Healing Broken Relationships: A Men’s Faith-based Workshop

Relational Reconciliation: a 10 week reconciliation workshop

We, as Christian men, all face our own relationship struggles. Often the roots of these issues connect back to unfinished business with the past that is still affecting the present. This is a group that looks at our own need for healing from past traumas in order to better understand how to have healthier relationships in the present. Healing broken relationships through forgiveness and reconciliaiton is the desired outcome of this workshop in those cases for which reconciliation is a viable possibility that does no harm to either party. The following is a suggested 10 week program outline broken down into 3 phases:

Phase-One:  Explaining reconciliation process groups (rpg)

Week 1 – Big Picture

  1. Describe each phase (Skill building, Processing Emotion, Community Building)
  2. Use an overview of rpg to illustrate the tri-axial system of healing elements
  3. Axis system overview:

Axis – 1 is the story (narrative)

    1. knowing the value of talking about the relationship struggles in your story
    2. understanding the value of actively listening to the narrative of others
    3. understanding the importance of sharing a narrative with others

Axis – 2  the emotional impact, and resulting behaviors

    1. grief and loss as a way into old unfinished business interfering with life
    2. learning why grief work is the way through unresolved issues to healing
    3. goal: integration of the whole self

Axis – 3 is reconciliation

    1. discussing forgiveness as a healing factor
    2. knowing the value of making peace internally (peace within)
    3. and when possible, making peace externally (with others)
    4. discussing the importance of becoming peacemakers

Week 2 – Skill building and Reframing

  1. Communication skills and self-care
  2. Grief and trauma re-defined
  3. Crafted statements of rpg reconciliation and integration
  4. Confession, giving and receiving forgiveness: spiritual and emotional growth

Week 3 – Skill building and Reframing, continued

  1. The adapted child (intro to the parts of the self)
    1. the natural authentic self
    2. the hurt child (precursor to the false self)
    3. the adapted child (false self)
    4. the authentic self (the “new man”)
  2. Attachment relationships
    1. what they are
    2. how they work
  3. Spiritual formation: prayer practices
    1. attachment relationship with God
    2. different ways of praying

Phase-Two: Applying the rpg tools in a healing process

 Week 4 and 5:  Axis 1 (Truth and Listening)

  1. Share our stories (telling the story of what is not reconciled)
  2. Break up into smaller groups (triads) to share our homework
  3. Reconvene to process what we heard and shared

 Week 6 and 7- Axis 2 (Change and Integration)

  1. Active grieving: learning to see grief as a guide for a difficult but healing journey
  2. Finding grace to restructure the inner self, to set a basis for a healthier life
  3. Seeing how a new ending to the story can be written, learning to  make different choices

 Week 8 and 9- Axis 3 (Dignity and Unity)

  1. Understanding the role of forgiveness in transformational living
  2. Using a structured prayer of forgiveness, in triads
  3. Reconvening to share hopes and challenges raised by the healing process

Phase-Three: Rpg Community Building

 Week 10 – Wrap-up

  1. How to generalize the effects of the workshop into other relationships
  2. Updating our real world life mission statement
  3. Applying lessons learned in the workshop to ministry and to home life.