This ten-week group will be focused on two groups of five people each, divided into group one with: police officer, firefighters, EMTs, and corrections officers and group two with: educators (and anyone working in a school setting), social workers, medical care professionals, and mental health care professionals.
Therapies used include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and introductory trauma work well as the power of peer support. This will be a closed group focusing on sharing experiences, having brief homework assignments between groups, practicing mindfulness activities, and identifying shared coping skills both that group members may suggest to each other as well as those that the group leader with share with members.
Goals of this group are to provide psycho-education around substance abuse as a maladaptive coping mechanism, replacement behaviors for maladaptive coping mechanisms, and also the power of meeting once per week with others who have and continue to experience the same stressors and life ruptures of working and living in these very intense settings on a minute-by-minute basis.
Register your interest to join the group:
Laura Van Wyk, LCSW
Laura has experience working with clients who struggle with severe mental health diagnoses such as paranoid schizophrenia to working with clients who are seeking out treatment to address depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addictions (both substance and process), as well as LGBTQ+ issues,
and sexuality. Laura is certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). She strongly believes in developing tailored and individual treatment plans that synthesize the tools of many different types of therapies that best match the strengths and preferences of each client she is working with to maximize the benefit of the therapeutic experience for them.
She is particularly interested in treating individuals who would like to address depression, anxiety, life transitions, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and relationship and sexuality issues. Laura has also had significant experience working with the LGBTQ+ community.
Week 1: Discussion, introduction, info about group
Week 2: Discussion around how COVID as well as other trauma has made it difficult to be a first respondeer (close with a mindfulness exercise)
Week 3: Discussion around current coping mechanisms (good and bad). Psycho-education around addiction (substance and process). Close with mindfulness exercise (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
Week 4: Begin with mindfulness exercise (5, 4, 3, 2, 1). Discuss the use of the 5 senses and triggers. Which is the most powerful for you? Homework assignment to practice this exercise.
Week 5: Discussion of replacement behaviors. Discuss one to two replacement behaviors for each person and how they relate to the senses. Find an appropriate add-on like fidget toy, aromatherapy (give out resources).
Week 6: How are replacement behavior working? Share stories. Exchange advice/experiences.
Week 7: Trauma and process–Younger self exercise #1, homework assignment (your self exercise #2).
Week 8: Share homework assignments. Use your replacement behavior to sit in dysregulation as a group.
Week 9: Trauma and process–Younger self exercise #2. Close with mindfulness exercise.
Week 10: Wrap-up and take-aways.