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Painful Partings: Divorce and Its Aftermath



Painful Partings: Divorce and Its Aftermath

Lita Linzer Schwartz, Florence W. Kaslow

ISBN: 978-0-471-11009-5 February 1997 320 Pages

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Acclaim for Painful Partings . . .

"A rare triple threat book--for professionals, students, andlaypersons. Sensitive--wise--comprehensive, Schwartz and Kaslow'swork represents a maturing of a realistic stance toward divorce."--William C. Nichols, EdD, ABPP Atlanta, Georgia

"This articulate, compassionate, and informed book is essentialreading for all therapists who work with divorced or divorcingfamilies. Scholarly, yet readable, its developmental frameworkgives coherence to an often confusing area of practice." --AugustusY. Napier, PhD Director, The Family Workshop, Atlanta,Georgia

"[Painful Partings] masters both the legal and mental health issuesof divorce." --Judge Joseph L. Steinberg Superior Court, State ofConnecticut, Regional Family Trial Docket

"Obtaining a legal divorce may seem fairly straightforward.Emotional divorce, on the other hand, is a much more complicatedprocess. In this book, the reader is taken step by painful stepinto the process of helping couples become emotionally divorced."--Luciano L'Abate, PhDProfessor Emeritus, Georgia StateUniversity

"This book achieves a remarkable result in explaining sophisticatedfamily-system concepts . . . into practical clinical suggestions."--Barry Bricklin, PhD Wayne, Pennsylvania.

"This book is a must for professionals, but is also important forthose who are contemplating or in the process of divorcing." --Hon.Walter M. Schackman, JSC Supreme Court of the State of NewYork

"Must reading for clinicians and professionals working with andteaching about divorce and for those going through the process."--Clifford J. Sager, MD Director of Marital and Family Services,Payne Whitney Clinic

"The journey [toward divorce] seems analogous to a prolonged rollercoaster ride--at the beginning, climbing up and out is laboriousand slow, followed by brief periods of respite and relief at theapex, and then a rapid descent into what may seem like a bottomlesspit of pain and despair. As the months pass by, the ride becomesless turbulent as the highs and lows become less extreme, andultimately, the travelers alight from the tempestuous ride, andestablish a stable postdivorce existence." --from the Preface

For those who have made the difficult decision to end theirmarriage, emotional divorce can be as difficult to achieve as legaldivorce. This timely and compassionate book shows couples, theirfamilies, and their therapists how best to navigate the bumpyterrain of the road to divorce.

In their 1987 classic, The Dynamics of Divorce, family-systemsexperts Lita Linzer Schwartz and Florence W. Kaslow offered aprovocative analysis of how life-cycle stages impact the decisionto divorce, and how divorce affects individual development. In thisgroundbreaking new volume, the authors look at changing life-cycletrends in divorce and explore a host of new economic, cultural, andsocial issues confronting a highly mobile generation of divorcedspouses and parents.

The book covers emerging alternatives to litigation--likemediation, and looks at sensitive legal matters, such as physicaland emotional abuse and child custody. It also examines timelyissues like fathers' rights, mid-life divorce, and what happenswhen one partner exits a marriage in order to lead a homosexuallifestyle.

Painful Partings shows marriage and family therapists how to helpclients marshal their energies toward constructive closure, ratherthan destructive resolution. For example, there is a full chapteron the religious aspects of divorce, including conducting a Ritualof Release--a departure ceremony paralleling the original marriage.Essential reading for therapists who work with divorced anddivorcing families, the book is also a compassionate guide forspouses and parents negotiating the painful process of divorce.

A Family Systems Framework and Life-Cycle Perspective.


Separation and Divorce: An Overview.

Individual Differences and Their Impact on Resolution.

Therapeutic Issues and Interventions During the DivorceProcess.

The Legal Aspects of Divorce.

The Economic Issues in Divorce.

Parenting and Child Custody Issues.

Spiritual and Religious Aspects of Divorce.


An Overview of the Aftermath.

Effects of Divorce on the Children.

Getting on with Life.


Toward Integration and Wholeness.