Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What to Expect from Transcending Trauma

I created this group to offer a gentle calm space for women to learn to trust in our healing process at our own time and pace- and because we cannot heal alone. Group allows you the support we need to practice effective new ways of being- as well as a place to just be ourselves and belong. Others who have had similar experiences can relate to our often contradictory feelings, helping us find compassion for ourselves and each other. Knowing you are not alone is one thing. Feeling it is something else.

Perhaps a group about healing from trauma sounds helpful but also a little scary. We all experience events in our lives that cause us to feel highly overwhelmed and helpless and the resulting symptoms of psychological trauma. You don't have to be diagnosed with PTSD to benefit from a trauma treatment group. This group is geared towards healing from trauma, which is a part of all of our lives but doesn't always resolve itself on its own. If trauma is still impacting your life, this group is for you.

Group is not a time to retell traumatic events or share anything you are not comfortable sharing (this is in our treatment agreements because we want to avoid re-traumatizing ourselves at all costs). Group is about finding safety because without it there can be no healing so safety always comes first. That's it.

Together, we will learn about psychological trauma and how to assist in our healing from it, find and practice our best coping strategies, feel the support of being with a group of people who "get it," realize we are not alone, and trust that we can transcend trauma. Shedding the shame and isolation of trauma by joining in a group is a hugely empowering step in our journey. Each and every decision we make to cope safely is another stone in rebuilding a foundation of safety in our lives after trauma.

Could Transcending Trauma be right for you? Call our intake coordinator at 706-850-7041 or email me directly at wood@livewellathens.com for more information or to enroll. You may also wish to check out my recent article on the subject. New members are welcome. We look forward to hearing from you. Take good care.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Circle Up

I never thought that I'd be in a women's circle or that my husband would be in a men's group (although I longed for it) but this is our Tuesday night routine, now. Then, there are the professional counseling supervision and consultation groups I am involved with- and the women's trauma treatment group I am facilitating. Just call me the group lady! Gatherings like these used to make me squirm. But, today, I relish in the opportunity to come together for our personal and professional growth.

There are many benefits of groups, including:
  • More affordable than individual therapy
  • Relating and feeling less alone
  • Practicing new ways of being 
  • Learning from others' experience
  • Sharing in a supportive space
These don't make the idea any less anxiety provoking for those of us with social anxiety or other aversions to groups. To me, it has been worth the risk of showing up and trying something new, riding out my own nervousness time and again, to come through it feeling more connected. When we allow our experience- breathing and letting our self-consciousness move through us- we stop it from getting in the way of living the lives we desire. We all have some old fear that gets in the way, sometimes.

Interested in local opportunities to try a group or circle? Check out:
What other groups would you like to join or check out? Where there's an interest, there is an opportunity. Chances are, you are not the only one interested in a given topic. Groups can be grassroots- comprised of you and a couple other people. The possibilities are endless. My women's circle consists of myself and six other women who connected through word of mouth. We meet weekly at each other's houses at an agreed upon time. It costs nothing and offers so much nourishment.

Local lady, Baraka Elihu, inspired our gathering with her book, Birthing Ourselves Into Being. What would inspire you to reach out? A different book? An interest in learning a new skill or activity? Support in healing from a particular condition? I am hoping that we each find belonging, support, and understanding when we need it most. After all, we are all connected with life on this planet and no one can survive in isolation. We can always feel more connected. Groups can help!