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Healing Separation and Divorce

I am pleased to announce that the Separation and Divorce Group of York Region has been meeting for two years.

Why did I start a separation and divorce group? I am asked this question all the time. I believe that people going through separation and divorce are in a traumatic time in their lives. A support group alongside private counselling can encourage healing and learning how to heal in a group setting. Separation and divorce is very normal, if half of society is getting separated, I deem this very normal.

 Separation and divorce is not a death. Separation and divorce is the end of a marriage.

Friends and family. People around the separating couple can be very helpful and very destructive all at the same time. If you are wondering what a person needs when they are going through separation and divorce here are a few tips. A home cooked meal, a gift certificate to a local book store, journals, pens, a listening ear, refrain from your story or stories you heard. Negative information to a person going through separation and divorce is not what they need. Over talking about the separation and divorce is also detrimental to the person’s healing.

Group members ask very similar questions. How long till I feel better? He/she is not the person I married, what happened? I am angry, sad and confused how do I deal with my feelings? What can I do to start healing? How do I get through holidays and events? I am so sad I can’t get out of bed, when will that feeling end? These are just a few of the many questions participants have in the group. Every two weeks we touch on all feelings, all emotions, all questions and we heal together.   We cry, laugh and work through all emotions knowing that it takes time to day at a time.

To learn more about the York Region Separation and Divorce Self-Help Group visit For questions please contact Angel Freedman BSW RSW 905-780-8119

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Not all emails, phone calls, and text messages need to be answered right away. Not every question needs to be answered either.  You can simply smile when you don't have an answer in the moment.  Think before you speak or write.

Emotions are high in separation and divorce. This is the reality. Anger, frustration and most of all sadness play an integral part of this very real traumatic time in a person’s life.

Messages from the person that you separated and/or divorced from can be exhausting as well as quite disheartening. I will use the word “barraging” emails and text messages that arrive; often, fast and furious from one person and the recipient does have a choice to respond back in a manner that doesn’t bring on more conflict. I like to use the example of a fishing pole, one person casts the line and the other gets hooked right in and then it starts. CUT THE LINE, before you get hooked in!

If one person sends an email that can be answered right away with a few short words that is the way to go. If someone writes, “I will be late picking up tomorrow, I will send you a quick note on the exact time” This is not the time to go into a deep discussion about punctuality, taking the other person’s tardiness inventory, and/or anything else you want to dream up because you are just generally mad/angry about everything else. This short note can escalate into ten pages of basic anger dialogue and really all the email said is the person was going to be a few minutes late. Time to let go.....let’s start with a few words and short sentences to answer an email. If the email is degrading, anger driven and or downright rude. “Thanks for sharing” is a very good response. Remember cut the line quickly!

Very short answers to emails that have no, sarcasm or anger attached is better for your own health.

Thank you

Thank you for informing me

I appreciate the information

I will consider your thoughts and get back to you

You have some valid points

I never looked at it that way

I will take that into consideration

Give me a day to think about your question

Angel Freedman

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PRESS RELEASE: Join us this Monday, July 16, 2012 @ 11:00 am for the launch
The Angel Freedman Show with host Angel Freedman, a new internet TV show
about issues that affect everyone's daily lives . Watch it live on @">
About Angel Freedman: Angel is an individual, couples and group counsellor specializing in separation and divorce. Angel is an accomplished public speaker and activist,
involved in feminist issues, issues of homelessness, youth in crisis,
domestic violence and other social justice movements. Follow Angel, Twitter @angelfreedman and Freedman

THIS MONDAY JULY 16th @ 11 AM EST on the premier episode of The Angel
Freedman Show, meet Toronto Police Social Media Officer Constable Scott
Mills. Constable Mills is passionate about the success of our youth and through social media he is making a difference. Learn about how our children are using social media - the good, the
bad and the ugly. Follow Constable Scott Mills, produces interactive, internet based talk shows. Post your
comments or questions during the show, in real time, using the chat bar on
the right hand of the Livestream page.

To watch the Angel Freedman show this Monday @ 11 AM click here:
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When is the last time you checked in on your marriage? I don’t mean going on that obligatory “date night” that everyone seems to suggest ...helps a marriage. I often wonder who started this date night in a married situation. Are we really trying to live in the past when we were actually dating our spouse? I am all for evenings out with your spouse, it is a very important part of nurturing the relationship. What I am trying to get across here is go out for dinner because you want to not because you feel you have to.

Have you ever had a “couples meetings” , you know the kind that takes about 10 minutes a night and you check in with each other. Let me tell you a little more about it. The couple meetings are very similar to your family meetings it is a time to reflect not only on your day, but on your hopes and dreams for the future.

Remember those mornings (before you had children) when you woke up late on a Saturday morning read the paper and had coffee? The best part of all was when you decided to go back to bed!

Children are wonderful and they add such joy to the lives of a loving marriage. The key word “loving”. If your relationship is a little rocky you may want to ensure you are both in a very secure place with each other before you decide to have children. The most important relationship is and always should be your relationship with your spouse. Children move out and your spouse and you remain together happily married if you “check in on the marriage” and never take each other for granted.

In the fall the “Couples & Marriage Maintenance Workshops” will be commencing. You can check out my website for further details. If you want more information about couple meetings and/or family meetings please contact me through my website.

Healthy, loving relationships between two adult people are full of fun, love, happiness and time together. The best thing you can do for your children is love each other. Children who witness unloving, lifeless marriages will learn that staying in that type of union is OK. I would hope that all children will grow up and find very meaningful, happy and loving relationships and if they are not all those things and more I hope they can end them in an amicable way. Staying with a spouse that you don’t even like is a dis-service to your children.

I wish you love, happiness and fun in all your relationships.

Individual, Couples & Group Counsellor

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Do you have an old comfortable blanket that you just love? It may be ripped a little or starting to fray and you have often thought about buying a new one to replace it, but really never get around to it? It has been the blanket you have always had and really why would you change it?

In counselling I often talk about choosing angering, depressing, and headaching in relation to an old blanket. These negative feelings that we feel are that old blanket, it is what we know and are comfortable with. We choose them first and choose them often, just like the old blanket we cuddle up with at night, we choose to keep it even though it’s time to “move on” and buy a new blanket.

When you choose angering as an example you are choosing to keep the misery going. You can choose to deal with what is “angering” you and move into the present moment. The first step is to choose someone, a professional that can support you through the past, but not dwell on the past for too long. What happened in the past has to stay there, in my opinion therapy is not about being in the past for too long, it’s about trusting that person to support you to get you into the present moment and living the best happy, fun, and fulfilling life you possibly can......without medication.

Talking about feelings is the start to acknowledging them. Unhappiness is a reality for many people. Choosing to be happy is attainable...... if you are ready to let go of the past. Do you really want to spend every day being unhappy or would you prefer to choose to be happy?

Unhappy people often have a relationship in their lives that is not working out or they need support with. This is a very important part of your first step to healing is acknowledging the relationship that is not working out in your life. Remember people do not change if they do not want to. Hoping that they will change and will change for you is delusional and is never going to happen. You can choose to make the changes for yourself. You can also be honest with that person and tell them how you are feeling. Ask that person if they are willing to seek counselling with you or go yourself.

Remember you live one life and to stay unhappy is a choice....your choice. If you have children you are the greatest teacher they have and you are directly teaching that choosing unhappiness is ok.

Today choose to be happy.


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