Ten men gathered last week for Men’s Recovery Weeks I and II in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Led by Dr. Dan B. Allender, and The Seattle School alumni Wendell Moss (MACP ‘07), and Dr. Andy MCoy (MAC ‘02, MDiv ‘04), these six-day workshops are designed to help survivors of sexual abuse explore issues related to their recovery in a nurturing, kind environment free from normal daily distractions.
Dr. Allender has led Recovery Weeks for over 25 years. Stemming from Allender’s The Wounded Heart book and conference, these Recovery Weeks are a unique psycho-educational experience that allow participants to engage their life stories specifically as it relates to narratives of sexual abuse. The sessions are designed to encourage a person to engage in his story in a holistic way by exploring psychological, spiritual, biological, and social aspects of both the personal and collective experience of trauma and abuse.
Recovery Weeks are convened separately for men and women and are divided into two one-week sessions. Recovery Week I is a time for participants to reflect on how abuse has shaped his or her life. The issues considered are betrayal, powerlessness, ambivalence, and how the gospel frees us to trust, dream, and embrace life. Recovery Week I ends hinting at what could happen if our hearts were free to dance and love.
Recovery Week II follows the same format as Week I, but takes this movement of freedom further toward the participant’s goal of learning to love his or her own story. Participants explore what it means to be free, to serve others with participants’ own themes and burdens, and how that calling is to be lived out for God’s glory. Recovery Week II involves group and individual interactions as well as teaching, resulting in a deeper ownership of the participant’s story and a greater awe and gratitude for God’s authorship.
“[Recovery Week] changed my life forever,” one recent participant shared. “The space that was created in my heart as a result of the conference has allowed love and truth to come in. Nothing is the same, my entire person has changed. I am in it—committed to telling my story for healing and recovery of others.”
“I left different than when I came,” another recent participant reported, “with much hope for a different future and more equipped for my journey ahead.”
The final Women’s Recovery Week I this year will take place November 30-December 5 in Chapel Hill, NC. The next Women’s Recovery Week I will take place in Union, WA, May 31-June 5, 2015, with Women’s Recovery Week II following soon after on June 14-19, 2015. There are no upcoming Men’s Recovery Weeks scheduled at this time. Men interested in being notified when registration opens can send their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.