Divorce sucks, regardless of whether it was mutual, you initiated it or the decision was made for you. Legal experts can help you separate your assets and financial obligations, as well as develop a custody and support arrangement that the courts can approve, but a mental health professional is the one that provides confidential emotional support throughout the process to get you to a better space.

A divorce coach is a fantastic option for someone that just needs a professional trained to provide strategies and encouragement to get you to move forward. They can help with Parenting Plans and communication protocols, along with crisis management. But, what if you want to take a deeper dive? Therapists have the added training to help you long after the legal proceedings are over, to process the grief, loss, anger and doubt inevitably created as a result of the divorce.

It’s important to un-package what happened in your marriage before moving to your next relationship. A therapist helps you look at patterns of behavior and challenges some deep-seeded beliefs that might be hindering your ability to form healthy romantic relationships. They help us accept the end of the marriage, which has come to its logical conclusion, and work on shifting our thinking, so we see this new life as an opportunity, not just a loss.

It may just take time to heal, but it takes work if you want to grow. And for many, part of that next important chapter in your life includes dating. While my legal brain might simply encourage you to prepare a list of deal-breakers and do background check on any potential suitor for past criminal cases, liens, nasty divorces or protective orders, a therapist can actually help you discern what is most important to you in your next partner.

Check out this great talk with Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, aka “the Divorce Doctor” who shares some great tips for those seeking to thrive, not just survive post-divorce: