May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Gift of Group Therapy

There is a distinctive kind of relief that comes with sharing your struggles with another person, who has had a similar experience. Group therapy can be a bastion of hope, providing respite and lifting the isolation and loneliness inherent in suffering alone. At Jewish Family Services and Children’s Center of Clifton-Passaic, we are privileged to facilitate, on a daily basis, the miraculous transformations that so often occur in group therapy. JFS provides a multitude of groups for all ages and genders regarding lifecycle events and mental health issues.

Women find a safe haven and support in our confidential group for women struggling with difficult marital relationships. Our Men’s Group has formed a supportive camaraderie in which the members are able to understand and transform their anger in a safe space. Siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities are offered an opportunity to process their experience in a lively, fun and inspirational Sibshops Group. Multi Family Groups help children and parents improve their communication and social skills. Our Bereavement Groups provide people who have suffered losses to find validation, hope and the tools to continue living. Our DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) Groups offer adolescents and adults skills for reducing stress, regulating emotions, improving relationships, surviving crisis and building a satisfying life in which they can thrive. Groups are formed based on community request. This year we offered a bereavement group for parents who lost an adult child. A group for families dealing with children who are not choosing to follow family tradition is in formation.

Social Skills groups are not only helpful in the short term, but research done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that a study of more than 700 children followed from kindergarten to their mid 20’s proved that people became more successful as adults, the better their social skills were as children. Additionally, early social skills predicted less addiction, arrests and other negative outcomes. One mother from our Multi-Family Group said, “I found this group beneficial on so many levels. My children learned skills, I was able to continue to coach them on skills at home and I made strong connections with other parents.”

Groups offer the participants with a chance to realize they are not alone and find perspective in the normalization of their problems. Each group member evolves through the experience of helping each other grow. The highly trained therapists leading our groups encourage socialization, impart knowledge and model skillfulness, all in an empathic and validating environment. Group work has proven to be truly healing.

If you are interested in attending or have an idea for a group please contact the JFS office at 973-777-7638.

By Julie Saperstein, LSW, Clinician & Group Facilitator at Jewish Family Service

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