Facilitated by Shaina Nicholson, MSW Registered Associate No. 80250

Group Description
An invisible illness is an umbrella term for any medical condition that isn’t easily visible to others. This can include various physical conditions such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic pain, chronic migraines, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, as well as mental illness. We live in a culture where those of us who are experiencing an invisible illness are often judged or stigmatized due to lack of social awareness. We are seen as needy, lazy or lying about our suffering.  It can be difficult to explain to friends, loved ones, etc. who have no understanding of the daily challenges of living with an invisible illness and being in pain or feeling ill on the inside, while looking perfectly healthy on the outside.

This group aims to provide a safe, supportive, and judgement-free space for individuals suffering from an invisible illness to share their experiences. We will explore the day-to-day challenges of living with an invisible illness from receiving a diagnosis, understanding your diagnosis, accessing proper treatment and care, adjusting to the changes, and the inevitable frustrations that are associated with such a diagnosis. We will also support each other to navigate the challenges of invisibility and help each other to know that we are not alone. Ultimately, we will work together to build more acceptance, fulfillment, and learn to lead joyful lives while managing illness.

Who Can Benefit
Like individual therapy, group therapy can benefit almost anyone. Members have the opportunity to discover how they think, why they react the way they do, and understand how they are perceived by others in the group. Members talk about what goes on in their lives outside the group, but also focus in a concentrated way as to what happens between members in the here-and-now of the group’s life, providing each other feedback and learning through witnessing and resonating with each other. Our hope is that group members find healing and an increased ability to make conscious choices that impact how they feel in the moment. The group is often used as a “laboratory” where group members both learn about themselves and take interpersonal risks in the service of living their lives more authentically, more honestly, and more fully emotionally engaged.

About Group Psychotherapy
Group psychotherapy is a special form of therapy in which a small number of people meet together under the guidance of a professionally trained therapist to help themselves and one another. Each of us has been raised in groupenvironments-our families, schools, organized activities, or work-where we grow and develop as human beings. Group psychotherapy is no different. It provides a place where you come together with others to share problems or concerns, to better understand your own situation, and to learn from and with each other. Group therapy helps people improve their interpersonal relationships. It addresses feelings of isolation, aloneness, depression and/or anxiety, and helps people make significant changes to improve the quality of their lives.  Self-awareness gained in weekly group therapy helps pave the way for you to have more satisfying relationships, be more comfortable with yourself, with your feelings, with others, and in the other groups in which we each participate every day.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I look forward to this journey with you! 

8 Sessions at $40 per session. 

This is a closed 8-week group and will be limited to 10 people. Sessions will last 90 minutes from 7:30 - 9:00pm on Mondays, beginning October 28, 2019.