How to break-up without falling apart

Sara Davison

Coach Sara Davison runs weekend retreats to teach the tools needed for a successful split

Breaking up is hard to do, and most of us know how protracted and painful splitting up with a partner can be. The time following New Year’s is called ‘divorce season,’ as it sees a spike in the number of couples calling it quits, a figure that seems to be on the rise.

The number of divorces last year in England and Wales was 106, 959, the highest since 2009. And that does not even take into account all of the unmarried couples who are splitting up.
 
However, a breakup doesn’t have to be a tragedy. The UK’s first ever Break-Up Recovery Retreat was created by relationship expert Sara Davison and has been praised for giving newly single men and women the tools necessary to get back on track.

Also known as ‘The Divorce Coach’, Davison is one of the UK’s most sought after authorities on breakups and separation. In addition to her clinical work, Davison also runs two-day retreats at beautiful hotel in East Sussex several times a year. Davison promises to share the secrets that mean you don’t just survive a split, you feel stronger and more able to have successful relationships.

According to Davison, “divorce can hit your life hard and leave even the strongest people reeling and unable to cope. I realised this first hand when I went through my own divorce and that is why I created my divorce coaching programme. I’ve developed techniques and strategies to help you navigate both the emotional rollercoaster and also the practical situations you will face – it’s everything I wish I had access to during my divorce.”

The retreat focuses on learning from the past in order to make an action plan for the future, prepping participants for the mistakes to avoid along the way. Davison has over 20 years of coaching experience, and it’s her quest to banish the stigma surrounding breakups and prove that the end of a relationship can be an empowering, life-affirming event. 
 
An average of 14 people partake in each retreat, and people travel from as far as Los Angeles and Australia to join.

Davison explains that breakups can feel like grief, but the retreat is an opportunity to take back control, and that by blaming someone else for our situation we disable ourselves from making progress.
 
“You can’t change what happens to you,” she says. “But you can change how you deal with it.”

Davison teaches practical coping strategies such as naming the emotions that evoke fear and confronting them, making a gratitude list, and shredding emotional baggage (literally – people on the retreat fill out a piece of paper with our negative thoughts, quotes and feelings then feed it into a shredder in the corner of the room).
 
Davison encourages people to wrench out negative mind-sets, and stop what she calls ‘social media self-harm’, by which she means the obsessive online stalking that can follow a split. Her advice is to remove any digital trace of an ex.

The Retreat is intense, breaking people down emotionally in order to rebuild them.  We can all get stuck in spirals of hurt and negativity. Davison’s most valuable lesson is to show people that the end of a relationship is not a tragedy, but a brilliant opportunity to start a new exciting life.

Sara Davison’s breakup manifesto

1. Take responsibility – this is where you stop blaming your ex for your situation and take full responsibility and ownership for where you are right now in life. This puts you back in the
driver’s seat of your own life.

2. Get clarity – Clarity gives you power. At a time when everything is up in the air and lots of things are changing, it’s important to clearly determine what your options are. This will enable you to make proactive decisions to help you to move forward.

3. Take back control – the truth is that you control how you feel and how you react, and it’s important not to live life in reaction to others. You own the remote control to your own mind and you need to use it.

4. Focus on moving forward positively – you can’t move forward with your life if you are
constantly focusing on the past, your breakup story and your ex. By creating a compelling
future that you are excited to live, you will start to shift the balance and mentally move forward.

For details on Break-Up Recovery Retreats, one to one coaching, and Sara Davison’s new 20-part video-coaching programme visit www.saradavison.com
@SDDivorceCoachractice.com

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