Learning to love again

New book intended to kick start your love life for 2014

Book Launch: Break-Up Breakthrough and Learning to Love Again, by Jo-Anne Weiler, Feb. 6, 7-9 p.m. at West Vancouver's Ferry Building Gallery. Proceeds from the evening's book sales will support YWCA family programs. joanneweiler.com

A West Vancouver clinical counsellor has released a new book intended to help those experiencing the pain of a break-up or lost love by offering a step-bystep way out of grief and into life so they can love again.

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Jo-Anne Weiler, president of Therahealth Network Ltd., was inspired to write Break-Up Breakthrough and Learning to Love Again by her own experiences, and those of family, friends and clients.

The North Shore News recently caught up with the first-time author to find out more: North Shore News: What's your background? Weiler: I have a masters in psychology and in my clinical psychotherapy practice, I see individuals and couples who are learning how to love each other better.

North Shore News: What inspired you to write this book?

Weiler: In my practice I have seen people repeat the same patterns over and over again. Relationship break-ups are so hard to process at any age - as a teen, early adult, adult, mid-life and later life. As human beings we want to feel better as soon as possible so we tend to jump into the next relationship right away and miss the stage of selfdiscovery that should happen during the healing process. It is why we see such a massive percentage of first marriages fail in the current statistics, which suggest 40-50 per cent of all marriages will end in divorce and 75 per cent of second marriages will fail as well. This tells us that people are not learning how to love again, they tend to just jump into the same dynamic and repeat the same sad patterns. At the end of the day, we need to learn about how to love who we are so that we have the capacity to love someone else.

North Shore News: What did you hope to accomplish in writing this book?

Weiler: This book is designed to help people move on and learn to love well again. It is sad to think of the number of people who miss out on life and can't fully be present in a new relationship because they have lost trust in themselves and others. This book is designed to help people feel more solid in themselves so they become relationshipready after their relationship failed.

North Shore News: What are the common emotions experienced by people going through break-ups?

Weiler: Sadness, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, anger, frustration, peaceful, surprise - is there any emotion you don't feel? Many people go through the stages of grief.

North Shore News: What are some of the mistakes people make when trying to move on?

Weiler: So many people tend to repeat relationship patterns over and over again. It's so helpful to know your part in what went wrong so you can get better for your next relationship. It's a mistake to get stuck in resentment and blame or shame.

This book helps you fall in love with your core self so that you aren't so reactive. You will be able to say what you feel and what you need. It embraces attachment theory, family systems and takes the reader right into the process of dating again.

North Shore News: What are some things people going through break-ups should do or keep in mind to stay positive?

Weiler: This is the only time in your life you will get to sit back and discover being with you again! Embrace this time in your life. Go slowly through the stages of grief and deepen your personal learning so you can get better at giving and receiving love. When you reflect on all the people you have been in relationships with over time, you will see emotional patterns within yourself showing up over and over again. Be curious about yourself and resist the temptation to blame your relationship ending on your former partner.

Read the book and start discovering everything from communication, how to have tough conversations, deal with anger, develop trust, understand affairs and addiction, and how to be wise in your choice of your next mate. The book covers body image, dating in today's world of texting and social media, and becoming more confident sexually. Everything you need to know is in the three parts of Break-Up Breakthrough and Learning to Love Again.

North Shore News: What can friends and family do to support a loved one going through a break-up?

Weiler: Be a good listener. Try to get your friend or family member out for a walk or a hike to let them talk or just take in the bigger world. When a person is in the early stages of a breakup they often feel somewhat frozen emotionally while they are in the denial stages of grief. It helps so much to engage them in some type of 20-minute cardio habit, preferably working towards some type of group activity - for example, things like a running group that North Shore Athletics provides, where people can come and be with others in a positive outdoor activity.

North Shore News: Who do you think could benefit from this book?

Weiler: Actually, who wouldn't? People from teens, early adult, adult, mid-life to later life go through breakups and they are all painful. We are meant to be in relationships. No one should miss out on life because they haven't regained trust in themselves or others. Even if you are in a committed relationship right now, read the book. It will help you deepen your connection. Statistics tell us that you will live longer if you are in a committed relationship.

Research supports these stats because if you have a healthy relationship you have less stress hormones and better overall health. Up with love, and down with stress!

North Shore News: Is there anything you'd like to add?

Weiler: Do you want to fall in love this year? A loving partnership is one of the great contributors to your long-term health.

Learning to love again after a failed relationship is probably the single most important thing we do in our lives. And it doesn't just happen by meeting the right person, it evolves from knowing who we are, body, mind and spirit, so that we have capacity, empathy and insight.

Break-Up Breakthrough and Learning to Love Again is available at Edgemont Village's 32 Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or joanneweiler.com.

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