Group Therapy for Women Survivors of Trauma
Healing in Community
When we experience trauma, our sense of self and the way we perceive the world around us becomes hijacked. Many women who have faced traumatic events feel a need to “keep the secret,” thus compounding their pain with isolation, dissociation, hypervigilance, and shame. Survivors of trauma can even feel that they themselves are “bad” and not deserving of a happy, healthy life.
Sharing a traumatic experience with others can restore a sense of connectedness, meaning, and understanding. The goal of group psychotherapy is to provide this kind of corrective emotional experience in which the dynamics of self-blaming, silencing, and disbelief of the victim are shared and then worked through.
Voices of Warriors (VOW) is a group for women who have experienced sexual trauma. This is a small group that meets over Zoom on Mondays at 6pm. If you would like to participate in our next 10-week group, please reach out to our front desk at 424-371-5191 for more information or to schedule a confidential intake assessment.
Group discussion will arise organically, but some of the following topics will likely be addressed:
- Revelation of each participant’s trauma experience(s)
- Description of how trauma has influenced members’ lives including: intimacy, sexuality, one’s relationship with their body
- Discussions of how shame, hypervigilance, dissociation, and PTSD affect survivors in daily life
- Development of a supportive community of other women who truly understand
Commitment & Cost
Participants must commit to attending group in 10-week intervals and must also be engaged in individual treatment at WILA or with an outside therapist. WILA may assist you in finding an individual therapist.
Frequently Asked Qs
Do I have to share the details of my trauma?
Will I feel safe in the group?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask! Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee safety. Talking about trauma, like any therapy, has both benefits and risks. One of the risks is that symptoms, memories, and discomfort can get worse before getting better. VOW facilitators are prepared to help engender a feeling of safety for you and the other members. Your most important task is communicating your needs to the best of your ability.
What if I already have an individual therapist?
Will my insurance pay for the VOW group?
Who will be facilitating the VOW group?
VOW groups are facilitated by pre-licensed therapists enrolled in WILA’s Psychology Internship and Postgraduate Fellowship. The facilitators are supervised by licensed mental health professionals on WILA’s Teaching and Supervising Faculty with input from WILA’s Executive Director, Michele Gomes, Psy.D.
Where does VOW take place?
Due to COVID-19, VOW groups are conducted virtually online. Otherwise, VOW groups take place at our West Los Angeles location which provides a safe, comfortable, accessible, and confidential atmosphere. We are conveniently located at 11845 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 505W, Los Angeles, CA 90064. Ample street parking is available nearby.
I’m a clinician and would like to refer to VOW. Who do I contact?
We welcome referrals and ideas for potential collaborations. VOW is ideal as an adjunctive group therapy experience for women you are seeing in individual treatment. Participation in group therapy can reduce isolation and increase relatedness by bringing together individuals struggling with similar issues. We offer a FREE telephone consultation with you and a FREE in-person consultation with your client. Call (424) 371-5191 and request to speak to a VOW group leader.
What is WILA’s mission?
WILA is at the forefront of a therapy movement, changing the ways people are treated when they need help but are held back by financial, cultural and systemic barriers. We serve the diverse communities of Los Angeles by providing affordable high-quality psychotherapy services while training the next generation of socially conscious mental health professionals. [Learn More]