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The free & confidential support groups that the SAC & SC offer are a wonderful way to start the healing process in the aftermath of experiencing sexual trauma.
There are many positive outcomes that can occur when participating in a group setting that will assist someone in reconnecting to the community around them in a safe and supportive way and provide a safe space for a survivor to grow, discover and heal their mind, body, soul & spirit.
Anyone who wishes to participate in a group will first meet with Jenna McCarthy—one of our amazing support group facilitators and the Client Support Services Coordinator here at SAC & SC to discuss where the person is at on their present path and what group make the most sense for their journey to healing. For the safety and wellbeing of all group participants we do have a screening process to ensure that all group members are appropriate for the specific group they may become a part of.
The options of groups that we offer are:
Introductory Group: This is a group for individuals that have never participated in a group before and want to try the process to see if it makes sense for where they are at on their journey and are not sure if a group setting is the best for them.
Non-Offending Parents/Guardian Group: This is a group geared towards non-offending parents and guardians who have experienced sexual violence themselves and/or are parenting a child that has experienced sexual trauma.
Male Survivors Group: This is a group for male survivors that have experienced sexual trauma.
Incest Survivors Group: This is a group for individuals who have experienced sexual violence within their family of origin.
Teen & Adolescent Groups: This is a group that is co-facilitated by a school professional partner for teen and adolescent survivor of sexual violence and is held within a school setting.
T.R.E.M. (Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model) Groups: This is a psycho-educational group for individuals that are beginning to work through past trauma.
Courage to Heal Workgroup: This is a more extensive psycho-educational workgroup for individuals that have been impacted by sexual violence and would like to make a change in their lives.
Holistic Empowerment Groups: This is a series of workshops geared towards holistic healing for individuals impacted by sexual violence that taps into the more non-conventional techniques that can promote healing (for example: Art Therapy, Restorative Yoga, etc.)
If you have questions about or are interested in participating in a support group, please call Jenna McCarthy at: 377-1010 ex 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits of Support Group*
• Groups promote reconnection with others. One impact of sexual assault is that it isolates us from ourselves, others and the world around us. In groups, survivors begin to form new attachments that lay the groundwork for their ability to heal and recover.
• Groups provide safety and support. There is opportunity to meet and gather support from other people with similar experiences. Being with others who understand makes it easier to share without fear of being judged. In groups, survivors safely share their experiences, feelings and concerns.
• Groups validate a survivor’s experience. When survivors see others with similar situations as theirs, they recognize their experience as important too. Groups validate the survivor’s experience as worthy of attention and concern.
• Groups universalize the problem. The power of seeing your experiences in the lives of others is immeasurable. Groups allow survivors to begin to recognize they are not alone, making it easier to diffuse their sense of blame and responsibility.
• Groups present role models for expressing and coping with feelings. When you see how others cope with their experiences, it not only provides examples but promotes confidence that healing is possible.
• Groups promote trust. Survivors learn that others want to help and will be there for them. They begin to trust others again.
• Groups provide survivors an opportunity to help others. Helping others helps promote a sense of self-worth and value. Groups give survivors the chance to get outside their own experiences and help others in the healing journey.
• Ultimately, groups promote empowerment, the key to sexual assault recovery. Groups are a place for information sharing and problem solving. Engaging in problem solving with others gives survivors a sense of power and control that is the backbone of recovery.
*this information was created by the"Winter 2010 newsletter "Reshape-- The Newsletter of the Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project"
Kennebec & Somerset Counties in Maine
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse... there is someone who will listen.
Call the Maine Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Line
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