Helen Harrison from Power of Change Counselling & Coaching is a professional and accredited counselling practice and has been in private practice in Thornlands, Redlands City, Brisbane since 2008.

She seeks to provide all clients with a safe, caring and supportive environment in which they can explore and release their thoughts, feelings and emotions; thus, in turn allowing the individual to confidently move forward in a direction and manner that is appropriate for the individual. 

Helen works with individuals and couples providing a neutral, nonjudgmental environment for people to work through the struggles and problems they are facing in their life.

People say that divorce is one of the most painful experiences that a person can go thru. It’s not only your marriage that you’re losing but also yourself.

The death of a marriage is not just a moment in time, but a process that is filled with many different feelings. Grief is not linear! In other words, you cannot just pass through the stages of shock, denial, anger, and acceptance in a well-defined order. Divorce, like grief, is chaotic and circular, with the stages changing daily or moment-to-moment.

It is normal for the initial stage and the first emotion to be one of shock. Psychological shock in response to an event or situation can cause great distress and disruption in our lives. People react differently to shock. Some turn inward and retreat socially, withdrawing from friends and social contacts. “Psychological runners”, as they are called, might have a difficult time acknowledging that this is really happening. Other people might reach out and spend time telling anyone who will listen every detail of how they have been hurt in their divorce. This becomes the “story” that they use to define them from this point forward while they are grieving. They might increase their social interactions and create even more chaos in order to numb the pain and reality of this experience. Combined with shock comes the denial and anger.

It is normal to experience depression during the initial stages of a divorce. A marriage is a support system that helps define us in the world. With the loss of a marriage, our world is suddenly smaller. We not only lose our partner, but also might find that our social system is shrinking. Loss of family members and friends can force us to redefine our sense of how we identify ourselves in the world. This “letting go” of the world we knew can have a profound influence on our sense of security. The inability to accept these sudden changes can challenge even the most positive individuals.

How long will the sadness last?

Since the grief experience is not linear, and there is no right way to grieve the loss of a marriage it is difficult to know how long the grief will last. I have heard that for every 10 years of marriage, it takes one year to recover.

Change involves letting go, and requires a psychological and physical “movement” in order to begin the healing process. When this stage occurs it depends on many factors, such as, who wanted the divorce, was there another party involved in the failed marriage, how much bitterness is there between the couple, are there children and custody issues, who get the dog, and the legal system.

The worst thing about a divorce is coming home to an empty house at the end of the day. Loneliness can intensify the depression and sadness. Even though most marriages were “broken” long before the time of the divorce, there was still the companionship of having the physical presence of your partner.

7 Action steps moving forward

  1. Turn toward a renewed relationship with God, a higher power, or spirituality.
  2. Find a few friends and familymembers to form an emotional support system.
  3. Make a list of your challenges and resources.
  4. Contact a lawyer to assist you through the legal process.
  5. Find a counsellor to help you process your feelings.
  6. Be kind to yourself and set aside time for journaling, deep-breathing exercises, or any practice that allows you to relax and collect our thoughts.
  7. Remember that there is no right way to grief the loss of a marriage.

Finding a new identity is an important part of the healing process.

Learning to be alone, forming new friendships, and finding a new home can be both frightening and exciting. Some people go through this process quickly and others never make it. If the depression is not lifting and the grief is long lasting, you might be experiencing complicated grief it’s important to seek some professional support.

Helen Harrison

Power of Change Counselling & Coaching

Separating from a spouse or partner can be a traumatic event and very emotional time.

Legal Practitioners working in this area of law often work in a high pressure environment, having to take immediate steps relating to care of children, home occupancy and assets, whilst taking instructions from clients who are often in a fair bit of emotional pain.

Quite often the pain is extended with the other side continuing to supply untruths relating to their situation.

Combining legal skills with our investigative strength often provides practitioners and their clients with a significant advantage over adversaries.

Generally, investigation will often ensure that you have a wealth of evidence to support your clients application.

Discovering information or evidence through investigation will often induce the other party to settle on your client’s terms, not their terms.

How often do Practitioners suspect that statements made by the other side are untruthful, but do not have the ability to disprove them. In some cases, their own clients can assist with this process, as well as general discovery. A key feature of Investigation however, is that it allows you as Practitioners to test the veracity of the other side’s contentions throughout the proceedings, undermining the other sides confidence and credibility at every opportunity.

Over the last 17 years we have assisted many practitioners with;

  • The enforcement & execution of orders, service of documents with supporting Affidavits, removal of or collection and or protection of property and your client’s security and safety;
  • Preparation of evidence of criminal offences, including stalking, violent and threatening conduct and engaging law enforcement;
  • Confirmation of the occurrence of separation, reconciliation or other significant events;
  • Identifying, locating and/or verifying property interests;
  • Substantiating negative contributions, including wasted expenditure; (i.e. Mistresses & gambling)
  • Identifying and verifying undisclosed income levels or potential for earning capacity;
  • Exposing fraud, shams, misrepresentations or non-disclosure, relevant to the outcome of proceedings; (e.g. non-payment of child support)
  • Discovering extramarital relationships and linking negative consequences;
  • Substantiating inappropriate behaviour by a parent or other caregivers;
  • Investigating child at risk issues;
  • Supervising contact or handovers.
  • Obtaining evidence substantiating a breach of orders or undertakings.
  • Conducting interviews, drafting statements or affidavits;
  • Proving or disproving de facto relationships;
  • Assisting in the execution of orders, including:
    • Anton Pillar Orders;
    • Recovery Orders.

Clients usually have a wealth of information about the other side, and any investigation should commence with an analysis of this information.
It can often be dangerous however to allow clients to carry out investigations on their own behalf, such investigations often exposing them to breaches of various legislation and courts later adopting an adverse opinion of them.

The benefit of using a competent investigator is that it will allow you to present the truth, whilst protecting your clients,

Michael Featherstone www.phoenixglobal.com.au

Selecting the Right Business Advisor by Michael Featherstone

Selecting the right qualified advisor for your business will save your business time and money in the long term.  In this week’s blog, we will look at the role of Financial Advisor.

Many people are confused about the role of a Financial Advisor.  Quite simply they identify your monetary needs and goals and prepare a financial plan for you to work from so that you can meet those needs and achieve those goals.  They will also recommend investment products that may help you in your endeavours.

They can give you advice on managed investments, investment portfolio planning, superannuation, allocated pensions and rollovers and life insurance, income protection insurance, retirement planning and the list goes on.

You must ensure that the Financial Advisor is independent of the investment products they are recommending; otherwise their advice may be tainted by the commission offered by those investment companies.

Many businesses choose professionals to act for them on the recommendation of another people.  Financial Planning can be very complex and you will need to trust your Advisor therefore referrals from people you trust can be a good way of choosing your advisor.

Other professionals who do work for you may be able to recommend a Financial Advisor who will be appropriate for your needs.

Other Financial Advisors who do not handle your type of work may be able to assist with the decision making process and refer you to someone who would suit your business.

There are a number of Financial Advisor referral services which you can contact for a recommendation.  The only problem with this kind of service is that the Financial Advisors pay a fee to be on the list of referrals and they may not be ideal for your circumstances.  These services can be found in the telephone directory or on the internet.

In next week’s blog, we will look at asking the right questions to determine which financial advisor is right for you.

Phoenix Global is a respected provider of services including Risk Management and Investigations for a diverse range of business & legal clients. The company was founded by Mr Michael Featherstone whose wealth of experience includes 16 years with the Queensland Police Service, where he undertook a large number of complex investigations involving Homicide, Serious Fraud, Child Abuse and Neglect, Serious Assault, and Drug supply.  For the past 17 years Michael and his staff have worked closely with many Legal Firms and their multi disciplinary teams developing evidence for client cases. 

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