Joining a group of strangers sounds intimidating at first, but group therapy has benefits that individual therapy may not. Most group members are almost always surprised by how fulfilling the group experience is.
The groups offered at Manna are designed to target a specific problem, such as binge eating, trauma-related issues, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Our broader groups focus more generally on improving social skills by helping people deal with a range of issues.
Depending on the nature of your problem, a group setting can be the best choice for addressing your concerns and creating change in your life.
When choosing a group, consider the following:
Is this an open or closed group?
- Open groups allow new members to join at any time. Closed groups are those in which all members begin the group at the same time. If joining an open group, there is typically an adjustment period while getting to know the other group members. However, if you join a closed group, you may have to wait for several months until the group is available again.
- Our IOP and PHP programs are open-ended. Individuals will come in and out of the groups based on their treatment needs.
How many people are in the group?
- Small groups may offer more time to focus on each individual, but larger groups offer greater diversity and more perspectives. Groups can range in size from 5 to 10, depending on the type of group and the amount of therapist facilitating. There will be more clients in groups that are educational and less clients in “sharing” groups.
How much should I share?
- Confidentiality is the most important rule when joining groups at Manna. We will NOT tolerate a group member gossiping about any other group member. Level of sharing is at the discretion of the individual to decide when he or she feels comfortable in divulging personal information. That said, remember that you’re not the only one sharing your personal story. Groups work best where there is open and honest communication between members.
- Group members start out as strangers, but in a short time, you’ll most likely view them as a trusted source of support.
These groups may differ depending on the clients that we serve. We strive to provide what each milieu needs.
ACCEPTANCE & COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT): is scientifically-based psychotherapy that considers suffering to be directly connected to our relationship with our thoughts and feelings. When we are suffering, we try to rid ourselves of painful experience such as anxiety, sadness, negative thoughts, bad memories, etc. Sometimes this effort to eliminate the pain becomes a source of pain itself. So in ACT, we work on viewing the thoughts and feelings with a different Stance or attitude. The ultimate goal is to help one build a better life based on your values.
BODY IMAGE: Individuals will process thoughts and feelings around body image and self-esteem. Clients may participate in experiential activities to counter negative beliefs about body image and to reinforce positive beliefs about one’s body image.
BODY MINDFULNESS: Patients are given the opportunity to use guided movements and dance as a nonverbal and creative outlet for expression of hidden thoughts and feelings. This is also helpful with gaining greater body awareness, which can help challenge body image distortions and in re-learning natural body cues.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT): This group will focus on incorporating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Clients will work on changing those components and learn how they influence each other.
COPING SKILLS: Individuals will learn multiple coping skills (information gathering or stopping certain behaviors or actions) which can be used to control certain internal events that might cause unwanted pain, feelings, or fear.
DBT: Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a scientifically-based program that helps teach and support the individual during difficult situations. It teaches coping skills – as it connects with interpersonal anxieties, feeling overwhelmed with emotion, struggling with using logic when making emotional decisions, and learning to be focused in each moment.
EXPERIENTIAL: This group relies more on the individual having an experience that draws them closer to their internal issues versus having verbal (often logical) processing. It uses a variety of expressive medium to achieve this goal and is based on what the needs are in the group.
FAMILY DBT: Family DBT is an extension of the DBT skills that are taught over the previous two weeks during the PHP/IOP program. This allows for the parents and family members of the clients to also learn these skills so that they can reinforce and practice healthier communication, emotional control, and tolerance of intense emotions.
FAMILY PROCESS: Clients and their families will participate in discussions processing their issues and connecting with others in a safe environment. The group will work to raise awareness of underlying dynamics and conflicts while assisting clients in recognizing that they are not alone in their struggles
FOOD & FEELINGS: In this group, clients will discuss different foods and/or food groups and process the feelings they evocate. At times “challenge” foods may be brought in, and the participants will have the opportunity to try something they may not have had in a while. This scenario helps to desensitize the clients to foods they may have formally considered taboo and will provide an opportunity to confront and process the emotions they experience as a result.
HEALTHY SEXUALITY: Adult clients will process thoughts, feelings, and behaviors involving sexual health, sexuality, and relationships.
INTERPERSONAL: Clients will learn about their current relationships and how they impact their lives and recovery. Clients will have an opportunity to learn and practice healthy relationships and appropriate boundaries within those relationships.
LEVELS: Clients will complete assessments on how they view their progress and challenges in recovery. Clients will process what steps they need to take to further their progress and set goals for the next week based on those steps. Clients will review how they can utilize the program to reach their goals and give feedback on how the program is performing.
MEAL: As a participant of this group, each client, along with a therapist or dietitian, will bring an appropriate meal and eat their meals together. Participants will be able to process their feelings associated with the meal, as well as learn to establish healthy rituals around food.
NUTRITION: This group led by a registered dietitian and provides education and support on a variety of topics related to food, body image, and weight. The education provided helps change faulty beliefs that fuel eating disorders and the support helps clients apply the new information to their lives to promote recovery. This group uses a variety of instructional methods, including discussion, visuals, games, and hands-on activities.
PROCESS: Clients will participate in discussions processing their issues and connecting with others in a safe environment. The group will work to raise awareness of underlying dynamics and conflicts while assisting clients in recognizing that they are not alone in their struggles.
TEEN TALK: This group provides a forum for adolescents to discuss the issues that are most relevant to them in a respectful and safe environment. No subject is off limits and all questions are welcome. This group will provide the opportunity for teens to engage in healthy communication and be practicing how to respectfully respond to and interact with those who have a different view than themselves.
TRAUMA RECOVERY: Everyone has a story, and every story has its painful moments. While most people have little trouble associating the word “trauma” with acute events such as death, molestation, or physical assault, many people fail to recognize that persistent stress over a long period of time can negatively affect the brain in ways similar to how acute trauma affects the brain. Regardless of the particular type of trauma that a group member has experienced, this group provides a space in which participants can develop a better understanding of the ways that they have been affected by painful parts of their individual stories. This will be done through psycho-educational, as well as experiential means. As they work through their painful memories, participants will experience the blessing of being supported by a group of peers, as well as by a trained therapist.
(not currently being offered, but can be based on need)
Psychotherapy Boot Camp (Women Only & Couple’s Options): This group is highly-structured and intensive. It focuses on the underlying principles of repetitive, destructive behaviors. The group involves committing to do weekly homework and making weekly goals for life application. Topics addressed include: safety in relationships, mapping out your family tree, understanding family roles and their functions, learning about the potential ‘why’ under your acting out patterns, learning coping skills for handling stress, understanding the function of guilt versus shame, and understanding how believing lies from the past will and can maintain destructive patterns in the here-and-now. This boot camp follows a Christian orientation throughout the group. This group is a 14-week commitment. There is a one-time workbook fee of $50