Creative Courage is a closed 8-week Art Therapy Group open to women seeking a creative way to express their journey through recovery from childhood sexual trauma toward a new sense of wholeness.
When: Wednesdays from 6-8pm beginning April 17.
Where: Beauty for Ashes Counseling, 52 Saint Mark Road, Taylors, SC
This is a private and confidential group that can help women cope with their emotions surrounding the trauma. These emotions may include, but are not limited to anxiety, sadness, anger, shame and guilt.
Some objectives are to:
Help participants share their experience
Help participants recognize that they are not alone & understand the current impact of this experience on their lives
Help participants begin to process feelings and beliefs associated with the trauma.
Increased grounding and coping strategies
Increased feelings of safety
Education, discussions and normalization of common symptoms experienced by CSA survivors
Decreased avoidance of emotions and memories related to the abuse
Increased feelings of hope.
There is power in connecting with other survivors. It helps to talk about it. You are not alone!
To join this group, please call our office at (864) 501-3633, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Members will need to meet with the therapist(s) to do a brief assessment interview prior to attending.
What is the intake assessment like?
During the intake assessment, you will meet with the therapist(s) who will lead this group. You will tour the art studio and discuss the structure of the group. You will be asked to make important agreements that will help to create a safe and therapeutic group environment.
The therapist will seek to determine your therapeutic needs, goals, resources and appropriateness of the group. It is recommended that each group member has begun individual therapy at least six months prior to the commencement of the group in order to establish a level of comfort with the therapeutic process and to allow the participant to receive individual attention for her individual disclosure process and needs. Ideally the participants are encouraged to continue to participate in their individual therapy (or at minimum have the resources and willingness to seek individual sessions) throughout the duration of the group. This allows the participant the opportunity to process what arises in the group context as well as to process her own personal experience in more depth than a group context can allow.
What is the structure of the group?
Each weekly group therapy session is structured. We will meet in the art studio and open with a short opening intention which may take 5-10 minutes each. This time is designed to serve as a check in, and gives the participant an opportunity to share what they need to receive from that group session. This time may also be utilized with a relaxation exercise, ideas about how each client has or will utilize self-care this week, or how each client perceives the group processes thus far. This serves as a way to open the symbolic container of trauma work in the safety of the group setting.
The therapist will then direct the group to the art-making directive. The actual art making process will consist of about 45-50 minutes following by a 5-minute clean-up. We will then begin a discussion of the art making process which will last approx. 50 minutes.
The themes each week are different and will be discussed at the beginning of each session. They are meant to serve the group as a whole. If a group member does not wish to address the suggested theme, she is encouraged to voice this and to focus on what is most pertinent to her that week for group processing as the group is meant as a safe place of support to explore issues related to the abuse.
The group will end with a short closing intention designed to give the participant opportunity to share what they received from that session, ways they will utilize self-care over the week, and what they need from the week to come. This serves as a way to close the symbolic container of trauma work for that week in anticipation of reopening in the safe confines of the group next session.
What are the other group members going to be like?
The Creative Courage group is open to women survivors 18 years old and up. There will be a minimum of 6 group members and a maximum of 8. Group members have a history of sexual abuse trauma, which is currently an important concern in their life, and will have expressed a desire to explore their healing journey with other survivors. It is important to know that the therapist(s) will create an atmosphere where everyone’s story is respected. Group members will be encouraged to not compare their experiences with each other in a way that minimizes others’ (or their own) experiences. We firmly believe that there is no one “right way” to heal from a trauma, but that we can support each other along the way.
What if I don’t like it, or discover that it isn’t the right time for me to be in this group?
We ask that you make an honest assessment yourself during the intake appointment to determine your commitment, availability and willingness to participate in this group for the entire 8-week period. We do understand that life events happen. We are also aware that the first few groups are often the most difficult, so we ask that you make a commitment to yourself to continue coming even if it seems to become difficult. We are also very open to input from group members and want to make it a positive and helpful experience for all members. However, if you decide at any point that group is not a good fit, we will see if there are other services or supports we can connect you with. We only ask that you keep communication open with other group members. It has been our experience that the survivors in this group develop a connection with each other, and that they would want to hear about your decision to leave.
Is participating in group going to make things worse by bringing up difficult memories?
As stated above, the first few group sessions may be particularly difficult, and there will be hard days. We openly discuss this in the group, and talk about ways to support ourselves after group and during the week. Since this is a structured group, you may need to express the need to pace yourself so that you don’t experience a flooding of emotions. (But of course, we would encourage you to “lean in” and participate in group as much as you are able, in whatever way you are able).
Does participating in group really help?
We have received consistent positive feedback from group members about their experiences in the Creative Courage group. They have primarily pointed to the connection piece as the most important part of the group (hearing someone else who has gone through a similar experience describing similar reactions, feeling supported, seeing their own resilience mirrored in others). However, like we outlined above, this group may not be a good fit for everyone, and we’re happy to help survivors connect with other resources.
This sounds great. How do I sign up?
Call our office (864) 501-3633 or email us at email@example.com to indicate interest. After we receive your interest, we will contact you to schedule a screening appointment with you to make sure group is a good fit. If you are not sure you want to participate but want more information, we are happy to meet with you.