Workshops offered for heartache
Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 10, 2014
The loss of a relationship can be overwhelming — the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can become so painful that every thought and feeling aches.
“Pain is nature’s way of telling us that something in us needs to be healed,” said Dr. Bruce Fisher, in his book “Rebuilding: When your Relationship Ends,” and for those seeking guidance and support in those times of pain and loss, divorce-recovery workshops are offered at the Grace Christian Counseling Center on Cherry St. and the Mafan Building on Adams Street.
Katie Wright, a counselor at the center and the facilitator for the workshop offered said the workshop is not just for divorcees.
“Our workshop is geared around the stages of grief after someone loses a loved one.”
“It also focuses on how we can learn from those relationships,” she said. “Sometimes we get stuck in patterns that are unhealthy for us and we talk about changing those patterns.”
A divorce statistics website claims that currently 41 percent of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce, 60 percent for a second marriage and 73 percent for third marriages.
During the counseling center’s 10-week workshop, which Wright refers to as a “psycho-educational class and a support group all rolled into to one,” the group uses Fisher’s book, “Rebuilding: When your Relationship Ends.”
The author gives a practical and useful framework with which to examine where one is. It follows with guidance in directions for the future, which are presented in a 19- step-by-step guide.
From “stumbling blocks to the rebuilding blocks” the steps include denial, grief, anger, guilt, loneliness, love, sexuality, transition and the final stage — freedom.
Rev. Clint Gill, a former minister from Crawford Street United Methodist Church, started the first divorce recovery workshop for Vicksburg, in 1988 and was its leader for four years.
It was one of the church’s outreach ministries, and it is now offered through the center.
“This was something that was urgently needed,” said Gill.
“I tell people if they could see a person walk in the first night of the program and then see them after the program, they could see a transformation,” said Gill.
“It has been one of the most exciting aspects of my ministry — because in ministry you don’t see a lot of what is transpiring in people’s lives, but in divorce recovery you can see healing taking place every week,” he said.
Brian Green, a former divorce recovery participant at Grace Christian concurred with Gill’s observations.
“It was a huge help,” he said, “It helped me realize I was OK and things were going to be OK.”
Green added that participating with a group of people lets you know you are not alone.
“That’s a big help too,” he said.
The workshop meets from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 2 at 1414 Cherry St. The cost of the workshop is $50 and includes all supplies. There are limited scholarships available based on need. For more information, call 601-636-5703.
The First Baptist Church of Vicksburg sponsors divorce care, which is offered at the Mafan Building.
“We have been offering the free program for about four years,” said Lynda Oswalt, a facilitator for the program.
Divorce care runs weekly for 13 weeks, she said, and the program includes weekly videos, opportunity for discussions and a workbook that includes daily devotions and a place to journal.
Divorce care begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and will run through Oct. 28 at 1315 Adams St. For more information on divorce care, call 601-636-2493 or visit divorcecare.org.