This 12-session group therapy program is about learning to make friends with yourself: to meet yourself in whatever you are experiencing with understanding, patience, and support. It is about learning helpful ways to work with the thoughts and emotions that arise in you – including with the self-criticizing/shaming kinds of thoughts and the painful kinds of emotions. It about supporting you in approaching and navigating your inner and outer experiences with compassion, wisdom, and courage.
There are many difficulties people experience that grow out of and/or are made worse by the insidious and persistent presence of self-criticism and/or a relative absence of self-compassion in their lives. An over-arching aim I have in offering the mindful compassion group is to help participants to develop and experience greater self-compassion (and/or conditions that might help this to grow) and, by doing so, to also support a positive “ripple effect” that can follow.
I view the cultivation of self-compassion (and compassion more broadly) as a journey—one I tend to think of as of the lifelong variety, and one that has many layers, many aspects, and that entails on-going learning, challenge to some degree, deepening, and discovery. I view the mindful compassion group as supporting this worthwhile journey but not as an endpoint in and of itself.
The program includes educational information, training in mindfulness meditation and compassion-based activities and skills, group discussion, as well as complementary creative creative activities such as writing and collage. You will be asked to practice the exercises you are learning each week regularly in between sessions and will be provided with print materials, as well as audio recordings of meditations to support your practice. Each group therapy session is 1 hour and 45 minutes in length.
Who Is This Group For?
Participants come to the group for a variety of related reasons. The group program may be especially suited to individuals who are aware they experience fairly significant self-criticism, self-attack, and/or shame and would like to work on ways to lessen the negative impact of these in their lives (including to work on building greater self-encouragement, kindness, and support within and toward themselves). Participants may be experiencing negative feelings about themselves, anxiety, worry, and/or be wanting to develop ways to support themselves as they deal with various sources of stress (including difficult experiences or circumstances). A general aim of the group is to enhance the experience of well-being.
To participate in the program, individuals need to have at least a moderate ability to safely tolerate challenging emotions and/or life experiences that may arise, as well as to have at least a moderate ability via social skills and level of functioning to contribute to creating a supportive environment for themselves and for other participants. It is also preferable that individuals also have in place support for themselves outside of the group. Although not required, this could include a therapist they may talk to in individual therapy to process more extensively any reflections that come up.
Interested in Participating?
If you are interested in participating, please contact Tracy Riley to discuss. Group therapy sessions are offered when demand permits.