Navigating Separation or Divorce
The breakdown of a significant relationship can be one of the most difficult experiences you can face. It often comes with a succession of related losses… perhaps the loss of financial stability, the loss of a cherished family home, the loss of friends and extended family and the loss of time with your children. It’s a metaphorical category 5 hurricane hitting your life. It can be incredibly difficult to process your own feelings, deal with all the practical fall out of a breakup and work out how to parent well with your ex. BUT there is hope.
Restored Lives provides support and practical resources
You are not alone and you don’t have to struggle through without support. Restored Lives is a charity dedicated to helping people recover from relationship breakdown.
By supporting people through separation or divorce, when a relationship is beyond repair, Restored Lives helps to reduce the negative effects on individuals, children and communities. It has created resources to support anyone going through the breakup of a significant relationship including an eight-session course for adults, a five-session workshop for teenagers and young adults whose parents have separated, a book, workbooks and how-to guides.
The Adult Course
The adult course welcomes guests into small groups of people who are all facing separation or divorce. Together they explore the challenges commonly faced when a relationship breaks down, from the emotional struggles to the practical issues including parenting, legal and financial matters. Each session is a mixture of video content and small group discussion. It runs online three times a year as well as in person in various locations across the UK (see the website for details).
The course is for everyone whether you have just ended your relationship or if it ended some time ago. Restored Lives originated in HTB, a London church, and the course is based on Christian values and is usually run by Christian volunteers who have experienced divorce themselves however it is designed for all faiths and none. We are passionate to love and support everyone, regardless of their beliefs, and as a result the main course content is not religious but we run additional optional sessions that explore faith related issues as for some Christians this is a key part of their recovery.
The small groups are arranged so that parents are with other parents whose children are broadly similar ages because the challenges of parenting children when you are no longer with your ex, change as children grow older. We discuss communication skills and the issues around shared parenting, co-parenting as well as single parenting providing resources parents can use to navigate all the issues that can arise around parenting as well as giving the children’s perspective on issues.
Restored Lives has consolidated expertise from professional counsellors, family law solicitors, mediators and parenting specialists to create a course that is stuffed with practical tips that will help you navigate your separation or divorce and reduce the harm of the process as much as possible.
Here’s what one participant had to say about the course: "The best thing about the course is being connected to a group of people who were in a similar position as I am and hearing how they were handling their situation."
Restored Lives also supports teenagers and young adults.
The charity has also launched a new workshop series for teenagers and young adults called Your Direction. This has been developed in collaboration with childrens’ charity Fegans (now part of Spurgeons). In a series of 5 workshops, Your Direction provides support and life skills to make sure teenagers and young adults are supported if their parents’ relationship ends. You can watch the trailer here.
Your Direction is an ideal complement to counselling but is also helpful even when teenagers or young adults are coping well. It is an open, non-judgmental forum where they can meet others in their peer group who are facing similar situations. It gives them skills for life including communication, managing emotions, setting healthy boundaries, coping with change and letting go.
Here’s what a recent participant has to say about Your Direction: “I feel empowered to live my own life and feel that my parent’s divorce is an event and not a defining feature of my life. I also feel equipped to set boundaries and express my feelings comfortably.”
If you would like to find out more about Your Direction or the work that Restored Lives does please visit www.restoredlives.org.