15 Week Group – From Estrangement to Reconciliation

The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation

This is an all gender identities group for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Pre-requisites: Participants must have completed both The Gatehouse Phase 1 & Phase 2 Gatehouse Peer Support Group programs and must be over the age of 18 and be survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Persons who have sexual offenses/sexual offending behaviour are not permitted in the group programs. 

Description: This 15-week topic led peer support program will invite you to examine different outcomes of reconciliation into your healing journey from childhood sexual abuse through exploring the issues, perceptions and beliefs regarding estrangement and relationships with self, family, and community. This may include but is not limited to the abuser.

The program is based on the book “I Thought We’d Never Speak Again” written by Laura Davis.

Reconciliation is considered an important step in recovery. Explore the many challenges of reconciliation and identify your needs in this process. Move from isolation to reconnect with yourself and others.

Topics of the program include:

  • The Pain of Estrangement
  • The Importance of Boundaries and Autonomy When Reconciling
  • Finding Clarity
  • Commitment to the Reconciliation Process
  • Discussions on Forgiveness
  • The Difference Between Reconciliation and Forgiveness
  • Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills
  • The Benefits of Reconciliation: Re-engaging with Family and Community


This program engages more thoroughly the beliefs and perceptions of participants regarding estrangement and reconciliation. As with any peer support self-exploration process, such activities may bring up feelings of fear, sadness and anxiousness in the group process. It is imperative that program participants have a support network outside of The Gatehouse including peer support, therapy or social work.

Program Structure

The program will follow the manual and includes discussing core beliefs (helpful vs. unhelpful), for your healing journey, grounding and integrating strategies for continued healing, setting intentions., integrating PAUSE (Paying Attention Unveils Sacred Experiences) meditation practices and exploring forgiveness.

Participants will look at key issue(s); creating healthy relationships, creating a meaningful life, anger, shame, guilt, depression and fear. Participants will be engaged in self-reflective activities.

Homework: Participants will be invited to engage with a variety of activities to enhance their understanding which includes reading the next session’s chapter in the manual, watching related video links, journaling and being self-reflective in discussions. Questions may include what surfaced for you in terms of thoughts, feelings or sensations and how the themes discussed in the videos may be helpful to your healing journey? Videos provide insights into the experiences of shame, guilt, vulnerability, betrayal, and pre-post trauma situations, learning about unhelpful thinking patterns and the application of mindfulness.

Where? Due to COVID19 restrictions, The From Estrangement to Reconciliation program is delivered online via zoom meetings. It is facilitated by two trained Gatehouse volunteers. This is an all gender identities group.

Time/Days Offered: Dates to be determined.

Cost: Materials Fee $25 payable to The Gatehouse. You will be invoiced via email. If you prefer e-transfer, please e-transfer fee to mbarcelos@thegatehouse.org

How to apply?

  1. Registration form and pre-group questionnaire required. Due to COVID19, all intake meetings are being conducted over Zoom.
  2. Download the Estrangement to Reconciliation Registration form
  3. Complete Registration form and send to Maria
  4. Complete Pre-Group Online Questionnaire [please note the responses are viewed by Maria and shared with program facilitator Pat post group completion]




For further program information and to take the pre-group questionnaire please contact:

Volunteer: Pat Adams, Volunteer Facilitator, 416-255-5900

Staff: Maria Barcelos, Executive Director, 416-255-5900 x225

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The Gatehouse, a community based charitable organization that provides much-needed support, resources, and community to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Survivors of sexual abuse are in desperate need of our support and services and The Gatehouse relies on the generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to fund and expand our creative programs including peer support groups, art therapy, wellness workshops, conferences, and the investigation support program.

Please consider making an online donation, one time or you can also donate monthly. Your donation helps to transform the lives of those victimized by childhood sexual abuse.
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