I remember many years ago hearing about a firm who were offering clients therapy alongside their divorce. It was a long time before Ruth, Irena and I decided to open Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne but it stayed with me. I remember admiring the logic of offering a client going through a traumatic experience some therapy, but also wondering whether we could expand upon it.
I think it is clear to all of us who do family law that our clients are often suffering. They are unhappy about the end of a relationship (wherever the ‘fault’ lies) or sad to have less time with their children. They can be angry about the financial impact of a divorce or worried about their future. In care proceedings the need for therapy is even more evident and can be a contributing factor to the removal of children from their home and family.
Apart from the clear therapeutic benefit to clients there is also a financial benefit. Lawyers are more expensive than therapists but many clients spend a lot of time treating their lawyer like a therapist, and this costs them a lot of money.
Our first step in this process is to set up therapeutic courses for BH&O clients.
This course will be called ‘Reflections’ and is designed to assist clients in moving past the anger, fear, panic and grief they experience as their relationship ends. The groups will consist of six group sessions, be single gender and run by two of the therapists from Relationships Matter.
Separately to the course we will also be offering clients an initial session with one of the therapists alongside their initial appointment with their lawyer. We hope this will assist clients in focusing on legal issues with their lawyer.
Finally, we have reached an agreement with the therapists to provide therapeutic services to our legal aid clients in order to supplement what is available on the NHS.
It is our hope that in the direst of circumstances we are offering services to truly improve our clients’ lives.
Please find out more: www.bholegal.co.uk/therapeutic-services
Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne LLP
11 June 2019