By Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.


During my years in practice, I have helped hundreds of people to cope with the divorce process.

Some time ago, I was counseling a woman who had decided to end her marriage after having six therapy sessions with me.

Her husband was a successful entrepreneur in his own lucrative business. He was a bit of a bully and my client was quite scared of his temper and his controlling nature.

He had never been physically abusive, but he had a history of being quite forceful, quite controlling and verbally abusive.

My patient was terrified to discuss a divorce with him as he would become quite agitated whenever money, assets or ending the marriage was brought up.

I referred her to an attorney who I knew could be gentle and supportive with her and who could also be firm and forceful with her spouse.

Furthermore, I suggested that she turn over all the communication and discussion to her attorney.   I reminded her that this is what lawyers are paid to do and that she needed someone to act as her advocate at this point in time.

Because this lawyer was able to manage the emotional and legal issues surrounding this case, my client was able to manage the emotions connected with the process quite well.

In addition she was able to get a fair settlement in a relatively short period of time.

When I refer a patient of mine to a divorce lawyer, I try to consider the attorney’s personality type that is best for the patient to interact with.

Some of the factors that I consider are the sex of the patient, the sex of the lawyer and how aggressive or gentle the lawyer is in his approach to divorce cases.

I also consider whether the patient wants to settle their case by mediation, collaborative divorce or whether they feel it will have to be litigated.

People going through a divorce often need to feel like their attorney is a kind of team mate and it is essential that they can work well together as the go through the divorce process.

The right lawyer can really make all the difference in how well a person copes with the dissolution of a marriage.


Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist, Author, Licensed Marriage And Family Therapist and the Founder of

He can be reached at

Or you can call him at 201 647-9191.