Mediate BC Blog

Book Review: Moving Forward

Posted by Rhona.Lichtenwald

A review written by a family roster mediator Rhona Lichtenwald of the book Moving Forward: An Ancient Divorce Ritual for the Modern World. Originally posted on amazon and shared with Mediate BC for this blog. For more about the book, read an earlier blog post Healing Rituals of Divorce: Helping Clients Find Closure.


“Moving Forward” is a beautifully written book which blends Dr. Beloff’s research into the human desire to feel complete or attain peace regarding the end of marital relationships with real life case studies and analysis of the Jewish ritual of divorce, the “Get”, and how the lessons learned from the Get can be applied to all cultures and beliefs.

As forms of marriage are an integral part of human culture regardless of race, religion or social status, so is the reality of separation and divorce (whether accepted or not) and with it comes feelings of pain, loss, failure, shame and exclusion. As a practicing family lawyer and mediator for 30 years, I have seen the emotional toll of divorce. There is something anti-climatic about receiving a piece of paper in the mail stating clients are divorced. Once my job is done, I walk away, but my clients may still be feeling great loss and have difficulty moving forward in their new lives. This can often lead to further conflicts after divorce where lingering pain manifests itself in continued conflicts, especially over children.

Dr. Beloff’s book provides common threads of gold that she has gleaned from her interviews with participants in the Get ritual that can be applied, modified or adapted to any person’s belief system to create a ceremony or ritual that can help them to say goodbye to their partner in a way which gives them a sense of forgiveness, peace and completion, and enabling them to move forward.

“Moving Forward” reads with a sense of flow that reminded me of a river and how when that river splits it can continue in another direction with ease if a new channel is carved in a careful and attentive manner. A ritual or ceremony to end a marriage can be like that newly carved channel. This book is ideal for all professionals who work in the area of separation and divorce and for individuals who may struggle with the closure of their marital relationship and want to find peace.


Rhona M. Lichtenwald
Lawyer & Mediator
Hillcrest Law & Mediation
Vancouver, BC Canada

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