We offer a variety of groups, classes and workshops for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Through these group programs, clients receive professional guidance and peer social support in a safe environment. Group services are open to survivors of all genders, unless otherwise indicated. All Safe Connections services are free of charge. To enroll in a group, current clients can contact Sameera at 314.646.7500 x120. To become a client and schedule an appointment for assessment, please contact our intake office at 314.646.7500 x118.
Support Groups and Classes 2015
Level 1 Groups
Level 1 groups are designed as a way to gain knowledge and new skills in a safe, supportive setting. Information in these groups is intended to empower survivors to understand their experiences and learn strategies for coping and moving forward. Level 1 groups can be a supplement to individual therapy or a sole intervention.
- Foundations is a three-week introductory group that can help you learn what to expect from groups at Safe Connections. In Foundations, you will also begin to learn about: Coping Skills and Self Care, Relationships and Communication and Boundaries and Support Systems. An optional fourth week includes an overview of the dynamics of abusive relationships.
Breaking the Cycle
- This group is for those who have experienced emotional or physical violence or who are affected by memories of past abuse. It explores the definitions of abuse, the effects of domestic violence on self and family, ways of coping with abuse and how to identify abusive people.
Building Effective Communication Skills
- This group includes information and discussion about communication habits, how to handle negative feelings assertively and how to use communication for positive change.
Building Healthy Relationships
- This group is for those who have experienced abuse and have difficulty forming trusting relationships. It explores ways to enhance positive social and intimate relationships, maintain healthy boundaries and define what a healthy relationship is.
Healing Through Art
- This program is designed especially for trauma survivors and uses creative and inventive ways to understand, manage and transform the effects of trauma. Projects using art and dialogue focus on personal safety, exploring and honoring difficult feelings and understanding trauma’s effects on relationships. Art experience is not necessary for this group.
RAD Self Defense
- This program focuses on empowerment and safety and provides practical and physical tools a woman can use to protect herself. Participants learn skills and simple maneuvers to help increase safety, taught by a Safe Connections therapist who is a certified instructor. This curriculum is designed for women only.
- A group all about the most important person you’ll ever be in a relationship with – you! Begin to explore who you are and how you and others see and experience you. Increase your awareness of the impact of outside influences on your concept of self. Learn about self compassion and the value of self care.
Trauma Changes Things
- This group is designed to help survivors understand the impact of trauma they have experienced. Participants will learn what trauma is, how it affects the brain and how it can impact their lives and relationships. They will also learn skills to cope with the effects of trauma and move from victim to survivor.
Level 2 Groups
Due to the complexity of issues addressed in these groups, participants must be receiving individual therapy with Safe Connections or another agency. Participants must be fairly stable in their symptoms, have developed some positive coping skills and do not engage in any high-risk behaviors. Group members need to have already learned general information about trauma and how it affects them.
- This 12-week group will help to define shame, explore triggers and vulnerabilities, practice empathy and learn to combat shame by reaching out to others and building connections. Learn that it’s okay to be vulnerable and how to be resilient in the face of shame. The curriculum is based on Brené Brown’s best-selling book I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power.
Healing in Writing
- Writing can be an extraordinary way to heal the emotional wounds that are an inevitable result of experiencing trauma. Different types of expressive writing can be instrumental in overcoming trauma and building resilience. This group will provide valuable support and practical techniques to guide and inspire both experienced and beginning writers.
Trauma Recovery Group
- This group is designed for survivors who have achieved basic safety and stability in present-day life and are ready to work on the more enduring ways that trauma has harmed their self-perception and relationships. Participants will have the opportunity to process some aspect of their trauma history and how it is currently affecting them in a safe and structured setting.
Allies in Healing
- Oftentimes both survivors and their supporters struggle with feeling helpless, and it can take some time to learn how to respond. This three-week group provides a space for loved ones of survivors to process their own feelings and gain information on ways to help, things to say and not say and helpful resources.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills Group
- DBT is a blend of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Zen Mindfulness Practice. This curriculum helps participants handle stress and difficult emotions and create or maintain healthy relationships. The group consists of four modules—Core Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance—each of which takes eight weeks to complete. NOTE: Participants in this class must be receiving individual, trauma-focused therapy at Safe Connections.
All of the above groups and classes are available for adults who are clients at Safe Connections and those who choose to complete our assessment process. View and print our current support group schedule.
We also have a variety of support group services available for our teen clients. View support groups and classes for teen girls and boys.