A 52-year-old man named “Henry” was in the midst of a divorce after 23 years of marriage. Although child custody wasn’t an issue given that both his children were adults in college, he came to treatment seeking help for anxiety and depression, related to being alone for the first time in his life. His greatest fears were of loneliness, lack of independence, and fears of “dying alone.” Dr. Shinar incorporated post-divorce psychoeducation and proactive CBT techniques to help Henry overcome his catastrophic thoughts. He was given homework assignments driven to hold him accountable for actions he was taking between sessions to increase his independence and reduce feelings of loneliness and doom. After 6 months of treatment, Henry began dating again, joined a poker club, and reduced his experience of irrational fears from daily occurrences to weekly and then biweekly.
A 38-year-old man named “Ian” came to treatment with Dr. Shinar after his recent separation from his wife and three young children aged, 6, 4, and 1. After a tumultuous series of fights, it was decided he should find an apartment and live close to the marital home and begin the legal separation process. His greatest fears at the beginning of treatment were focused on the irrational belief that he will “lose” all custody of his children, that his children will “forget” him, and that he will end up feeling depressed and suicidal for the rest of his life. Dr. Shinar focused on using CBT techniques to help Ian correct the series of irrational thoughts he was experiencing and break the obsessive cycle of worry. Within four months of weekly sessions, Ian began showing a relief in anxiety and a complete stop to suicidal thoughts. He worked on self-advocacy methods to obtain legal representation, improve communication with his wife, and enjoy more time with his children.
A 44-year-old woman named “Kristina” started treatment after she and her husband decided to divorce. Her husband suffered from addiction, including gambling and alcohol abuse, which left him unable to contribute to the family finances and limited his interaction with their children. Kristina’s main goal in treatment was focused on learning how to be a single mother and gain a sense of autonomy both as a parent and as the main source of income. CBT techniques were tailored to help Kristina gain a sense of confidence and independence, while feeling secure in her ability to raise and protect her children in the event that her future ex-husband doesn’t overcome his addictions. Within 8 months of treatment, Kristina was on her way to divorce with a greater sense of control over her emotions and feeling more empowered as a single mother.