Course teaches life after divorce

ROBIN RAYMOND
Last updated 08:04 16/05/2012
Divorce
Help at hand: You don't need to suffer alone

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Going through a divorce can be as painful as a loved one dying but you don't have to suffer alone, say organisers and past participants of a Blenheim Divorce Care course.

The annual 13-week course, run by the Nativity Anglican Church in Blenheim, will begin next week.

Katie, who attended the course last year, said it had been a huge help in coping with the emotional turmoil of a separation.

"The leaders of the course said going through a divorce is the same as if your spouse dies – you deal with the same amount of grief, loss of dreams and hopes that you had for your life, but in some ways it's harder because the person hasn't died, they're still there."

Organiser Mary Butler said the course had been running at the church for 14 years. It usually attracted between six and 18 people and focused on practical tools and helping people heal and regain confidence.

The course was thorough, Katie said, covering different topics each week from grieving to the impact on children or the legal aspects of divorce, which were helpful.

The best thing about the course, though, was knowing you were not alone, she said.

Although she was initially nervous about the course, there was a lot of support between course members, who still keep in touch.

"I guess at the start of the first session everyone was very nervous, but we soon became a very close group and could share our personal stuff with each other, because you're all going through the same things together.

"It was an amazing support group."

The course is Christian-based but was not overt about it and non-Christians who attended found it just as useful as those with religious beliefs, she said.

It had also taught her some important lessons for getting through day-to-day and accepting that it would be a long process with ups and downs.

Surrounding yourself with friends, talking about your situation and finding new hobbies was important, along with not rushing into a new relationships before you are ready and making sure you look after yourself physically, she said.

Learning about the different emotional stages of divorce were important in a long journey, she said, and with the help of the course, friends and time things did heal.

"It's been a really hard journey but one that has taught me a lot about myself and how I can relate to and help others.

"I'm in a wonderful place in my life that I wouldn't have thought would be possible a few years ago."

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The course will start on Monday, May 21 at the Nativity Centre on Albert St, in Blenheim from 7.30pm. It costs $40 and registrations can be made at the church office or by phoning 035783909.

- The Marlborough Express

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