Support groups covering topics like divorce and addiction set to start next week at Mountain Life Church | ParkRecord.com

Support groups covering topics like divorce and addiction set to start next week at Mountain Life Church

Programs aid those struggling with addiction or grief

Mountain Life Church’s volunteer group leader Cathey Brown, left, and Caregiving Director Laura Behnke are ready to roll up their sleeves and lead support groups that will help community members who are struggling through an array of issues.
Courtesy of Laura Behnke

While autumn marks the end of summer, Mountain Life Church support-group leaders see the season as a good time for new beginnings.

On Sept. 23, the Silver Summit church will start two faith-based programs — Celebrate Recovery and DivorceCare — which will add to its ongoing Encouragement Through Cancer and Grief Support groups, said Laura Behnke, the church’s caregiving director.

Celebrate Recovery and DivorceCare will start at 6 p.m. and will be held every Monday. Grief Support, offered to those who have lost a loved one, meets at 1 p.m. every Tuesday, and Encouragement Through Cancer, which is for cancer survivors and those who have been diagnosed with cancer, meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Child care will be provided for Celebrate Recovery and DivorceCare. There is a $15 fee for the DivorceCare workbook, but scholarships are available, according to Behnke.

Although the programs are faith based, all are welcome to participate, she said.

“We want to provide safe, nonjudgmental places where people can be themselves,” she said. “Everyone in the room are on their own journeys, and we want them to know they are not alone.”

All the groups are also confidential, according to Behnke.

“We have people who come to these groups who are well known in the community, and we protect their anonymity,” Behnke said.

While the other programs have their specialized focuses, Celebrate Recovery covers a lot of ground, she said.

“What I like about this group is that it’s a 12-step program that helps adults deal with addictions that go beyond just substance and alcohol abuse,” she said. “It also covers anger issues, anxiety, eating disorders and codependency. It covers our hurts, habits and hang ups.”

Volunteer Cathey Brown will lead the Celebrate Recovery sessions.

“I am in recovery myself since 1981, and my particular addictions were alcohol and prescription drugs,” she said. “I also went on to have an unhealthy work addiction as well.”

Brown, who has gone through Celebrate Recovery herself, will lead the group from that perspective.

“I’ve sought a lot of different avenues for my recovery, but what I like about Celebrate Recovery is that it is biblically based,” she said. “I was impressed at how spiritual each step was.”

Brown also emphasized that people in the group will work on each step at their own pace.

“You can go through all 12 steps, and then end up back at the first,” she said. “Sometimes you can stay at one step for a while before you can break through to ask for help and receive help.”

There is a stigma of asking for help, due to society’s perception of weakness, Brown said.

“We have all heard the phrase ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps,’” she said. “Those types of messages are woven into our culture and act as barriers that prevent us from becoming humble and saying we can’t do this on our own.”

In addition to helping people cope with addictions, divorce, cancer and grief, the groups are designed to educate participants about their situations, Brown said.

“This gives us a place to help people along their journey,” she said.

Mountain Life Church, 7375 N. Silver Creek Road, offers an array of support groups that help people cope with addictions, grief, divorce and cancer. For information and registration, visit mountainlife.org/care.


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