NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- After a successful launch of a divorce support group last year, resident Shawn Gardner, a member of the Congregational Church of New Canaan, is planning to offer it again.
“We were oversubscribed last year” said Gardner. “It was very successful. The need is clearly obvious. We even extended it an extra two weeks. Attendees didn’t want it to end.”
The 10-week program starting in March offers a safe and nurturing environment for men and women going through the trauma of divorce.
“We’re essentially a spiritual triage unit,” said Gardner. “We combine helpful coping mechanisms with group healing. The bonds formed among the participants are profound. The Congregational Church has been the pillar of this program. They got behind it 200 percent, hired a licensed family counselor, Nicole Zasowski, to co-lead the group and have spent countless hours refining the curriculum. To say they’re a Godsend is accurate.”
Attendees, who remain anonymous, described their experience this way:
- "This was an amazing life changing experience. The genuine love and support is so evident the minute you walk in the room.”
- “The DSHG helped ease the anxieties and difficult moments of going through a divorce. I will always be grateful to Shawn for creating a safe and confidential space to grieve and share my feelings. I made many wonderful friendships that continue to be part of my support today.”
- “The Divorce Support and Healing group gave me access to a supportive community during a really difficult and lonely time in my life. The structured program of the group was really useful in helping me think about how to let go of the past and look towards a better future. The positive effects of this group are ongoing in many of our lives: as more groups move through the program they create a greater community of 'graduates' who continue to be in fellowship with one another.“
The faith-based group meets for 10 weeks beginning Monday, March, 9 at 7 p.m. in the Congregational Church’s parlor. The program is open to men and women who are either in the divorce process or have just recently become divorced.
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