A Skills Group for Women Survivors of Trauma
This group combines education on trauma and active skills to cultivate the capacity to stay grounded in the present moment, regulate emotions, tolerate daily stressors and improve interpersonal relationships. With an emphasis on mindfulness and self-compassion, the group focuses on DBT skills to cultivate the capacity for healing and wholeness.
This evidence-based 15-week program is offered for women who have experienced physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect and may be struggling with any of the following symptoms:
emotion dysregulation (e.g., intense emotions, problematic anger, problems identifying or communicating emotions)
impulsive and/or self-destructive behaviours (e.g., suicide, self-injury)
borderline personality disorder
substance abuse, gambling problems
In order to help individuals better manage their symptoms and engage in more effective coping behaviours, the following four skills modules are offered:
Mindfulness: Mindfulness skills are designed to teach people how to focus their attention on the present moment without judgment. Very often, people have difficulty staying in the present moment and get stuck in the past or chronically worry about the future. Mindfulness techniques in DBT teach participants how to better control emotions by learning to control attention. Practicing mindfulness takes people off “automatic pilot” and allows them to stand back and observe painful thoughts and feelings without judging the experience or acting impulsively.
Distress Tolerance: The skills in this module are designed to help people get through a crisis (e.g., painful emotions, urges for unhealthy behaviours, triggering life events) without making things worse. When emotions feel overwhelming and situations are difficult, people with few distress tolerance skills often turn to their symptoms as ways of coping and regulating themselves. This module includes dozens of concrete strategies for distracting from pain, improving the moment, self-soothing, and radically accepting reality in order to move forward.
Emotion Regulation: This module teaches participants how to identify feelings, distinguish between primary and secondary emotions, and understand the function of their emotions. Many clients have trouble identifying, experiencing, and communicating their emotions. Instead of rejecting or suppressing feelings, these skills emphasize the adaptive nature of emotions, ways to reduce vulnerability to negative emotions, and how to generate more positive feeling states.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Maintaining relationships and negotiating needs with others is central to our wellbeing. When we feel taken for granted, invalidated, and pushed aside by the people in our lives, we are more likely to experience negative emotions and distressing urges for self-destructive behaviour. The Interpersonal Effectiveness module teaches participants how to identify and assert their needs, set appropriate limits, end toxic relationships, and build healthy social connections.
It is recommended that group clients are also engaged in individual therapy. However, where appropriate, some group-only clients benefit from learning and practicing DBT skills.
Classes are billed at $75.00 per week for 15 weeks and are due at the time of service. This cost includes all handouts and material.
Each class is 90 minutes and facilitated by Dr. Deniz Ahmadinia
Spaces are limited.
Next cycle beginning Summer 2020