The Lilac Programme

For Parents Who Were Sexually Abused As Children

For people who were sexually abused as children – roughly 20% of the adult population – certain life events can be particularly difficult. Among these are pregnancy and birth, as well as their child reaching the age at which they (the parent) were first (or first recall) being sexually abused.

The Lilac Programme is the only programme of its kind for parents who were sexually abused as children. It was devised, designed, created, and run, to address the very specific needs of this cohort. The programme runs for twelve weeks, with each meeting lasting two hours. Each week, a different issue that directly impacts on parents, is addressed, with input invited from each participant – rendering the Lilac Programme more a series of workshops than a series of lectures. The information in the meetings is supported by worksheets/exercises which participants are invited to complete between meetings. At the end of the twelve weeks, the participants are encouraged to continue meeting for monthly support groups.

The model is quite a unique one – offering support at two points during the week between meetings, and limited to a maximum of eight participants per group.

The Lilac Programme will run again, over Zoom from Tuesday November 8th, and finish on January 31st (with two weeks off at the end of December for the festive period). The fee is €1,200 for the full programme, which includes all of the following:

Meetings
Twelve weeks of facilitated two-hour meetings.
Each meeting is focused on a specific theme pertinent to parenting after CSA.
Each meeting follows a format and is agenda-led.

Upon Registration:
Upon registration, participants are sent the confidentiality agreement, and the overview of each week’s topic.

Between Meetings
Each participant is emailed after the meeting. This email contains the worksheets that are support work based on the topic discussed at the meeting.

Mid-way between meetings participants are emailed again to check-in with them and see how they are emotionally after the meeting. This email also offers a chance for participants to reflect on how they are getting on with their support work; and to offer an avenue for contact, should they feel the need to avail of it.

The day before the next meeting, the agenda for the following meeting will be sent out. This details the format (again) and gives a more in-depth overview of the topic to be discussed.

Participants
The number of participants for each group has an upper limit of 8 people. This is a low number, but experience has taught me that in order for everyone to be heard and for the issues to be explored in sufficient depth.
Participants are self-selecting.
Participants have generally availed of therapy / counselling before deciding to participate.
Participants are parents, or parents-to-be.

Continuing Support
Upon completion of the programme, participants can avail of ongoing peer support:

They will be provided with a link to a private, secret Facebook Group (Lilac Support) which they are free to join. I am the admin, and the moderator of that page, and visit at least once per day to take part in the discussion, to post thoughts, encouragement, and links to items of interest.

They will also be provided with a link to a Zoom meeting which takes place on the final Sunday of every month at 6.30pm (British time) for up to three hours. These meetings are not agenda-led; people are free to come and go as they please, and welcome to discuss anything that’s on their mind.

Additional Support
Participants are provided with a link to my video ‘Woman, Love Thyself’ which is a ninety- minute, real-time workshop where I share how I learned to love myself. This is a sharing of thoughts, insights, guided meditations, and journaling. As participants do the exercises, I do them, too, in real-time. (On its own, this video retails for €105.)

What Others Have Said:

‘Doing this programme made me move through my pain much quicker. I still had to do the work, but it was easier to do it with Hazel and the other women.’

‘I was able to say things in this group that I never said to anyone else – not even any of the therapists I’ve had over the years.’

‘I never thought I could be so honest about my sex-life and how the abuse has affected it. Because of this programme, I’ve been able to have frank conversations with my husband – and (after 23 years of marriage) we’re having the best sex of our lives! ’

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