​Healthy Mind & Body (Silver)

Date endorsed

Contact details:
Bianca Dubb
Address PO Box 2232
Suburb Rose Bay North NSW
Postcode 2030
Phone 0411 028 581
Email biancadubb@hotmail.com
Program developer
Bianca Dubb
Facilitator requirements Healthy Mind & Body should be facilitated by an individual bearing the following characteristics:
• Qualifications as a registered counsellor, psychologist, or social worker
• At least five years’ experience in working directly with women affected by domestic and family violence (i.e. in a therapeutic or case work setting)
• Previous experience in running therapeutic groups
• A strong understanding of Yalom’s approach to group psychotherapy
• A commitment to feminist values and an strong understanding of trauma-informed practice
It is recommended that Healthy Mind & Body is co-facilitated where possible, often with a lead facilitator. This allows both facilitators to observe and offer different perspectives, and moreover, brings support and balance to the group and to each other.
Target group Healthy Mind & Body is a support group for women who are currently experiencing or have previously experienced domestic and family violence. Due to the group structure and content, this group is most appropriate for individuals who fit the following criteria:
• Identifies as female
• Aged 18 years or over
• Has previously experienced or is currently experienced domestic or family violence of any kind (such as, but not limited to, physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse)
• Simultaneously engaging in one-on-one therapeutic or casework support
• Readiness to engage in group work
• Commitment to the full eight weeks and/or willing to engage in addressing barriers to participation
• Able to communicate in English

Exclusion criteria
In addition to the above eligibility criteria, facilitators should also carefully consider the following criteria as conditions of exclusion. Consider excluding individuals who:
• Are experiencing acute mental distress (e.g. active psychotic symptoms)
• Are diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder
• Have an active substance addition or whom are undertaking a rehabilitation or detox program at any stage through the group’s planned duration
• Have a history of acting aggressively towards others
The criteria listed above have been identified as characteristics that can have a negative impact upon the creation of a safe space and the capacity of therapeutic impact. However, it is essential that the exclusion of any individual should be done with very careful consideration and should always be done with the provision of an equivalent service that would better suit their needs.
Is this program available for purchase?

Healthy Mind & Body is an eight-week support group that aims to educate, empower, and connect women who have previously or who are currently experiencing domestic and family violence. For two hours each week, participants are supported to enter into a safe social space in which they can explore their own self-concept while also engaging with psychoeducation around domestic violence and healthy relationships.

This group is grounded within relational and interpersonal models of group psychotherapy, in which a large focus of group process is around the 'here and now' method. Group participants experience the effects of empowerment and change as it happens within the group dynamic, through developing interpersonal skills and providing and receiving social feedback in a safe and supportive environment.

The power of this group comes from the creation of a safe space for participants to become leaders in their own group experience: through providing and receiving feedback from other participants and facilitators, participants are able to challenge their self-concepts, recognise their needs and strengths, and learn to draw upon their experiences to support others.

This group has three broad aims to:

  • Increase self-confidence and self-esteem,
  • Reduce social isolation and increase social connectedness,
  • Reduce anxiety and depression.

Many domestic and family violence support groups have a strong focus on education and safety planning, however the strength in this approach is found in the ownership of the group to guide the direction of the discussion and activity. Thus, while information on domestic and family violence is discussed, this is not a core focus of the group.

Healthy Mind & Body runs for eight weeks. Each session runs for two hours and starts with a check-in and concludes with a check-out – between this some activities are run, education is undertaken, and concepts are introduced. The focus topic for each week are as follows:

Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Healthy Self-esteem (Part 1)
Week 3: Healthy Self-esteem (Part 2)
Week 4: Healthy Boundaries
Week 5: Healthy Communication
Week 6: Healthy Relationships
Week 7: Healthy Steps (Change & Moving Forward)
Week 8: Healthy Endings

These topics have been chosen and structured in such a way as to enhance growth and change through a process. In addition to this, facilitators are encouraged to respond to the needs of the group each week: should a future topic come up in the natural progression of the weekly check-in, facilitators are encouraged to be flexible to accommodate this natural progression and to allow the topic to be explored in its natural progression.

A copy of the evaluation - http://thenortherncentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Evaluation-of-the-Healthy-Mind-Body-Program_TNC-Nov14.pdf

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