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Recovering from Divorce: Healing Attachment Wounds with Emotionally Focused Therapy

Divorce is not just the end of a marriage but the beginning of a deeply personal journey through loss, self-discovery, and, eventually, healing. For many, the dissolution of this intimate bond triggers profound emotional turmoil, rooted in our fundamental human need for connection and security. As a marriage and family therapist specializing in attachment theory and employing the Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) approach developed by Sue Johnson, I've witnessed firsthand the unique pain that comes from severing such deeply held ties.

The Impact of lost Attachment

Our attachment style, developed early in life, fundamentally shapes how we experience closeness and intimacy in relationships. When a marriage dissolves, it's not just the loss of a partner—it's the shattering of a primary source of safety and attachment. This rupture can leave individuals grappling with profound feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and insecurity. Phrases like "I'll never trust again" or "I'm afraid to date" are not just expressions of fear; they are manifestations of deep attachment wounds.

Healing from Your Divorce

Healing from your divorce requires more than just time. It necessitates a compassionate, structured approach to addressing the emotional havoc wrought by such a significant life change. EFIT, with its focus on attachment and emotion, provides a powerful framework for this healing journey. By creating a safe, supportive therapeutic environment, individuals can explore their deepest fears and feelings of alienation—such as the fear of never being able to trust again or the trepidation surrounding the idea of dating. Ultimately not only healing from divorce but also finding secure attachment with others and a sense of safety. 

Navigating Fear and Building Trust

The fear of entering into new relationships post-divorce is both natural and expected. The thought, "I need healing from my divorce," is a crucial acknowledgment of the pain and a first step toward recovery. Therapy helps individuals understand and reframe their relationship to these fears. By gently examining the narratives of never trusting again or being afraid to date, we can start to unravel the patterns that hold us back from forming secure, fulfilling connections in the future. In therapy you will learn how to know when you can trust others and most importantly learn to trust yourself again. 

In the therapeutic journey, compassion is not just a tool; it is the foundation. Recognizing and validating the pain of divorce, without judgment or censure, allows individuals to feel seen and understood. This empathetic acknowledgment is vital in building trust—not just between therapist and client, but within oneself. Trusting oneself again is a critical step in healing from divorce and moving toward a future where love and connection are possible, even after profound loss.

Moving Forward

Recovering from divorce is a path paved with challenges and opportunities for massive growth. Growth that may not have otherwise happened without this struggle. Through therapy, individuals can begin to repair their attachment wounds, confront their fears of new relationships, and gradually open themselves up to the possibility of trust and love once more. Often, we unconsciously choose partners to heal our painful relationship with parents. In my sessions with clients I find that there is a dual healing process taking place. One that is current and one that is very old, possibly multigenerational. 

Remember, the end of a marriage is not the end of your capacity for deep, meaningful connections. With compassion, understanding, and the right support, healing is not just a hope; it is a reality.

Healing from the emotional impact of a divorce is a deeply personal and often complex process. By addressing the root causes of our fears and insecurities through attachment theory, individuals can embark on a journey of recovery and self-discovery. If you're struggling with thoughts of never trusting again, being afraid to date, or needing healing from your divorce, know that these feelings are valid—and that there is a path forward.

Call me today and set up an appointment. 775-750-0766