorce in the United States

As stated earlier, divorce is the permanent dissolution and separation of two people who are legally bound in a marriage. This is one of the most difficult experiences owing to the societal view of the divorce being associated with failure. The rate of divorce is on the rise making the issue more critical than ever. A number of coping factors have been introduced to overcome the hardships that come with the situation at hand.

These factors are, however, effective depending on the culture. The possibility of divorce brings forth the change of the circumstances of people involved. These changes are life changing and thus act as a barrier to the progress one needs to move to the next stage in life. In order to tackle divorce associated issues one has to understand the major causes of divorce amongst married couples (Orlans & Van, 2009).

Marriage is presumed to be everlasting in the fact that a couple should only be separated by death. This notion is defined by a number of authoritative references such as the Bible and the Koran which influence the cultural practice of a particular community. Society relies on young couples to continue the growth and sustainability of the family though reproduction.

This makes marriage arguably one of the vital goals of each individual in society. Having a successful family provides a backbone for the improvement of any society. This is initiated with a prosperous marriage that entails the healthy union of a couple (Worthington, 2005).

The perception of Marriage has been changed over the years owing to the change of culture. In the past communities were not regularly accustomed to issues of divorce and separation due to shame and condemnation by the public. This made married couples strive to make their unions successful by avoiding all forms of scandals.

Some argue that marriages in the past experienced the same difficulties and challenges as that of the present. The only difference is that people in the past preserved all the hardships to avoid any form of judgment by the watchful community. The change in social causes such as globalization, education, human rights, women rights and the economic state of the country have influenced the dynamics of this institution.

This has in turn, changed the views of the majority of the communities making people understand the divorced. Despite the change of the perception of divorce by society, people are still forced to avoid the occurrence due to the level of turmoil experienced during the event. Divorce is thus defined by the change of one’s comfortable situation to a different or alternative state.

This change is uncertain since it affects the economic and social aspects of a person’s lifestyle. Divorce varies from couple to couple making the solution and approach different in each case. It is thus the responsibility of the counselor to recognize the problems at hand (Blocher, 2000).

Approaches taken during counseling divorced parties

Counseling is one of the recommended steps when two people are undergoing a divorce. People going through divorce stand to lose a lot apart from their spouses, for instance, their economic status, social status, acquaintances and custody of their children. This is a significant change owing to the amount of dedication involved when forming these relationships.

Losing some of these relationships changes the entire life of an individual. Divorce also disrupts the life of a person in that they have to build their life from scratch. This requires an enormous amount of work and dedication which in most cases is not easily attained.

People undergoing divorce are recommended to seek alternative forms of advice and counseling apart from their family. This is to remove any forms of influence from a relative or friend of one of the divorcees (Worthington, 2005).

Taking on alternative advice from a third party is, therefore, one of the recommended choices to make. Counseling services can be provided from professional in the community depending on their qualification in the field.

The most recognized form of however requires the use of a therapist who is well equipped with the psychological knowhow in the field. A therapist is well versed with the various mental states a person experiences from the loss of life to divorce (Orlans & Van, 2009).

America is one of the leading countries that records the highest divorce rates. More than fifty percent of the country’s population have either gone through a divorce or they originate from the divorced families. The society is, therefore, knowledgeable about the effects of divorce on an individual. A therapist should be able to to provide the patient guidance on the way forward.

Divorce is a culturally sensitive topic following the level of diversity in the country. It is essential for a counselor to remove all forms of bias without ignoring the different cultural aspects in each case. A number of methodologies are recommended when dealing with multicultural issues.

Counseling research is thus pivotal in the fact that it creates awareness of the new forms of research available in the field. The ethical and theoretical foundations of multicultural research ensure that a counselor observes the different behavioral patens and character traits displayed by each person (Perry, 2008).

Dealing with divorce

Professional counseling requires a therapist to distance oneself from the primary parties in this situation. This, however, allows for the counselor to acquire all forms of personal information which dictate the advice to give.

A counselor should be able to identify the state a patient is witnessing in order to provide an analysis of their mental and emotional reaction. One of the theories that a counselor uses to form a precise understanding of different stages and developments is conducting an examination on the developments of patients from the inception of the treatment (Sells & Yarhouse, 2011).

There are different stages that people display when receiving guidance from a therapist. The first stages portray emotions of anger, grief, shame and anxiety. All these character traits are reflective of the emotions and mental feelings that the patient undergoes. The cultural background of the patient is a major factor since it influences the amount of time taken to overcome these stages.

A counselor should look into the different alternatives available to the patient so as to provide the correct form of advice. Despite the significant role diversity influences the process of divorce, the patients show the same feelings such as personal failure.

The failure of a marriage may lead to different emotional states such as depression, hopelessness and low self esteem. Therapy enables a person to acquire a new perspective on the way forward in their new life (Perry, 2008).

An essential aspect in divorce is the future of the children. Children turn out to be the most affected persons when a couple divorces. The children are at the center of conflict due to their connection to both parents. Children are also in their early stages of development and are more vulnerable to the outcomes of the divorce. Therapist should actively involve the parents in the progress of their children.

This as a result solves a number of issues such as acting out amongst their peers and in school. The main aim of counseling is to restore the previous healthy state that a person experienced before the event. Both parties thus have to come to an understanding on the direction they would like their relationship to progress.

Divorces last for as long as ten years due to the fight of interested parties such as custody and property. Counseling eases the hardships that people in this situation undergo making the process progress in the long run.


The change in society continues to affect the rate of divorce in and outside the country. Most marriages end as a result of lack of understanding of their spouses. The inability to reconcile marital differences acts as a cause for a lifelong journey. It is inevitable to control the rate of divorce due to the fact that it is a personal affaire. Society should thus aim at ensuring people to cope well with it when exposed to such situations.

One of the recent introductions in the field of psychology is the provision of counseling for people experiencing divorce. Counseling uses the principles of psychology to analyze, examine and diagnose issues and challenges faced. This as a result creates a health environment whereby the growth and sustainability of the members of the community can continue to prevail.


Blocher, D. H. (2000). The evolution of counseling psychology. New York: Springer.

Orlans, V., & Van, S. S. (2009). A short introduction to counselling psychology. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Perry, C. W. (2008). Basic counseling techniques: A beginning therapist’s tool kit. Bloomington, IN: Author House.

Sells, J. N., & Yarhouse, M. A. (2011). Counseling couples in conflict: A relational restoration model. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic.

Worthington, E. L. (2005). Hope-focused marriage counseling: A guide to brief therapy. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press.

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