What we're about

Welcome to Starting Over!

Divorce is one of the most stressful events that can happen to a human being. In our culture we rush to put a lid on emotions and the natural process that needs to happen to move forward successfully and freely. But you can't skip emotional steps! Just burying the feelings will not help us to learn from our experience, live authentically, or move forward with real freedom. We are a peer-led support group for men and women who are in any stage of separation, divorce or post-divorce. Our caring facilitators have all been through the divorce/breakup process in their own lives, but they also hold the scientific background to support us through such an overwhelming experience.

Some of the topics we go through are:

-Recognizing what's happening to me
​-Dealing with loss
-The road to finding help
-Facing my anger
-Facing my depression
-Facing my loneliness
-Financial Survival
-Children Care
-New Relationships
-Moving On

We meet twice a month to help each other navigate the emotional roller coaster we all experience while going through this difficult time in our lives. We also share our personal experiences on getting through the legal process as this can seem quite overwhelming when life as you know it has been turned upside-down. At our meetings we provide positive support in a NON-JUDGMENTAL setting where each member has a chance to discuss the evening's topic or any issue that is relevant to his/her situation. While divorce is an end of a marriage, it also provides the opportunity for starting over and rebuilding the life you want. Social activities are open to members who regularly attend support meetings. We meet every week in the area of Leiden/The Hague. We request 10-15 euros at the end of each meeting (as you are able) to help defray meetup costs, these funds also go toward providing free or low-cost group events approximately twice per year. One is usually a holiday brunch at a restaurant.

Please note - Starting Over is first and foremost a support group, not a dating group.
Bring only your concerns, questions, open minds and warm hearts!


Upcoming events (5)

The Good Enough Parent


These meetings are not just another workshop to tell you what you are doing wrong. It’s a focus on what you are doing right. Our Mission: To support New Parents during their transition to parenthood. But most of all, it’s a gathering of parents that want to come to terms with a not-perfect role and to find peace and balance in their parenting life. Get confident in your parent role. Enjoy the most of your family life. Learn useful tools to make your children less scared and more confident. Get rid of the "guilty" feeling of "always doing something wrong". ​ Learn how to diminish the “unwelcome” behavior and enhance some good habits. Six meetings - feel free to choose to come in all or some or just one of them, depending on your needs and the age of your child(ren)which aim to cover these main points: 1. Self-Care. Balance your inner energy and your family’s needs without exhausting yourself. 2. Social support. Build a network of support around you with other open-minded & positive parents. 3. Relationships. Prepare and protect your relationship with your partner: the new roles. 4. Mental health awareness. Common post-partum emotional challenges and the emotional rollercoaster of parenthood. 5. Strengths and resilience. Build a stronger self-image and find your inner motivation. LIMITED PLACES AVAILABLE - REGISTER NOW Don't forget to mention which meetings you will be able to attend! FEES: free There will be coffee and tea. DATES:[masked] April,[masked] May (6 weekly meetings - two hours each meeting) PLACE: Koninginnegracht 101, the Hague. Kind regards, Vassia Sarantopoulou Counselor-Psychologist http://www.antiloneliness.com

Facing Loneliness


“There is no one for me anymore.” “I knew that I would end up alone.” “And now that everyone has their own family.. where do I stand?” Going through a divorce defines a new era of your life which can be “contaminated” with feelings of loneliness. The changes are huge and you feel completely alone from your previous “well-structured” life. However, this is a new beginning, which means that it will take some time for you to build yourself again under the new circumstances. During this meeting, we will talk about loneliness, about the harsh feeling of disconnection that all of you feel after a divorce. We will also share tools for starting getting connected with others and building a strong support system which will not let you down. You are not alone. We are looking forward to meeting you. For registration and for more information, contact us at [masked]. Looking forward to seeing you all. Please notice that the meeting will take place in the Hague and NOT in Haarlem. You are all welcome to join us there. Kind regards, Vassia Sarantopoulou Relationship Counselor-Psychotherapist AntiLoneliness www.antiloneliness.com

Mindfulness 101


“Be where you are, not where you think you should be” This workshop is for those who would like to know what mindfulness is, for those who tried it and it didn’t work and for those who are already enjoying being mindful and want to move to the next level. Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t). Mindfulness is the ability of creating a space in your “head”, a space which is focused on the present moment in the present place, without judging yourself for what you do or who you are. It sounds easy and natural, but nowadays, all the distractions around us lead us more towards thinking either the future, by ruminating an overwhelming sequel of to-do lists in our heads, or in the past, by thinking again and again what we did wrong and why. However, mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Our guest facilitator, Marie Hobbs, Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Coach, has specialized in techniques that will help you stay grounded, in the present moment and compassionate with yourself. In this workshop we will: learn how to practice mindfulness learn to identify when you are not in the present moment or when you are in a negative mindset learn how to get in touch with our senses, breathe properly and relax our body muscles learn how to realize our emotions and thoughts, accept them and create some space around them in order to realise them learn how to slow down and not put extra pressure on our self learn how to practice being curious and enjoy life’s pleasures Benefits of mindfulness Reduces anxiety and feelings of loneliness Enhances the ability to deal with and recover from illness Reduces overthinking and remuneration Creates happier relationships Helps with emotional resilience Helps with focus and concentration Facilitates new habits Leads to self-acceptance and compassion for others Fights insomnia Improves immune system Researchers pinpoint that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain. All in all, the more you practice the easier it gets to find your emergency exit into the present moment. We will help you create the space that you need to be more of yourself that you have ever been in the past! Join us on June 8th and Stay in the moment. Kind regards, Vassia Sarantopoulou Counselor-Psychologist http://www.antiloneliness.com

Forgiveness: Is it a choice or a feeling?


“How do I forgive him/her?” “Will I ever be ready for this?” Forgiveness is an ongoing experience. It doesn’t happen only once. It needs time. The first step before we reach the point that we feel ready, is awareness. Awareness of our feelings like anger, guilt and resentment. Take your own time to heal. During our meeting we will define forgiveness as a part of the healing process and important to our own health. Don’t let your wounds fester. We are looking forward to meeting you For registration and for more information, contact us at [masked]. Looking forward to seeing you all. Please notice that the meeting will take place in the Hague and NOT in Haarlem. You are all welcome to join us there. Kind regards, Vassia Sarantopoulou Relationship Counselor-Psychotherapist AntiLoneliness www.antiloneliness.com

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