note, neither program is for couples counseling, therapy,
or dating. No childcare is provided, and the sessions are
for participants only. We do not provide transportation
assistance, but participants may make carpool arrangements
The Coping and Rebuilding are programs to help people manage the trauma of separation, divorce, or widowhood. Volunteer facilitators, each of whom has participated in the programs, work with groups of participants to give support and share experiences. Anyone may participate. Since the first Washington DC-area session in 1989, thousands of people have taken these programs to help them through the ending of their relationships. The Arlington Diocese Office for Family Life sponsors both programs. Participants of any religious affiliation are very welcome.
The Coping program is best suited for those recently out
of their relationships. Coping is begins in October (on
the first Sunday after Columbus Day). There are six Coping
meetings, each for two hours on Sunday evenings.
Program is designed for adults that are separated,
divorced or widowed who are beyond the initial trauma and
wanting to move on. The program generally follows
the book "Rebuilding -
When Your Relationship Ends" by Bruce Fisher
(this book is given to participants at the first meetings,
and is paid for by their registration fee). Weekly
topics are intended to "form" stepping stones that help
one move ahead with rebuilding his/her life.
Rebuilding meetings are
held from 5:30PM - 8PM (we suggest you arrive by
5:15) on Sunday evenings for nine weeks
(excluding Easter). The next Rebuilding session begins
in February 23, 2014.
Rebuilding topics include:
| Coping and
Rebuilding sessions are guided by facilitators who,
themselves, are separated, divorced, or widowed.
Facilitators work with participants to help them
through the topics discussed in the programs.
Participants interact and work together. Everyone
helps each other.
Each meeting is approximately two hours long. During the first hour of the meeting, a facilitator presents an introduction to the topic and makes relevant announcements. Facilitators talk about the topic of the week, and one or more of them gives a personal talk about their experience. During the second hour, everyone moves to breakout groups, each with one or more facilitators. Widows and widowers have their own breakout group (with facilitators who are widowed); the other breakout groups are for people going through separation and/or divorce. In the breakout groups, everyone helps each other by discussing feelings, thoughts, concerns, and experiences related to the topic.