Deirdre Fay, MSW, LICSW, Psychotherapist

Becoming Safely Embodied Skill Building Groups

"It was surprising to me that I would always gain some type of small insight even though I didn't always feel very comfortable participating. The other group members made it easier for me after a while and I started to feel safe."

–Client in BSE Groups

Knowing that my clients needed their individual sessions to talk about current life dilemmas and to secure the relationship between us, I wondered how to teach them the skills needed to deal with traumatic histories. It occurred to me that groups might be the answer. I had led programs at Kripalu Center for many years and knew the value of experiential learning.

The solution became time limited groups that taught the skills I often didn't have time to teach during individual sessions. Presenting the material in a 1 hour group rather than a weekend workshop also seemed important. The material needed to be titrated so it wouldn't be overwhelming and yet give people an opportunity to practice the skills in a safe enough environment. Although these skills are often most easily taught in a group format, they can be used in individual therapy.

Benefits

  1. Learn skills: simple, concrete steps that can change the way you live your life
  2. Practice: the groups provide understanding about what the skills are, but more importantly, they give time to practice the skills in a safe space
  3. Make connections with others: one of the biggest benefits is finding you are not alone as you wrestle with your life
  4. Weave a bigger world in which to live your life: by creating a larger cosmological frame to life in we find ways to experience our life is more satisfying ways