Purpose of New Beginnings

NEW BEGINNINGS® is a support group for separated and divorced men and women in the DC metro area (MD, DC and VA). Established in 1979, we are the oldest and only group in the metro area that deals strictly with separation/divorce and is open to people without children.

A marital separation is a wrenching experience which can happen to anyone at any time for a variety of reasons. We believe that by sharing feelings with other people in similar situations, we can gain a better perspective on the process of separation and thereby begin to build a new life. This is our first task—because the one certainty is that our lives cannot remain the same.

NEW BEGINNINGS® offers an essential structure and the crucial community of others to heal the pain, speed recovery and move beyond the hurt toward a better future. Discussion meetings, expert speakers and social events provide a forum for coping with loss and betrayal, overcoming problems of trust and risk, and developing improved communication skills. It is not enough just to make the pain go away; the real task is to prevent the pain from happening again.

Only by sharing together--men and women, with and without children, the left and the leavers—can we ultimately understand that an end is also a NEW BEGINNING.

What We Do

  • Discussion Meetings
    Meetings are held in members' homes throughout the DC metro area (MD, DC, VA). Topics include issues specifically for people in the early stages of separation (Coping with Aloneness, Anger, The 8 Stages of Separation) as well as issues pertaining to dating, new relationships and personal growth. All meetings are facilitated by a member volunteer trained to guide the discussion. There is never any pressure to talk.
  • Guest Speakers
    Attorneys, psychologists, financial planners and accountants, mediators and communication skills experts offer members the opportunity to acquire necessary information and practical assistance.
  • Social Events
    Monthly gatherings just for fun, where everyone is single, provide a reason to leave the house and a friendly place to practice new social skills.

History of New Beginnings

Group MeetingNEW BEGINNINGS® was founded by Carol Randolph in 1979 with a three-line ad in Washingtonian Magazine. Nine people attended our first meeting on October 3, 1979. We incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1980 and received tax-exempt status in 1981.

Carol has served as Executive Director since our inception, building on her own experience through separation and divorce to offer to others what she needed but could not find anywhere else. She has received several awards in recognition of her work as Founder and Executive Director and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery. Carol is now remarried with two children.

NEW BEGINNINGS® was featured in a divorce documentary on Channel 9 in August 1981 and on numerous TV and radio programs since then. In 1990 it was named the Self-Help Group of the Year by the Mental Health Association of Northern Virginia.