First Group Therapy Series: Faith Transitions Support Group

This is an ideal group for those who are experiencing a change in their religious and spiritual identities.

Changes in our religious beliefs can be all-encompassing. It often affects our self-identity, sense of belonging, social support, emotional wellbeing, and existential safety. Additionally, it’s difficult to know who we can turn to when our ideas and beliefs begin to shift. This combination of effects can leave us feeling lonely and confused.

“Many individuals are born into belief systems in their families and religious communities, and it is in these early groups where they are steeped in messages that affect their ideas about themselves and the world.” (Alyson M. Stone, 2013)

The reality is you are not the only one experiencing these struggles. Many of us, wherever we are on the religious spectrum, have confronted the physical, emotional, and spiritual obstacles associated with embracing new or changing beliefs. Yet, your story is also unique and valuable. You deserve a place where you can share your story and find connections with others.

The benefit of a support group is that it offers us a chance to do this. It will be a group where you can speak openly, bravely, and safely. Engaging in this is an important step in your overall journey and healing. Additionally, we will focus on listening to each other in order to better inform our perspectives and share about the ways we’ve found to move forward.

Whatever your religious faith background is in, the purpose of this group is to openly discuss our experiences, doubts, frustrations, fears, traumas, grief, etc. Our goal is to create a safe environment to discuss our evolving beliefs and find support from those who are experiencing the same transition. We ask that you come with an attitude of respect, vulnerability, and cooperation.

Group Details

  • This is a closed group (i.e. others cannot join the group once it has begun) and will consist of 5-8 members. The therapist leading this group is Stefan Chase, CSW (see the About page on our website for his bio).
  • Currently, this group will be meeting on Monday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. It will be held every week at the same time for a 6-week period. At the conclusion of the 6 weeks, group members may discuss whether or not they would like to extend the group therapy for another 6-week period.
  • Meetings will be held virtually via Google Meet. A strong internet connection is ideal in order to facilitate a smooth experience. Additionally, you must have a private location from which to participate to ensure confidentiality for all group members.
  • This group costs $180 for the 6-week period, which is due prior to the first meeting.
  • A brief 15-minute call with the therapist is required prior to the first meeting in order to meet one another and answer any questions. If you are interested in joining please contact Stefan Chase via email: stefan@therapytransformed.com 

Citation:

Alyson M. Stone. (2013). Thou Shalt Not: Treating Religious Trauma and Spiritual Harm With Combined Therapy. Group, 37(4), 323-337. doi:10.13186/group.37.4.0323

First Group Therapy Series: Personal Growth and Processing Group

We are very excited to announce our very first group therapy series that will be led by our therapist Stefan Chase. This is an ideal group for those struggling with anxiety, self-confidence, relationship dynamics, and personal authenticity. Keep reading for more information about how this group could help you or someone you know.

Katie: I’ve been feeling pretty anxious about school lately. I’ve picked a major, but I’m just not sure it’s the right one for me. But I’m sick of switching and I just want to graduate already.

Hannah: I know how you feel, I changed majors eight times before deciding. There’s a lot of pressure to “have it all figured out.”

Katie: Exactly, I’m only 22, how am I supposed to know what I want to do for the rest of my life??

James: You should take one of those career choice tests that help you see what you’re good at and would like to do.

Katie: I’ve taken three different ones already and each one said something different! I’m sick of it!

Group: *Silence* …

Therapist: What’s everyone feeling right now?

Katie: I feel like me talking about my problem just shut everyone down… 

Hannah: No, you didn’t shut us down, we want to be here for you.

Zach: Yeah, it’s okay Katie, I think we’re all feeling for you.

Therapist: James, what are you feeling?

James: *Hesitation* … Well, honestly I feel kind of rejected. I made a suggestion and Katie did shut me down.

Therapist: Could you tell that directly to Katie?

James: Oh, sure… Katie, I was just trying to help. I’ve been in your shoes too, picking a major in college is hard and I personally found those career tests to be really helpful.

Katie: I get that, but there isn’t any advice that’s going to make me feel better. I just want to know that my problems matter.

Therapist: And James’ comment made you think that they don’t matter.

Katie: Exactly. Like, I should just be able to fix it and then everything will be fine. So I think I’d be better off just not talking about it. I’m bringing everyone else down with me.

Therapist: Who feels like Katie is bringing them down with her?

Group: *Heads shake*

Zach: You aren’t bringing anyone down, I think we just don’t know exactly what would help you. But we want to help!

Katie: Thanks. I did appreciate what you and Hannah said.

Therapist: But James’ comment not so much.

Katie: Right…

James: I realize what I said may have come across as dismissive of your feelings. That’s not what I meant to do.

Therapist: Katie, could you tell James, and the rest of us, what would help you feel validated.

Katie: *Thinking* … Yeah, I guess I just want to know that my problem, even as dumb as it might be, is still important. I have a hard time feeling like what I’m going through matters because other people have way worse things going on. Struggling to pick my major is such a “first world problem” you know?

James: Your problems definitely matter! It’s not a competition, at least I don’t see it that way. You’re struggling and we want to be here for you. I’d like to hear more about it if you want to keep sharing.

Hannah: I totally agree, we all have problems that are important. That includes yours!

Group: *Heads nod*

Katie: Thanks, I appreciate you all saying that. I know you all care, it’s just hard for me to actually believe it, you know?

Therapist: That’s a pretty common struggle. I know I’ve had to deal with that before. Can anyone else relate?

(A fictional transcript of a process group.)

 

Inevitably we all experience challenges in our relationships, whether it be with friends, family, co-workers, etc. Often it’s difficult to gain an accurate perspective of ourselves, our behavior, attitudes, communication style, etc. We may believe we are coming across one way, but in fact are seen and heard very differently than we were expecting by others. This can lead to doubt and uncertainty about ourselves, even becoming the catalyst for disconnection, inauthenticity, and emotional distress.

The antidote to this problem is (1) openly receiving honest feedback about ourselves, (2) recognizing and accepting responsibility for what we can control, and (3) changing our behavior to align with our values and beliefs (i.e. embrace authenticity). 

Admittedly, this is a difficult thing to do, especially when the many factors of complex relationships are at play. For one or more reasons, going about doing this might be extremely difficult or impractical. For example, the relationship has been historically unsafe for you to be vulnerable with them. Maybe the relationship has an imbalance of power, such as with a boss, co-worker, or parent. Perhaps you struggle to be honest for fear of rejection or retaliation. And although this might only be with one aspect of your relationships (past or present), those experiences can often leave us doubtful or afraid with other relationships in our life. They can unintentionally influence how we think, act, and feel about other connections, including with ourselves.

Group therapy offers a solution. The purpose of this group is to create a space where we can practice implementing the antidote. The group is an honest, limited-consequence environment for you to practice being open, flexible, and willing to change. This is the unifying factor between all of us in this group; we want to grow and improve. For that to happen we each must be willing to bravely embrace vulnerability and genuineness. The most important thing is to show up and be yourself. 

This group acts as a safe place where we can gain honest connection, learn about ourselves, and discover how to create more meaningful relationships in other areas of our lives. We hope you’ll bring an attitude of respect, genuineness, vulnerability, and a desire to grow.

Group Details

Stefan Chase, CSW
  • This is a closed group (i.e. others cannot join the group once it has begun) and will consist of 5-8 members. The therapist leading this group is Stefan Chase, CSW (see the About page on our website for his bio).
  • Currently, this group will be meeting on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. It will be held every week at the same time for a 6-week period. At the conclusion of the 6 weeks, group members may discuss whether or not they would like to extend the group therapy for another 6-week period.
  • Meetings will be held virtually via Google Meet. A strong internet connection is ideal in order to facilitate a smooth experience. Additionally, you must have a private location from which to participate to ensure confidentiality for all group members.
  • This group costs $180 for the 6-week period, which is due prior to the first meeting.
  • A brief 15-minute call with the therapist is required prior to the first meeting in order to meet one another and answer any questions. If you are interested in joining please contact Stefan Chase via email: stefan@therapytransformed.com 
  • You can download a printable flyer with this information here.