What kind of groups are offered at The Center?
The Center offers various counseling and educational groups at each of our locations, which are all provided at no cost to participants. Each group is facilitated by a trained advocate or therapist. Sometimes groups are drop-in, open groups that simply create space for survivors to talk and support one another. Some groups require signing up in advance. Some support groups are based on a certain topic or activity, such as art therapy, parenting support, yoga, healthy sexuality, or healing from trauma. At times we also offer groups specific to teens, male victims, Latinas, and other specific groups. Our counselors also provide groups on request at other community organizations such as JADAC or Dismas Charities. Call our crisis line to find out what groups are currently offered or to request a particular group.
Who can attend groups at The Center?
Survivors of sexual assault or intimate partner violence are invited to attend groups. Some groups are also appropriate for supportive family and friends of survivors. Group settings can be a great way for clients to receive support from staff and peers. Group members often report feeling like they aren’t alone in their struggles and that they learn from other group members. The staff facilitators help to maintain an emotionally safe, supportive, and confidential space during groups. Advocates meet with interested participants prior to attending group to make sure that it is an appropriate fit for the participant. If the group setting is not a good fit, advocates may recommend that clients attend one-on-one sessions or refer clients to a more appropriate service provider.
We occasionally offer groups for children who have been exposed to domestic violence or to teens who have experienced dating violence or sexual assault. Unless a group is specifically designed for children or teens, the groups we offer are intended for adults 18 and up. Because of the sensitive nature of the group content, children cannot be brought into groups with their parents or stay alone in the waiting room while their parents attend group. We are occasionally able to offer childcare during groups on a limited basis, when arranged with volunteers in advance. Please make sure that you have childcare arranged prior to attending groups.
Choices is an educational and supportive group for survivors of intimate partner violence. Typically the group meets weekly for six weeks. The classes are organized around understanding the dynamics of the Power and Control Wheel. The name of the group indicates our philosophy to intimate partner violence services — through education, resources, and empowerment, the goal is to explore options for participants to navigate their relationships in ways that maximize their safety. We ultimately want participants to have choice in their lives by providing them with all of the important information and resources available about what could be helpful or harmful to them.