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Healing difficult relationships through writing

Jeanne Frost, administrative assistant at Providence Spirituality & Conference Center, served as caretaker for her mother for 15 years. Her mother suffered from dementia, causing challenges in their relationship. After her death in 2014, Frost decided to attend a Mining the Dark retreat in Oldenburg, Indiana. The retreat focuses on using writing to find healing from difficult relationships. 

Jeanne Frost is the administrative assistant at Providence Spirituality & Conference Center

“I’ve used writing to work through difficult situations since I was a child, but had gotten away from this in recent years,” Frost said. “I needed a way to express all of the conflicting thoughts and emotions that go along with caring for someone you love, but who views you as the cause of her unhappiness. I read the description of Liza and Norbert’s workshop and immediately knew it was what I needed.”

Liza Hyatt, a Providence Associate, and Norbert Krapf offered a one-day retreat through the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg. They will offer a similar retreat March 17-18 at the Providence Spirituality & Conference Center at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, thanks to the promptings of Jeanne.

“The retreat was very relaxed,” she said. “There was no pressure to share, but the opportunity was there and most people shared their experiences.”

Liza and Norbert used their own work to set the tone and create an environment conducive to healing writing.

“Liza shared her experiences and read excerpts from her books. Norbert played the guitar and sang songs in which he shared his experiences of abuse as a child, and the lifelong emotional aftermath.” Hyatt also played the harp while the retreat participants wrote, which Jeanne says was very soothing.

Jeanne says that she still uses the techniques she learned on this retreat. “It is not easy to talk to others about difficult, complex relationships, especially when the relationship is with a parent or someone else that you were very close to. Writing provides a non-threatening way to express and work through those emotions.”

“I would highly recommend this workshop for those struggling with difficult relationships,” Jeanne said. “[Liza] and [Norbert] are very understanding and patient. It is the perfect environment to begin coping and healing from the effects of a difficult or complex relationship.”

To learn more about this retreat or to register click here.

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Sister Emily TeKolste

Sister Emily TeKolste is in formation with the Sisters of Providence. She is a native of Indianapolis and has a degree in sociology from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Emily is passionate about justice with special interest in environmentalism and sustainability. You can follow her blog at solongstatusquoblog.wordpress.com. She currently ministers with the NETWORK lobby for Catholic social justice.

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1 Comment

  1. Paula Modaff, S.P. on February 23, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks Jeanne and Emily for calling our attention to this delicate topic.

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