The long-term and often painful process of recovery from sexual abuse has profound effects on relationships. Partners and survivors experience a parallel process of understanding the nature of abuse, its effects on the survivor and the couple, and the requirements of healing. Lack of information and understanding on both sides cause great strain on the couple.
This weekend workshop is designed for couples where one or both of the partners is a non-offending survivor of sexual child abuse, rape, physical violence, emotional abuse and/or neglect. This workshop is open to all couples in committed relationships. Our goal is to offer a safe, encouraging environment of healing for each partner and the couple.
The weekend will provide a variety of healing activities, including the sharing of stories, writing exercises, anger work and other emotional expression, small group discussion, relaxation, creativity, and yes, even fun. There will be time for work within the couple as well as individual and small group gatherings just for survivors or just for partners.
Survivors will be able to do their own healing work while learning ways of improving communication with people who care about them. They will come to understand stressors experienced by their partners, and how stepping out of isolation will improve their recovery and their relationship.
Partners will be encouraged to explore and express the challenges they face being in a loving relationship with a survivor and how to practice self care while more effectively supporting and getting support from their partner. Like the survivor, they will begin to move beyond their own isolation toward more effective communication and a healthier, more satisfying relationship.
Led by Mike Lew, and Thom Harrigan of the Next Step Counseling in Florence, MA. Mike is the author of Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse. Thom leads groups for male survivors and has worked extensively in this field. For more information see: www.nextstepcounseling.org
Assisted by Ellen Ford. Ellen is a licensed clinical social worker who has over 30 years experience working with individuals, couples and families impacted by sexual abuse and assault, domestic violence, grief, depression, anxiety, alcohol/drug issues, chronic illness, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Cost $695 includes room, board and tuition for a couple (347.5 per person). When registering just use one name from the couple on the registration form and list the other name under roommate request. *If you are planning on commuting, please call Janet Lewis at 610-588-1793 for commuter rates.