Social Support & Therapy Groups
The Women’s Center offers two types of groups: social support and therapy. The goal of a therapy group, led by a therapist, is to aid individuals in processing various experiences or symptoms, allowing them to learn alternative ways of coping, relating or being. In contrast, the goal of a social support group is to provide individuals with a setting in which they can connect with others who may share certain life experiences.
If you are experiencing a medical or psychological emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Location & Rates
Groups are available in both Vienna, VA and DC. Please note the location of the specific group.
Initial Therapy Group Consultation
Therapy Group Participation Fee
Social Support Groups vary in cost, and grant-funded groups may be free of charge. To learn more, click the Request More Information button.
Reduced fee and sliding fee scale options available, based on financial need.
The goal of a therapy group is to aid individuals in processing various experiences or symptoms, allowing them to learn alternative ways of coping, relating, or being. The content of therapy group sessions often leaves members feeling vulnerable, just as in individual counseling sessions. In order to ensure that the therapeutic environment of the group remains safe and confined, members in therapy groups are discouraged from outside communication while they are active participants in the group. This therapeutic boundary allows members to feel safe in the group setting and confident that what is expressed in the group remains in the group. In this type of group, the leader takes an active role in the group’s process, providing psychoeducation when necessary and utilizing therapeutic interventions to facilitate therapeutic progress.
Coping with Anxiety
Coping with Separation & Divorce
Depression Therapy Group
Postpartum Therapy Group
Survivors of Emotional Abuse
Survivors of Sexual Assault & Abuse
Teen Depression and Anxiety Group
Anxiety & Depression
First Light with Coffee (DC)
Affirming Depression Group (DC)
Affirming Anxiety Group (DC)
Social Support Groups
In contrast to a therapy group, the goal of a support group is to provide individuals with a setting in which they are united with others who share certain life experiences. In this type of group, outside socialization is encouraged to allow members to create a network of support. In these groups, the leader serves as a guide to encourage interactions between members.
Break the Cycle of Violence
Therapy Group Descriptions
Coping with Anxiety Therapy Group
A group of women create a supportive environment to address existential, generalized, and social, anxieties sometimes rooted in difficult childhoods. The group meets mid-morning Fridays. The group leader facilitates orientation, psychoeducation, ventilation of external stressors, exploration of identity and life purpose issues, stress management skills acquisition, and restructuring of thinking about challenging circumstances, core beliefs, anxieties, and their triggers. Group members rehearse social skills. They role-play new behaviors and practice gradual exposure to feared activities freeing themselves to live more fully. With skills training, group members self-monitor, self-regulate, and debrief each other’s change efforts. This small group benefits women in individual therapy, who attend regularly for a minimum of nine months.
Coping with Separation & Divorce Therapy Group
This group focuses on formulating and implementing personal strategies for dealing with the emotional and situational changes of this life experience.
Depression Therapy Group
In this group women will work together to eliminate the core symptoms of depression and support each other as they establish joyful lives. Participants will learn about depression, set personal goals, and then work to achieve those goals.
The goals will relate to establishing a regular sleep pattern, engaging in pleasurable and achievement-oriented activities, regulating mood, altering negative self-talk and depression-generating beliefs, and controlling obsessive and/or perfectionist thinking. They will select and examine events in their lives to set behavior change goals that they will work toward at their own pace in order to produce desired outcomes.
The overall aim is to function in all dimensions of life with a sense of contentment, while embracing the ups and downs of living.
Postpartum Therapy Group
The postpartum group welcomes moms and babies from pregnancy through the first year of life. It offers a safe space for new mothers experiencing depression or anxiety to discuss their concerns and receive support and encouragement. This is a therapy group, and the focus of the sessions will be determined by the needs of the members. Group size will be kept small to make sure that each member has time to participate and to be heard. Keeping the group smaller than most postpartum support groups also helps to build a sense of group cohesion and to maintain the confidentiality of the members.
Survivors of Emotional Abuse Therapy Group
This group explores long-lasting scars that affect people’s feelings about themselves and others. The group offers space to understand the common feelings of low self-esteem, lack of confidence, inability to trust, humiliation, shame, and isolation.
Survivors of Sexual Abuse Therapy Group
This group offers a safe environment for women who have experienced sexual abuse. Focuses on unresolved feelings, and long-term effects of abuse and developing self-esteem. Individual therapy is a prerequisite.
Teen Depression and Anxiety Group
A group for teens, male or female, ages 14-17 experiencing depression and anxiety. The group will provide a safe and supportive place where teens can share their experiences and build upon their coping strategies (i.e. mindfulness, self care practices). The group will be a psychodynamic process group and will include psychoeducational segments on anxiety and depression, as well as experiential learning activities. The group facilitator and members will engage on a weekly basis for a 6 month period with the goal of creating “healthy mental health habits”. Date and time TBD.
Anxiety & Depression Support Group
The anxiety and depression support group is a space for individuals who have had some experience in counseling and are looking for additional support within a group setting. The group leader will use techniques from psychodynamic theories, mindfulness approaches, and Rogerian methods to assist the members within the group. The psychoeducation of these therapeutic techniques will be discussed in the initial sessions and will be implemented as necessary throughout the time-limited group. The anxiety and depression group will mainly be a process group which encourages individuals to open up about their current challenges, contemplations, and emotions about living with anxiety and depression. The group will also explore some self-care practices and additional resources to reinforce the coping skills that will be discussed within the group.
First Light with Coffee (Meets in DC)
Mid-career professional women meet to talk about phase of life transitions. Each person will offer an agenda of three concerns/goals for which they seek support. They will request, receive, and provide supportive feedback without making suggestions for others. Group will meet 8:00 am to 9:00 am on Friday mornings.
Affirming Depression Group (Meets in DC)
In this affirming group women will work together to eliminate the core symptoms of unipolar and perinatal depression. Together they will learn about depression, set personal goals, and then work to achieve those goals. The goals will relate to establishing a regular sleep pattern, engaging in pleasurable and achievement oriented activities, regulating mood, altering negative self-talk and depression-generating beliefs, and controlling obsessive and/or perfectionist thinking. Prerequisites: ability to attend weekly for six months and existing individual therapy with medication, if indicated. Group will meet between 9:15 am and 10:45 am on Fridays.
Affirming Anxiety Group (Meets in DC)
A group of women create a supportive environment to address existential, generalized, and social, anxieties. The group leader facilitates orientation; psychoeducation; ventilation of external stressors; exploration of identity and life purpose issues; stress management skills acquisition; and restructuring of thinking about challenging circumstances, core beliefs, anxieties, and their triggers. Group members rehearse social skills. With skills training, group members self-monitor, self-regulate, and debrief each other’s change efforts. Prerequisite: ability to attend weekly for at least six months and, if indicated, with individual therapy with medication. Group will meet at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm on Fridays.
Support Group Descriptions
Break the Cycle: Support Group for Victims of Domestic Violence
Throughout its 43 years, The Center has helped thousands of victims of domestic violence reclaim their lives through the Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence Program (Break the Cycle). This program provides critical components in the continuum of care for victims that help them find physical safety, economic stability, and improved mental health. Specific services include: crisis intervention; court accompaniment; trauma-informed, evidence-based mental health counseling; information about accessing and navigating the criminal, civil, housing, legal, medical, mental health and other service systems; safety planning; referrals to community resources; education about the dynamics of domestic violence and its cyclical nature; long-term care management; financial education and counseling; career mentoring and individual coaching; and, social-connection support groups that foster empowerment and development of trusted connections. In addition, the program provides education to victims and the community and support to the clinicians working with victims of domestic violence through training, peer and supervisory support.
The support group meets twice a month. Please contact Bessy Blanco, Break The Cycle Program Coordinator for more information.
We’re dedicated to addressing the diverse needs of women, men, couples, and families through counseling, career, mediation, financial, and domestic violence and sexual assault services.
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