Groups offer a rich opportunity to learn helpful skills and to practice interacting in effective ways.

UPDATE: With the removal of many COVID-19 restrictions in May, 2021, and the desire for people to meet in-person, all online groups are currently on hiatus. 

In our 75-minute online groups, members engage in an “awareness check-in” for two minutes each. Skills instruction takes about 10 minutes. Then members take turns sharing, processing, and problem-solving. Groups are $45 per session. Here is the group protocol we use.

Group membership is limited to Virginia residents. Materials used in groups are available to all. Please see the list under the For Clients and Resources menus.

To most efficiently achieve desired treatment outcomes, attending individual sessions or group sessions may be necessary, but, for most people, neither is sufficient. Skills learned and insights gained in individual sessions occur within the limited context of two people. With group counseling only, insights gained can dissipate. Challenges encountered can reinforce problematic thinking patterns without examination in individual sessions. To gain both stability and growth, clients are encouraged to engage in a blend of both individual and group counseling sessions.

Awareness Skills Group

Learn and practice research-backed skills to address problematic behaviors including substance use.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Group

Learn and practice research-backed skills to address challenging symptoms of anxiety, depression, unrelenting grief, substance use disorders, behaviors termed “addictions,” eating disorders, trauma, thought disorders, and severe mental illnesses.

  • (Not currently scheduled.)

Group protocols are informed by cognitive theory and neuroscience and include components of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT).

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) Enrichment Group

Work in synergy with others to practice and deepen use of CPT skills.

For clients who identify as female, are interested in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for trauma, have completed several individual sessions, or have completed the protocol, we offer a group for learning, practicing and applying CPT skills in the supportive company of others. CPT provides a way to understand why recovery from traumatic events is difficult and how symptoms of trauma affect daily life. The focus is on identifying how traumatic experiences change thoughts and beliefs, and how thoughts influence current feelings and behaviors. With new awareness and skills, the natural human ability to heal from hard times is freed, as are people to continue on without the conscious and unconscious domination of trauma in their lives. Please read more about Cognitive Processing Therapy.

  • Sundays, 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM
  • Limited to 6 members.
  • Currently limited to individuals who identify as female.

The groups listed below may be available with sufficient enrollment:

Applied Awareness Skills Group

Use awareness skills to optimize ways of thinking, feeling, behaving, interacting, relating, and working.

Prerequisite: Completion of Awareness Skills curriculum.

Partnership Skills Strengthening Group

Couples, family members, employees, and team members learn and practice skills to increase the effectiveness of their interactions with each other. 

Counseling-Assisted Treatment (CAT) group for people prescribed medication for substance use disorders and/or mental illnesses. The group is described here.

Self-Kindness Group

Learn and practice skills to address troubling feelings, thoughts, words, and actions that arise in troubling times.

Note: The Self-Kindness Group met from April 16 through June 11, 2020 to support Virginia residents during the shelter-at-home order. For those interested, here are the materials we used.

To request an appointment for individual and/or group counseling, please learn more about appointments and fees, then contact me to register as a new client through the client portal.

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More about our skills-focused groups for people with substance use concerns

Anne GilesIn our skills-focused groups, we work with specific approaches that research suggests are most helpful to people who want to end or reduce their use of substances that have become problematic for them.

People who have difficulties with substances, binge-eating, gambling, shopping, Internet gaming, serial relationships, self-harming, or other challenges, and who return to problematic behavior, frequently cite interactions with others as preceding unplanned use or behavior.

Through support from the facilitator and fellow group members, individuals can identify patterns of dealing with others and make helpful modifications to:

  • better regulate emotions
  • get needs met
  • re-balance after over-functioning or under-functioning in relationships
  • feel closer to loved ones
  • be more effective with co-workers and acquaintances
  • skillfully manage problematic behaviors
  • navigate and negotiate conflict
  • make more conscious choices about what might be the next most helpful thing to say or do – or not say or not do.

Group counseling offers exciting possibilities for self-discovery in connection with others.

Sample schedule for a 75-minute group session:

  • Welcome and announcements.
  • Review of group policies.
  • Check-in with a 2-minute timer.
  • Brief explanation of a new skill. (10 minutes)
  • Practice using new skill. (10 minutes)
  • Practice using new skill in synthesis with formerly learned skills. (20 minutes)
  • Check-out with a buffet of wisdom through individual statements of observation, awareness, insight, and progress. (10-15 minutes)
  • Awards of appreciation.

I am very happy to provide letters for those who need documentation of attendance.

Welcome! If you would like to join a group, please contact me.

Last updated 11/3/20