Group Therapy for Women Survivors of Trauma
Voices of Warriors
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.
There are currently two ongoing Voices of Warriors (VOW) groups: One group meets on Monday evenings from 7:00-8:20pm and the other group meets Tuesday evenings from 7:30-8:50. Each group is a weekly, 80-minute process-oriented psychotherapy group focused on the shared experiences of women who have experienced trauma. 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 their intimate and sexual relationships and the relationship she has with her 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
Our Team & Vision
Tamala Sh’nee Black, MA, Psychology Intern
Tamala is a doctoral candidate of Applied Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. As a therapist, she focuses on the entire mind, body and spirit. She works with a variety of concerns including trauma, depression, and anxiety. Her theoretical and treatment modalities are integrative and tailored for the individual client consisting of Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Transpersonal Psychology and CBT. Tamala provides a fresh perspective and warm and compassionate guidance to help her clients cope with past pain, present fears, and future uncertainties.
Marcia Nimmer, Psy.D., LCSW, Postgraduate Fellow
Marcia earned her doctoral degree at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her research and writing has focussed upon finding meaning in the second half of life. She is drawn to helping individuals continue to grow and develop throughout the lifespan. Marcia sees post-midlife as time of great potential and wants to help individuals explore and find their full potential and whole selves.
Ilana Bar-Din Giannini, LCSW
VOW Groups Founder / Group Therapies Program Director
“After 20 years working as a professional writer, my decision to train as a psychotherapist came from a strong sense of personal optimism: I believe that people can write — and change — their own stories. With the right help and support, even traumatic stories can be reworked and lives reimagined. Social work underscored my sense that we heal best if gently moved from a place of isolation to a place of supportive understanding.” [more]
Dawn Tennenbaum, Ph.D., Postgraduate Fellow
Dawn earned her doctoral degree at the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Her experience includes working with adults who are struggling with depression, anxiety, identity, loss and grief, and trauma. Dawn’s approach to therapy draws from attachment and object relations theories, dialectical behavior theory, and LGBTQ Affirmative therapy. She understand how their early experiences impact their current relationships, emotions, behaviors, and thoughts, and to helps them utilize this understanding to enhance their quality of life and relationships with self and other.
Katherine Smith, Psy.D., Postgraduate Fellow
Katherine earned her doctoral degree at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She believes therapy is more than just overcoming life’s challenges – it is an opportunity for you to explore and create a new relationship to your self. Katherine approaches therapy with kindness, compassion, and humor. She has worked with individuals and couples of diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations, mental health concerns, and integrates social justice and feminist perspectives in her approach to therapy.
Michele Gomes, Psy.D.
WILA Executive Director / Supervising Psychologist PSY23227