Many people will resort to legal disputes to come to a solution for their problems. These legal battles can go through different paths and vary in their outcomes. However, these cases have one thing in common. Most of them put an immense strain on the people involved and often result in drastic changes in their lives.
As such, legal disputes can compromise the mental well-being of all persons involved. Whether you are the one pursuing legal action or the one at its receiving end, your mental health can suffer. At best, you will only experience stress. But at worst, you can develop mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Seeking adequate mental health resources will help you develop healthy coping strategies to face your struggles in legal disputes.
What Are Legal Disputes?
A case is considered a legal dispute when a disagreement between opposing parties is resolved through court or a legal process. There are many methods of legal dispute resolution, including the following:
Each legal dispute has a different goal for the parties and can vary in how they are settled.
Mediation – A legal dispute that often holds informal meetings with opposing parties at a scheduled conference. This procedure involves the opposing parties settling their disputes with the help of a third-party professional mediator. Some examples of mediation cases are personal injury, community relations, divorce, or employment.
Arbitration – This procedure involves another third party who serves as a judge who will resolve the dispute. The arbitration will only take place if opposing parties have consented. Unlike mediation, one party cannot withdraw from arbitration. Both parties can choose an arbitrator to preside over the dispute until they reach an agreement.
Litigation – Unlike mediation and arbitration, litigation requires cases to be presented in a court of law. This process will involve a client facing a plaintiff before a judge and jury. Legal disputes in litigation will be based on conflicts in civil rights.
How Going Through Legal Disputes Can Negatively Affect Your Emotional Wellbeing
When a legal battle starts to become entangled in emotional and personal aspects of your life, it can impact your mental health negatively. Over 80% of lawyers say that their clients have shown symptoms of depression and anxiety during will disputes. However, many of them find it difficult to seek help in these challenging times.
For families going through a separation, it can be a financially and emotionally taxing process to address. Married couples who decide to get divorced often fight about everything involving their separation. However, not many of them will seek the help of a therapist or counselor as they go through this tremendous life change. As a result, their children grow up witnessing conflict and sometimes, even violence and emotional neglect.
Financial strains during legal disputes have also been linked to the cause of depression in clients. While still grieving a death or separation with a loved one, it can be difficult to sort financial matters and possible debt. This additional struggle can contribute to depression and anxiety. In addition to these mental health disorders, legal disputes can also cause:
- Excessive stress
- Lack of motivation
- Sleep problems
In legal disputes involving members of the LGBTQ+ community, they are often left even more vulnerable because society questions their civil rights. Even though all 50 states now recognize same-sex marriage, many LGBTQ+ rights are still not being upheld. For instance, discrimination in employment and housing is still rampant.
How Therapy Can Help
People seeking therapy may find conflict resolution therapy extremely helpful. This modality is based on the idea that the conflict is rooted in emotional distress. It is highly beneficial for people going through legal disputes, especially those involving a life-changing event.
Conflict resolution therapy uses a problem-solving approach to reach a resolution, reduce tension, and improve all parties’ general well-being. Many who engage with conflict resolution therapy will develop the skills needed to address their concerns and future issues, whether with their spouse, family member, friend, or workmate.
A therapist conducting conflict resolution therapy aims to make all parties involved feel as if they’ve reached a “win-win” situation. This method has become well-known as a successful treatment for couples and a valuable resource for mediators and lawyers. It involves a balanced mix of therapy and skill training. A well-trained therapist in this modality should incorporate skill-building exercises and therapeutic intervention into the treatment of their clients.
By the end of a successful conflict resolution therapy, patients are expected to learn how to avoid emotional diversions, communicate properly, and regulate their emotions. These skills are valuable in settling their current disputes and any other disagreements that may arise in the future.
Going through legal disputes can be a life-changing event and a source of stress for all parties involved. Legal processes are long and complex and may take months or even years to settle. Most lawyers can testify to how much emotional strain a legal dispute can do to a person. This distress can result in serious mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. When a legal dispute starts to impact you negatively, it’s time to seek help.
One of the options your therapist can offer you is conflict resolution therapy. This type of therapy is a good solution for people going through intense disputes, such as divorce. It will allow both parties to navigate their concerns and find a solution properly. They will better understand how to cope with their struggles and address any future conflict readily.
Sometimes, disputes can only be settled through the law. So, it can be inevitable to engage in a legal battle. However, you do have a choice to undergo therapy while you are undergoing proceedings involving the law. Not only will it make your legal dispute more manageable, but you will also gain skills for life.