I have known Diane Valiquette for five years now and she and I are colleagues at The Separation/Divorce Resource Centre (SDRC) in Ottawa. Together we have seen many couples come in for therapy, but sometimes things just don’t work out and things end in separation or divorce.
Who is Diane?
Diane founded the SDRC because of her own situation in which her husband up and left. She was angry and frustrated and found herself without many resources, counselling or programs, especially those offered in a group setting. She didn’t want to feel alone and felt a group setting was the best way to help her, and others in similar situations, to heal.
Diane is a social worker by training and expanded her knowledge in the area of relationship healing with Dr. Bruce Fisher, best known for his book Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends. He taught Diane at his Divorce Seminar Center in Boulder, Colorado. Moving there and learning from Dr. Fisher was a big change for Diane, who had followed a man to Colorado to only find herself in a similar situation with her new husband as she was in with her ex-husband.
The Rebuilding Workshop
Diane offers a course for individuals going through a divorce or separation. The 12-week workshop, called the Rebuilding Workshop, is based on a relationship blueprint. Through her own personal experiences with her ex husbands and watching her daughter bring home men eerily similar to her father, Diane had an epiphany regarding this blueprint and built her workshop around this.
The course starts by working through and healing the blueprint so we people can stand in their powers when going into new relationships. Recovering from a divorce is much like climbing a mountain – it’s a difficult journey that requires an individual take one step at a time.
How Can the Rebuilding Workshop help you?
This Rebuilding Workshop will help individuals going through a tough divorce or separation figure out what it is that is attracting the same kinds of people all the time and then enable them to heal. For example, you want to feel wanted, but you don’t feel like you are wanted by your significant other – if you are educated in your blueprint and recognize that this is what you are feeling then you can question and confront your feelings and in turn open up intimate dialogue with your partner as opposed to accusing them of something they are not guilty of.
Children can also follow this same blueprint. If one parent brings home a certain type of person, the children more than likely will too because they see their parents doing it. The Rebuilding Workshop is designed to provide the tools and encouragement individuals and their families need to get through this challenging time.
How long should a person going through a divorce remain single?
The first eight months following a relationship is like a black hole. Individuals are dealing with the loss of a relationship and that brings up mixed emotions and feelings and affects every piece of a person and their life.
The healing that needs to come following a relationship starts after 4 to 5 months or after you don’t feel the need to cry for 24 hours a day. This is usually once a new routine is established and everyone has his or her own houses, etc.
When do you know you are ready to date again?
It is important to take the time to heal and not get into a new relationship during this time. If you are in the black hole, stay single unless you can stand strong, know who you are and know what it is you want out of a relationship.
Don’t fill the day or week that you don’t have your children with strangers. Learn to fill the time with meaningful activities that does not include dating until you are happy with yourself and your life again.
Take the time to understand and take responsibility for what happened. Be okay with spending time by yourself before you start spending it with someone new.
I will be continuing the discussion with Diane in upcoming weeks, including how to deal with an ex, and talking with her daughter, Tarah, a Youth Worker, about the child’s point of view of a divorce or separation.