A workshop to help students move on with their lives after a failed relationship

Mount Royal University’s Wellness Centre kicked off a seminar geared towards helping students going through a tough break-up.

Leanne Edwards, MRU student counselor said the “Break-up Boot Camp” workshop supports students in moving on with their lives after a break-up.

 “The purpose of the group is to develop a comprehensive description about his or her relationship and to cope with the end of the relationship,” explains Leanne Edwards, MRU student counselor.

Photo by: Lucia Trischuk“The purpose of the group is to develop a comprehensive description about his or her relationship and to cope with the end of the relationship,” she explained.

“We are there to assist in the development of a helpful perspective, to give support to others with similar experiences, and to reconnect with his or herself as an individual.”

Julianna Michayluk, 18, a student at MRU, just recently went through a break-up with her boyfriend two months ago.

“In a way, yes, I do regret the break-up because I let the relationship slip at the end. I miss who we used to be together and the friendship we shared.”

Hayley Houghton, 22, another MRU student, went through the same experience with her boyfriend of five years; the only difference was this was the second time around.

“The first time we broke up I was devastated and confused. The second time, however, I was sad but also relieved — it was like a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders.”

Edwards believes it’s important to offer students this service because breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend can be a very painful.

“The loss can be so devastating that sometimes students have difficulty managing their lives and focusing on their studies,” she says.

In 2010, 9% of students who attended counseling at MRU identified the ending of a relationship as the primary issue, Edwards says.

Houghton sought out her peers when dealing with her multiple break-ups.

“I definitely needed someone to vent to. It would have been way harder to get through without someone to be there to talk to, both before and after it happened.”

Michayluk relied more on her sister for support and advice.

“I chose her, not only because she’s my sister, but she seemed to be the only one who was neutral in the whole relationship; she didn’t take sides or judge,” she stated.

When dealing with a relationship that fell apart, sometimes it helps to talk to people who are feeling the same heartache that you are, Edwards says.

In 2010, 9% of students who attended counseling at MRU identified the ending of a relationship as the primary issue, Edwards says.

 “Remember, break-ups are an inevitable part of dating,” she continues. “It’s not about stopping the painful experience, but rather moving through the experience of loss in an adaptive way.”

Both Michayluk and Houghton agree that the workshop would be very beneficial for students who need the guidance.

“Everyone reacts differently to a relationship ending, and I think it would help to have someone try to help you through it and learn how to deal with it,” says Michayluk.

“It would provide a supportive environment with people who are in similar situations,” Houghton says, but adds that she “can see a lot of people avoiding it, especially guys, just because of stubbornness and stigma regarding emotional topics.”

The workshop was originally scheduled to kick off on Sept. 28, but due to lack of interest, the next session will be held on Oct. 5.

“It was offered too early in the semester,” explains Edwards. “The next session will have more participants because, based on the student life cycle, there is often an increase in the number of break ups right after Thanksgiving.”

Edwards clarifies that they usually take up to 8 students for each session, “but we would never turn anyone away,” she says.

ltrischuk@cjournal.ca