Mentalizing This group teaches patients about the concept of mentalization and how to utilize a mentalizing stance to improve emotion regulation, self-understanding, and effectiveness in relationships. In particular, the group focuses on helping patients increase their awareness of their own thoughts and feelings, the thoughts and feelings of others, and how to use this heightened awareness to improve their ability to function at home, at work/school, and in their relationships. Patients are often surprised as they come to know more about themselves through the creative exercises and have the experience of being understood in ways they have not often experienced in their relationships. It teaches them a language through which to speak with others that will support being understood themselves and more deeply understanding others.
Interpersonal Process I and II This less-structured group, which meets twice weekly, provides patients with the opportunity to speak about their internal thoughts, feelings, and experiences with their peers in a way that they are not likely to do in their day-to-day life experiences. A core component of this group is to bring the treatment group to life as a community, giving patients an experience of themselves in the social world. Everyone is encouraged to practice how to communicate authentically and to listen to their peers in a meaningful way. Group members have the opportunity to experience/practice building trust, to give and receive feedback, and give and receive support from the relationships that are created.
This group has been described by our clients as groundbreaking in their treatment journey --- (1) inviting them to resolve conflict with their peers and witness peers resolve conflict with each other and (2) allowing them to communicate in new and more effective ways, leaving them feeling more confident to successfully navigate relationships outside of the therapy environment. In the end, the Interpersonal Process groups provide a safe space for patients to practice and integrate skills learned in other groups, share their histories and how they’ve come to understand themselves from past to present, and begin to generalize what they’ve learned in order to return more skillful and confident to the world beyond therapy.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills (DBT) I: Distress Tolerance & Mindfulness Using the Distress Tolerance curricula from Dialectical Behavior Therapy and relapse prevention frameworks, this group helps patients design plans for coping both in the short and long terms. This group helps patients link emotional triggers with concrete strategies to both prevent and reduce emotional and behavioral difficulties. Additionally, this group introduces patients to mindfulness topics that can help them build awareness of emotional states and help them to more effectively utilize skills overall.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills (DBT) II: Emotion Regulation Through the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy-informed curricula, this group teaches patients how to recognize, understand, and regulate their emotions. Part of this patients are also invited to become more familiar with their emotions as a way of understanding how the expression of emotions (or lack thereof) communicates information to themselves and others which may or may not be in keeping with their intent. Finally, this group shifts patients attention from crisis-oriented skill use to skill used to manage and change day-to-day, real-world issues that are blocking them from reaching their life goals.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills (DBT) III:Chain Analysis This group invites patients to dissect difficult, discreet moments from the previous week to begin to identify their patterns of coping and the difficulties they are having integrating skills into their lives. Patients identify a moment where they behaved in a way counter to their goals and then look at the interplay of their (1) thoughts and feelings, (2) vulnerabilities, and (3) environmental and relational cues/events which may have resulted in their problematic behavior. Patients learn about their patterns of reacting and how to use skills and increased awareness to more effectively manage emotionally triggering situations. Although this group stresses DBT skills, it allows for the exploration of both behavioral and intrapersonal dynamics as a way of more fully understanding patients' experiences.
Family Dynamics In this group, patients are encouraged to explore and understand themselves in relation to their family of origin. The structure of this group provides the opportunity to examine relationships with parents, siblings and significant family members through mindfulness activities, writing prompts, and art. We take a deep dive into family roles, spoken and unspoken rules, expectations, communication patterns, power dynamics, and generational trauma. Patients explore how current psychological difficulties may relate to longstanding family patterns and how to think about changing these patterns in the present.
Legacy, Identity, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves Using writing, time lines, memories and photographs, patients are encouraged to rediscover parts of themselves that may have been forgotten, misunderstood, or pushed aside. We examine how temperament, learning style, family, friends, community, culture and society impact the development of identity. Patients are often able to feel hope for the future as they expand their ideas of who they are and who they can be.
Topics in Treatment This group shifts between psychoeducation, discussion, and more active, experiential activities to provide patients with an opportunity to generate topics of interest based upon their current treatment needs. Topics patients have chosen in the past include: forgiveness vs. acceptance, stigma of mental illness, managing relationships, feeling stuck, skill use when you don't want to, journaling as an adjunct with therapy, use of artistic expression in therapy, family sculptures, understanding suicide, group dynamics, etc.