Workshop Policies

Attendance Policy—

  1. Small group participants are allowed two absences during the eight week workshop as long as the absences are not on consecutive Sundays or both in the first four weeks.
  2. Participants are asked to inform their facilitators of any expected absences.
  3. “Flex” groups are available for all participants who are unable to make this commitment of attendance to their group.

Explanation of Attendance Policy—

Recovery is a journey. Fellow travelers, you and the other workshop participants are companions on this journey, sharing, guiding, caring, hearing, and encouraging each other along the way. Your small group will form a special bond through your time spent together. This bond will form the basis of trust and care that will be the foundation for healing, and rebuilding. The presence of each participant is important to the group. It is truly a group process. We ask each participant to make attendance at the workshop a priority. If you are unable to make a commitment of regular attendance to your group, your recovery progress will suffer, as will that of your group. Each week your group will bond more deeply and will move forward in their recovery. If you are absent, you will have missed this unique time with your group. The more absences you have, the greater your gap with your group will be.

In order to provide a positive experience for all our participants, we have “Flex” groups where regular attendance is not an expectation. The “Flex” groups are for participants who find that they are unable to attend their small group on a regular basis. They are designed to give you the small group experience without the feeling of being left out or left behind. The “Flex” group will be lead by experienced facilitators, the discussion and sharing will cover the same material and will be governed by the same rules and expectations EXCEPT that of attendance.

Alcohol Policy—

  1. Participants in the DRW are encouraged to refrain from alcohol ( and other drug) use during their recovery period.
  2. There will be no alcohol served at any official activity associated with the Divorce Recovery Workshop of First Baptist Church.
  3. Any participant or volunteer determined to have been drinking before or during and official activity will be discreetly asked to leave.
  4. Small group activities and other DRW related group functions will be Alcohol free.

Explanation of Alcohol Policy—

Point One.
The use of alcohol can seriously interfere with healing and recovery from divorce. People struggling with separation and divorce are often suffering from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Because alcohol is a depressant, its use during this time can exacerbate these issues. Alcohol can cloud judgment at a time when difficult decisions and important transitions are being made. During these difficult and painful times, recovering people are more susceptible to using alcohol as a crutch to cover up feelings of low self-esteem and to “numb” oneself to the pain.

Point Two.
The participants of the Divorce Recovery Workshop are from many and varied backgrounds and religious and philosophical viewpoints regarding alcohol. We wish to honor and respect all our participants in such a way as to allow ALL participants to participate in, feel comfortable, and to enjoy group activities.

Point Three.
Alcohol abuse and addiction has been an important factor in the breakup of many of the marriages of our participants. Whether them, their spouse or from their family of origin, the use of alcohol can bring up some painful and conflicting feelings for many participants.

Point Four.
It is the belief of the Divorce Recovery Ministry that recovering people need to learn that they can have fun and enjoy social activities without the use of alcohol.

Point Five.
The DRW is a ministry of First Baptist Church. The use of alcohol at official functions could jeopardize the integrity of the workshop with the church and the larger Christian community

Romantic Relationships Policy—

  1. Participants should refrain from pursuing a romantic relationship with other participants or volunteers.
  2. All volunteers have signed a covenant that they will not pursue a romantic relationship with workshop participants.

Explanation of Policy on Romantic Relationships—

Divorcing people are experiencing many difficult emotions including guilt, rejection, anger and desperation. As a group, divorcing people have the lowest self-esteem of any other single group. This all works to make divorcing people extremely needy and vulnerable. Some feel that all they need is another relationship to make them feel better or to prove that they are lovable and worthy. Others desire a relationship to anger or “showup” their estranged spouse. None of these are healthy reasons to enter into a romantic relationship and are bound to end in disaster. At this time, recovering people need to focus on themselves and on their own recovery. They need to process their bad feelings and to get to know themselves before they are ready to enter into a romantic relationship.

Pursuing a romantic relationship places the focus on other people and distracts from recovery. Romantic relationships allow the person to avoid their pain and to avoid working on their issues. The result is that all unresolved baggage will be brought into the new relationship. Most relationships that begin during recovery will not last. When the relationship fails, the pain experienced will be much greater because it includes the unprocessed pain from the divorce and the lost relationship. The “in love” feeling that many people experience early in a new relationship will mask the pain of the divorce. Those who experience this “in love” feeling will believe that they are over their pain. Unfortunately, those painful feelings are just buried under the temporary love emotions and will resurface at a later time. It is a fact that over 80% of all marriages that occur within two years of a divorce will end in a second and even more painful divorce.

The DRW ministry encourages participants to concentrate on building new community and developing new and meaningful friendships. This is a time for you to focus on yourself and your recovery. Give yourself the time you need to heal, to grow, to adjust to your new life and to discover your own future with hope. You deserve it!


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