Trauma survivors may have difficulty sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others. It could be due to shame, guilt, fear, or just the inability to find the words to express how they’re feeling. It’s usually easier to open up when we feel others will be able to relate or understand what we’re going through without much explanation from us. Group therapy sessions are beneficial because they foster a sense of belongingness and relatability with individuals who share a common experience. Restore has conducted 36 group therapy sessions since 2018. Evidence based curriculum such as Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency, SHINE, and Teen Support, were utilized to guide these group therapy sessions. The number of groups increased over the last three years to accommodate more clients who were in need of the services.
Five of 13 groups were conducted via telehealth in 2020 due to the government imposed community quarantine. Telehealth services were feasible because of the support provided by social workers, house parents, and interns who assisted the children during the group therapy sessions. Recent easing government restrictions have made it possible to once again provide in-person group therapy sessions both in the shelters and the Restore office. Restore staff continue to uphold standard safety protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields, ensuring social distancing, and conducting sessions outdoors for proper ventilation. In-person group therapy sessions have been helpful to most clients because they feel more comfortable engaging with someone who is right in front of them. In-person sessions allow clinicians to pick up on non-verbal cues and gain a better understanding of what the client is going through. In 2021, two groups graduated from the group therapy session, while the remaining six groups are expected to finish between June and July 2021. God has graciously blessed these group therapy sessions, and we pray that through them, our clients will experience healing and restoration.