Home Empty Arms – Exploring the experiences of being Childless Not by Choice

Empty Arms – Exploring the experiences of being Childless Not by Choice

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Riverdell Spiritual Centre

51 Clifford Road, Hillier, SA 5116

Hillier, SA, AU, 5116

This workshop series offers a safe space to explore your experience of being childless not by choice (CNBC).

The Empty Arms weekend workshop is offered to people experiencing fertility loss. A safe nurturing space is offered for you to explore your reactions and emotions around this life changing (non) event.

This is often a difficult and lonely journey, you have so many questions and often get conflicting answers. Landing in being CNBC is extremely stressful – it is a grief that is not readily spoken about in the community, yet our bodies and emotional systems react in the same way as if a close loved one has died. And in a way this is exactly what has happened- we have lost an imagined future. An assumption of how life would be. The workshops offer a safe space to explore your emotional responses to this experience and plan ways to sustain emotional and spiritual wellness for whatever is coming next.

In a safe consistent group environment, we will reflect on:~ Trauma, grief, and loss attached to CNBC~ Relationships & intimacy~ Movement-based approaches to self-nurturance.~ Language – ways of being and communicating our choices (managing stigma)~ Alternative lifestyle choices to be a biological parent.Therapeutic interventions are offered to support you to build the resilience levels that you chose to have while you process fertility loss

This series is for you if:~ You have recently realised that getting pregnant & giving birth is not as easy as you assumed~ You have or are exploring assisted conception methods~ You are no longer trying to conceive and are now focussing on emotional recovery & other lifestyles.

Series outcomes:

At the end of the series you will:

~ Honour and support your journey, have essential self-compassion and self-support required on this path.

~ Started to explore your identity outside of being a biological parent

~ Explored the big dilemmas that often present such as “how long do I/we try for? How do we cope if we get pregnant / don’t get pregnant, What are we willing to sacrifice or not willing to sacrifice on this journey?

~ Explored the impact of CNBC on your intimate relationship, started to heal from the negative elements and designed your desired ways of expressing and enjoying your sexuality.

~ Tuned into your choices of how and when to share your experiences with friends and loved ones – reduction in feeling lonely and isolated.

~ Met a community of others who understand your experiences to build friendship and support with

About your facilitators:

Ciara Merrifield.Ciara is a skilled psychotherapist and Mental Health Social worker. She has worked with families and individuals for many years supporting them to heal from trauma, grief and loss. She has an eclectic mix of therapy skills leading to a holistic approach to soothing and moving pain.Ciara and her husband Eamonn started their CNBC journey many years ago. This has taken them on many quests as they grappled with the desire to be parents alongside a desire to have a fulfilling life outside of parenting. There were many occasions of frustration, loneliness and despair, coupled with moments of joy and resilience. Ciara has a deep personal knowledge of the experiences of not having children, she now aims to use her practice wisdom with her lived experience in order to support others on this pathway.

Justin is a Mindfulness and Meditation teacher and the Business Manager at Riverdell Spiritual Centre. He is passionate about helping others to realise the truth of who they are and the freedom that such a realisation can offer. Having travelled extensively, occasionally on smooth roads but often on bumpy ones, he has learnt to be open to life, not just as you may wish it to be, but instead, as it is.

When asked to be a part of The Empty Arms therapy series, Justin was humbled and thrilled at the prospect of working alongside Ciara. With his open heart, listening ears, and desire to create a space for both women and men to share their experiences, he is looking forward to assisting the participants of this series as they reclaim their inner strength and grow in ways they may not have realised were possible.

Dates: This workshop is held over 2x weekends 11th March & 15th Apri

Cost: $900 per coupleStart time: Saturday 9.30am-4.30pm

This bespoke series has 2 distinct offerings: series of workshops for couples, to co-explore the meaning of being Childless not By Choice and how this impacts on their relationship. This workshop is for couples where both members of the couple wish to attend. This series will run in March-April 2023

This is complimented with a series of workshops for singles who are wishing to integrate the experience of being childless not by choice into their mental and emotional wellbeing. This workshop is for people who are not in a couple, or wish to attend a support group without their partner. These workshops will be held in May-June 2023