The Mental Toll of Dealing with Legal Issues
Experiencing legal issues can create mental turmoil, regardless of the kind of legal issue you’re navigating. Legal issues are ripe with uncertainty, with a lack of control and a lot on the line. This is a recipe for experiencing intense anxiety, depression, a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, and isolation. You might be dealing with trauma if you were the victim of a crime, or accused of one. When dealing with a legal issue, you may need to keep quiet about it, not revealing any details to friends and family. Although this is in your best interest, it can feel alienating and overwhelming to be dealing with it all on your own. Whether you’re a victim trying to get justice, the falsely accused, or a mother trying to navigate child custody court, seeking counsel from a lawyer and support from a therapist can help to aid you through this rocky process.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
Unless you’re trained in law, you cannot possibly navigate the legal system on your own. The legal system is inherently confusing, and meant to be navigated by those trained in a specific area of law and processes. A family law attorney will not be able to effectively navigate criminal law, and vice versa. Lawyers are specially trained in their specific category of law, which makes them an expert at helping you navigate whatever legal issues you’re going through. It’s best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible, regardless of the legal issue, because you need someone on your side who knows the lay of the land. Navigating this on your own can lead to negative outcomes for you. Lawyers can help direct you in terms of what to do, what not to do and provide you with realistic expectations about the outcome.
When one gets into trouble, or is charged with a crime, it’s within our rights to receive an attorney from the state we are living in. However, you will not have the same access or relationship with a public defender as you will with a private attorney. The downside is that private lawyers are expensive. However, there are community legal services that can help advocate for you, and provide legal advice, and representation if you fall below a certain income level. This is worth looking into in the city that you live in, especially if hiring a lawyer will cause you undue financial hardship. There are ways of gaining support, but you have to get more creative if you don’t have the cash.
Why Hire a Therapist?
Although lawyers can be compassionate, and bring ease to your mind knowing that you have someone on your side to help navigate your legal issues, they are not therapists. Just as a lawyer is trained in their specific category of law, therapists are trained to help you with the emotional and mental impact pertaining to your legal issues. Therapists, like lawyers, have your confidentiality in mind. Although there are some limitations depending on the type of legal trouble you’re having (more on that below), you can still be confident that in regards to your feelings and emotional and mental well-being, a therapist can assist you in getting through your potentially arduous legal situation in one piece. A therapist can be a listening and nonjudgmental ear, and can help you to create coping strategies when dealing with the legal process. At the Center for Growth, we have therapists who understand the complexity of legal issues, and can help provide insight, reassurance and redirection.
Different Legal Issues
Below are examples of legal issues you might be experiencing. There are more issues and examples, but below we cover some of the most common reasons people find themselves navigating the legal system.
Court Ordered Therapy
If you find yourself in a legal situation that requires court ordered therapy, there are therapists at the Center for Growth who can help. Perhaps you’ve gone through mediation and therapy is recommended, or required. Court ordered therapy can still be a choice, even if it’s a requirement. What you put into court ordered therapy and what you get out of it is within your locus of control. For inquiries about court ordered therapy, contact founder, Alex Robboy at 267-324-9564, or therapist, Christian Dozier at 267-297-1029. Court ordered therapy can be suggested for co-parenting, divorce, child custody issues, work-related issues and more.
Therapy for Dealing with Child Custody Issues
Even when parents are cordial, child custody matters can be intensely stressful. Hiring a lawyer to assist you in this arena is imperative, especially if the situation is not straightforward. Perhaps your ex-partner is narcissistic, and lies to their attorney about you, or you have suspicions regarding how your child is being cared for in their presence. There is so much on the line. You need someone familiar with a variety of child custody matters, who can strategize to get the best outcome for you and your child.
Typically, when filing for a custody arrangement, your lawyer will begin by getting as much information about you and the situation as possible. They will then file for the custody arrangement based on your wishes, and what they believe (as the expert) is realistic. If the other party does not agree with your proposed arrangement, the next step is mediation. Because this process is stressful every step of the way, therapy for dealing with child custody issues can be a life-saver.
Mediation occurs before escalating the matter to a court hearing. A mediator is a neutral person, typically a judge, lawyer, or even a therapist assigned by the courts to help the parties resolve the custody dispute without going to trial. If matters cannot be resolved in mediation, then they escalate to trial. Mediation is a stressful experience, evidence that caregivers cannot reach an agreed upon custody arrangement with their lawyer’s communication alone. Meditation can get heated, and it can be helpful to discuss a strategy for staying calm and collected with your therapist beforehand. You might not reach the agreement you were hoping for, and surprises in terms of cost, who’s paying for what and holiday schedules can leave you stressed in the aftermath. Therapy for dealing with child custody issues can help you strategize ways of keeping your mental health in check despite the stress.
If matters are not handled via mediation, you will end up in trial. A judge will hear your case, as well as the other caregiver’s case. You are put on the spot and this can be jarring. You likely just want what’s best for your child, or children, but things have gotten an awful lot more complicated than you expected. This can be a heartbreaking process, an extremely emotional and jarring experience. Therapy for dealing with child custody issues can support you and help you to process big emotions surrounding mediation, trial and the final verdict. Your lawyer will fight for you in the courtroom, but they will not be able to support the emotions the situation evokes.
Furthermore, the judge might order you to receive therapy for dealing with child custody issues, as well as, co-parenting counseling. Therapy for dealing with child custody issues not only benefits you, but also benefits your child(ren). The more level-headed you can remain, the more you will be able to keep your priorities straight while dealing with the struggles of child custody issues.
Therapy for Going Through a Divorce
When going through a divorce, the legal issues you encounter are only one part of the puzzle. Sure, you will need to hire a lawyer to help you divide assets, discuss matters like alimony, child support, child custody and so on. There’s a lot to handle on the legal front. However, you might also be dealing with a colossal break-up, and its accompanying heartbreak on the emotional front. Therapy for going for a divorce can help you come out stronger on the other side.
When people decide to get married, they’re usually hoping for the best outcome-until death do us part. This is not to say that ending relationships must be viewed as a failure. Sometimes it’s the right thing to do, and splitting up can be done peacefully, amicably. But the ending of a marriage, regardless of why and how, has the potential to be traumatic. Therapy for going through a divorce can help you make sense of the massive life change you’re experiencing. Your life may be turned upside down and appear unrecognizable. Therapy for going through a divorce can help you to build yourself back up. You may not have suspected your partner wanted a divorce, and now you’re dealing with shock and disbelief. Perhaps the divorce is not what you want, and now you have to manage the legal issues, uncertainty around child custody, income or quality of life. It can be devastating. Therapy for going through a divorce can be a saving grace.
Accessing a qualified therapist who understands the legal issues surrounding divorce, as well as, the emotional toll divorce takes can make a huge difference in how you weather the storm. If you’re in a legal process, it’s not always wise to speak to mutual friends about it. Your lawyer might advise you to keep things to yourself for your own good. But who do you go to for support and advice regarding matters of the heart? Therapy for going through a divorce means you have a compassionate witness, someone who can help you to grieve, and ultimately cope with the often long process of divorce.
Therapy When You’re Charged with a Crime
If you’re charged with a crime, or you think you might be suspected of committing a crime, it’s best to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. When police “bring you in for questioning”, you can request that a lawyer be present, and you are not required to answer any questions until you obtain counsel. It’s good to know your rights, because police are allowed to lie to you when interviewing/interrogating you. You might think it’s best to tell the truth and clear your name, but you can end up digging yourself deeper into trouble. You need a strong lawyer on your side to help you navigate being charged with the crime, or being accused of one. You do not want to be interviewed by police without a lawyer present. Even if you are arrested, “you have the right to remain silent.”
Typically, when being charged with a crime, your lawyer will tell you to keep all matters regarding the case a secret. They might even tell you to keep quiet around your family, friends, your partner, etc. in efforts to protect information from spreading. This can feel lonely and isolative. If you’re charged with a crime, you might feel ashamed, scared, fearful of the future and what to expect. Therapy when you’re charged with a crime can help you to come to terms about what’s happening, and help to reinforce advice given by your lawyer- an experienced therapist will help to keep you strong throughout this legal process. Therapy when you’re charged with a crime can assist you in working through shame and guilt. Therapy when you’re charged with a crime can help you to keep your priorities straight and remind you of what you need to do to get through the situation you’re in. Therapy when you’re charged with a crime can help you learn coping strategies to deal with what feels unbearable and challenging about being a part of the legal system.
Therapy for Being the Victim of Domestic Violence
The justice system doesn’t make it easy for those who are victims of a crime. Especially those who are victims of violent crimes, intimate partner violence, or crimes of a sexual nature. The onus is often put on the victim to obtain things like an order of protection (sometimes referred to as a restraining order), and provide evidence that the assault(s) occurred. If you are the victim of a sexual crime, you will be asked to be examined by medical professionals so they can obtain any viable DNA from your body, an experience that can be traumatic for an already victimized person. Unless you get a compassionate officer, the setting might be cold and it’s common for people to report feeling “not believed.”
If you’ve been the victim of trauma, and within the trauma a crime has been committed, you are likely going to go through what feels like an uphill battle if you decide to press charges against your perpetrator. The bravery it takes to go through with this process is something to be proud of, although moving forward with charges is not for everyone. Any act of violence turning into a legal issue requires the help of a lawyer who understands what you’re going through. You need someone on your side in the legal process to walk you through it, and to help you understand what’s coming next. Therapy for being the victim of domestic violence is imperative for emotional wellbeing.
Therapy for being the victim of domestic violence can help you to have a safe space to process the trauma of the event(s), and to help you heal and gain strength as you go through the legal process. At the Center for Growth, we have therapists who understand intimate partner violence, and the effects of sexual violence. We offer expertise in therapy for being the victim of domestic violence. We understand how frustrating and unfair the legal system can be for victims of crimes. Many of our therapists come from a variety of backgrounds and specialities, some specifically trained to work with survivors of violent and/or sexual crimes. Therapy for being the victim of domestic violence can be re-empowering, and help you to feel like you have someone on your side no matter what.
Therapy for Being Accused of Sexual Assault
This can be a hard topic to traverse. We don’t want to invalidate victim experiences, however, there are situations where people are falsely accused of sexual assault. The falsely accused then become victims themselves. The effects of being falsely accused can be detrimental to someone’s mental health, as well as reputation, even if they are innocent. People can lose employment, relationships and other people’s trust when being accused of sexual assault. When dealing with this legal issue, hiring an experienced attorney is always the best move. Hiring an attorney does not make you look guilty in the eyes of the law, and clearing your name on your own comes with the risk of further incriminating yourself. In addition to legal representation, getting therapy for being accused of sexual assault can help you feel less alone.
Being accused of sexual assault is a shameful experience, as even though you’re innocent, many people will not believe that you are. They might view you differently, or you might sense that they do. It can be hard to keep a hold of yourself. Your lawyer will likely tell you to keep all legal matters private. You might even be advised not to tell your closest family members. This type of an experience can be traumatic, as the falsely accused essentially become victims. Therapy for being accused of sexual assault can help you deal with the trauma. Regardless of whether or not your name is cleared, you may still suffer from post-traumatic stress. At the Center for Growth, we understand the complicated nature of being falsely accused of seuxal assault. No matter what age or stage of life you’re in, we have a therapist who can help you through this process. Whether or not you’re a young adult accused of a crime, or a middle-aged person accused at work, therapy for being accused of sexual assault can help you by providing emotional support and helping you to stay strong in connection with your legal team. Therapy for being accused of sexual assault gives you the opportunity to be open about your feelings and inner experiences, when you might not be able to tell the rest of the world what’s going on. Your therapist will advise you on what should/should not be discussed in therapy to protect you. During therapy for sexual assault, ee will focus on keeping your mental health intact, and not on the granular facts of the case. Therapy for sexual assault can be obtained at any point during your legal troubles, from rumors, accusations, arrest, trial, etc.
Therapy When You’re Going Through a Car Accident Lawsuit
When you’ve been through a car accident, you may be physically injured and emotionally shaken up. Perhaps you had to miss work, spend time in the hospital and start physical therapy. You are going through financial strain and uncertainty about when/if a lawsuit will yield positive results for you in covering what you need. Therapy when you’re going through a car accident lawsuit can help you to cope with the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with this process. You’ve likely hired a lawyer who will guide you on the legal front, but to take care of mental health you will benefit from therapy when you’re going through a car accident lawsuit. Therapy when you’re going through a car accident lawsuit can help you to normalize your feelings of frustration, pain and “waiting”. Car accident lawsuits can take a long time to see through, as your lawyer will likely be collecting evidence on your behalf. And if you are suffering with never-before experienced physical limitations, therapy when you’re going through a car accident lawsuit can help you to adjust to the difficult changes. Therapy when you’re going through a car accident lawsuit can help you to learn coping strategies to deal with a situation you didn’t ask for.
Therapy When You’re Going Through a Malpractice Lawsuit
The occurrence of malpractice can be severely traumatizing. You might have lost a loved one, or you may have lost some quality of life due to a medical injury by no fault of your own. Malpractice lawsuits can take a long time because lawyers will gather evidence and need to go up against malpractice insurance companies. Once you’ve hired an experienced attorney, or if you’re thinking about hiring one, seeking therapy can help support you. Therapy when you’re going through a malpractice lawsuit can help to support you through the lengthy legal process. Therapy when you’re going through a malpractice lawsuit can help you to adjust to any physical health issues, like chronic pain, that you might be suffering as a result of a malpractice occurrence. Going through a malpractice lawsuit is an emotionally intense process, because if you or someone you know have suffered at the hands of a trusted doctor, you will be faced with a process of grief and acceptance of what happened. Therapy when you’re going through a malpractice lawsuit can help you address trust issues that might have rightfully developed after being harmed by a professional you trusted. Therapy when you’re going through a malpractice lawsuit can help provide you with a safe space to talk about change, anger, frustration and potentially depression that can arise from a change in your quality of life.
Therapy for Being Discriminated Against at Work
Workplace discrimination is a huge issue that all different folks deal with. From sexual harassment, to racial discrimination, sexism and a disrespect of culture and insensitivity to gender and sexuality, being discriminated against at work is uncalled for, unfair and often psychologically taxing. Some people will experience discrimination at work as a trauma, as this can be an intensely overwhelming experience. As much as human resources departments claim to be neutral parties, we all know they are not. And it can be hard to know who to turn to if you’re experiencing abuse at work. You might choose to go the legal route and sue for discrimination, or you might be contemplating leaving your job but it could take time to find something new. Unfortunately, you might not be validated by your employer, which can again, take an intense emotional toll. Therapy for being discriminated against at work can help you stay connected to your truth. Therapy for being discriminated against at work can help you to become a stronger self-advocate. Therapy for being discriminated against at work can help you to discern if you want to take the legal route or not, as it’s such a personal decision to make. Remember that help is available for you, and at the Center for Growth we understand how complicated matters like this can be. The decision to get therapy for being discriminated against at work is a brave one, but if your intuition is telling you that you’re being harmed due to workplace discrimination, it’s worth seeking support and help.
Therapy for When You’re Being Sued
It’s dreadful being sued; no one wants to be sued no matter the scale of which you’re being sued. You might be being sued at work, or because of an automobile accident. Maybe you made a mistake and it’s costing you a lawsuit, or you’re wrongfully being sued for something you feel is unjust. Regardless of the reason, after you find a lawyer to protect your rights, finding therapy for when you’re being sued is often a huge support. Being sued might evoke feelings of shame, being persecuted, misunderstood or angry. It might be impossible to talk to your close relatives and friends about this by the recommendation of your lawyer. Therapy for when you’re being sued is a safe and confidential space to talk about the emotional and psychological impacts of being sued. Therapy for when you’re being sued is not the same as getting legal advice, but your therapist can help you stay on track with your legal team and cope with the stress of being involved in the legal system. Therapy when you’re being sued can help you learn ways to cope and support yourself despite being in a situation that feels out of control and unfavorable.
Therapy for Lawyers. It’s Not Easy Being a Lawyer
Being a lawyer is one of the most challenging professions to take on. You are fighting for others all day, and you come home and have to manage relationships with your spouses and perhaps your children. Or you’re a single lawyer trying to find the time to meet someone to share your life with amidst your busy schedule. It’s not easy being a lawyer. Your schedule is demanding and you are always thinking about other people, cases and tasks in efforts to do the best job possible. But what about you? Therapy for lawyers can help provide you with the space to talk about the impact your career is having on you and your life. Therapy for lawyers can help you to find more balance given that a “traditional work/life balance” might not apply in the same way for you as it does for others. You might need someone to help you get creative so that you can honor all areas of your life, including self-care. Therapy for lawyers can help you focus on you. It’s not easy being a lawyer. Therapy for lawyers can include your therapist teaching your mindfulness techniques and coping skills to deal with the stress. Depending on the type of law you practice, you might have to go to trial- therapy for lawyers can be a helpful arena to boost confidence, and help you to grieve a lost case, or a moment of embarrassment. At the Center for Growth we offer a variety of scheduling times, including early mornings, nights and weekends to accommodate therapy for lawyers. It’s not easy being a lawyer, therapy for lawyers can help.